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What is a close familial relationship for the travel ban?

The President of the United States has been pushing for a travel ban for certain people coming from six countries mainly in the Middle East, which would affect people in Florida. In a recent post we discussed that the United States Supreme Court had allowed portions of the travel ban to go into effect after initially being blocked by Federal Circuit Courts.

However, in that post we also discussed how certain terms were left vague by the Supreme Court, raising questions about who would be exempt from the President's Executive Order and who would not. The U.S. Department of State recently tried to clarify some of the confusion by defining some of the terms. The one most important to people in Florida dealing with family immigration is whether their families would still be able to come into the country.

The Department of State clarified that the immediate-relative and family-immigrant visa categories were exempt from the Executive Order based on the Supreme Court's decision. For the purposes of those visas a close familial relationship is defined as parents and parents-in-law, spouses, fiancé, children whether minors or adults, sons and daughters-in-law and siblings whether they are whole, half or step relations. It does not include extended family such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews and siblings-in-law.

The Supreme Court's decision on the Executive Order for the travel ban still will lead to some confusion for people in Florida trying to sponsor family members from those countries. However, the Department of State has provided some clarification. The family members will still need to go through the normal process for immigrating to the United States though, it is just that they will be allowed to go through that process. This can be a long and complicated process and experienced attorneys may be able to guide one through it.

Source: travel.state.gov, "Executive Order on Visas," accessed July 10, 2017

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