United States Immigration Update
As of Friday, February 3, a US federal judge overturned the travel ban on entry to the USA for citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. This was appealed by the US Government, but the appeals court has upheld the ruling and so, for now, the travel ban has been lifted. Citizens of the seven listed countries (whether dual nationals or not) who hold a valid visa, may now (until further notice) enter the USA as before. Citizens of these seven countries may also apply for new visas to travel to the USA but should anticipate delays in processing at this time.
Here's the updated FAQ on what we know at this time.
Does this mean that the borders are fully open again?
Yes and no. At this time, the court’s blocking of the travel ban means that until further notice, people who are citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen may enter the USA as long as they are holding an appropriate visa.
What about dual citizens?
People who are citizens of one of the seven countries and another country will still require a valid visa. If someone is a citizen of one of these seven countries and a visa waiver country (such as Australia, NZ, and the UK) they are still ineligible for an ESTA and will also require a valid visa.
How do I apply for a US visa?
We strongly advise that you apply for your visa at least two months prior to travel. The process may be expedited but it is best to allow as much time as possible. You should begin your visa application here.
I am a dual national as described above but I do not currently have a valid passport for a visa waiver country. Can I still get a visa?
No. You will need to obtain this ‘visa waiver country’ passport in order to apply for your US visa.
I am a citizen of one of the seven countries and I also have US permanent residency, a Green Card or US citizenship. Can I travel to the USA?
Under the current ruling, you will be able to enter the USA. We strongly recommend that anyone who has any questions about their travel status or visa validity, contacts their nearest US embassy or consulate.
Can my consultant contact the US consulate on my behalf?
It is best if you contact the consulate yourself due to the personal nature of the information and the identity verification they will require. You should have your passport details handy when you are speaking to the consulate.
I have visited one of the seven banned countries since March 1, 2011. Can I travel to the US?
Whether a citizen of one of the seven countries or not, you will require a visa to enter the USA if you have visited Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen since March 1, 2011. You must contact your nearest US consulate or embassy for further advice.
I am not a citizen of one of these countries, nor have I visited any of them since March 1, 2011. What do I need to do to travel to the USA?
If you are a citizen of a visa waiver country (including Australia, New Zealand, Britain), you will be required to hold a valid ESTA.
I was affected by the ban and adjusted my travel arrangements accordingly. Can I change them again since I can now travel?
Please speak to your Cruiseabout cruise expert. Our airline and wholesale partners are working with us to help all of our affected customers. We will do all we can to re-accommodate you.
I am not personally affected by the ban but no longer wish to travel to the United States at this time.
We suggest that you refer to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advice on the United Sates before making any decision about your travel. Please be aware that normal change and cancellation fees apply to customers who are not directly affected by this executive order.
Will this all change again?
Unfortunately it may, as we have already seen significant changes to the original executive order in the first week. We suggest that you stay in close contact with your travel consultant and continue to refer questions to the US embassy or consulate nearest you.
US Consulate in Australia: 1300 139 399 or https://au.usembassy.gov/