Presidential Proclamation 9645 and Presidential Proclamation 9983

Presidential Proclamation 9645 was the subject of many legal challenges brought in federal courts.  On June 26, 2018, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision regarding Presidential Proclamation 9645, ruling that the Proclamation was a lawful exercise of the President’s authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act.  Consistent with the Court’s decision, the Department has been processing visa applications in accordance with the Presidential Proclamation for subject nationals of the seven affected countries. 

On January 31, 2020, a new Presidential Proclamation (“Presidential Proclamation 9983”) was issued which added to the ongoing travel restrictions of P.P. 9645 by expanding them to the nationals of six additional countries.  Presidential Proclamation 9983 restricts the issuance of Immigrant Visas, including Diversity Visas but excluding certain categories of Special Immigrant Visas, to nationals of Burma, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, and Nigeria, while the issuance of Diversity Visas is suspended for nationals of Tanzania and Sudan.  These new restrictions will not apply to tourist, business, or other nonimmigrant travel.

Nationals of thirteen countries are currently subject to various travel restrictions contained in Proclamations 9645 and 9983, as outlined in the following table, subject to exceptions and waivers set forth in the Proclamations.


Visa Restrictions Under Presidential Proclamations 9645 and 9983*

Country

Nonimmigrant Visas

Immigrant and Diversity Visas

Burma

No restrictions under PP 9645 or PP 9983

No immigrant or diversity visas, except for Special Immigrants whose eligibility is based on having provided assistance to the United States Government.

Eritrea

No restrictions under PP 9645 or PP 9983

No immigrant or diversity visas, except for Special Immigrants whose eligibility is based on having provided assistance to the United States Government.

Iran

No nonimmigrant visas except F, M, and J visas

No immigrant or diversity visas

Kyrgyzstan

No restrictions under PP 9645 or PP 9983

No immigrant or diversity visas, except for Special Immigrants whose eligibility is based on having provided assistance to the United States Government.

Libya

No B-1, B-2, and B-1/B-2 visas

No immigrant or diversity visas

Nigeria

No restrictions under PP 9645 or PP 9983

No immigrant or diversity visas, except for Special Immigrants whose eligibility is based on having provided assistance to the United States Government.

North Korea

No nonimmigrant visas

No immigrant or diversity visas

Somalia

No restrictions under PP 9645 or PP 9983

No immigrant or diversity visas

Sudan

No restrictions under PP 9645 or PP 9983

No diversity visas

Syria

No nonimmigrant visas

No immigrant or diversity visas

Tanzania

No restrictions under PP 9645 or PP 9983

No diversity visas

Venezuela

No B-1, B-2 or B-1/B-2 visas of any kind for officials of the following government agencies Ministry of Interior, Justice, and Peace; the Administrative Service of Identification, Migration, and Immigration; the Corps of Scientific Investigations, Judicial and Criminal; the Bolivarian Intelligence Service; and the People’s Power Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and their immediate family members.

No restrictions under PP 9645 or PP 9983

Yemen

No B-1, B-2, and B-1/B-2 visas

No immigrant or diversity visas

* This list only reflects visa restrictions under Presidential Proclamations 9645 and 9983.  For information about any other possible restrictions and general information about U.S. visas, you should check  the website of the U.S. Embassy in the country in which you are seeking to apply.

In accordance with P.P. 9645 and P.P. 9983, a consular officer will determine whether an applicant who is subject to either of the Proclamations and otherwise eligible for a visa is excepted from the Proclamations or eligible for a waiver.  There is no separate application for an exception or waiver.

No visas will be revoked pursuant to P.P. 9645 or P.P. 9983.  Individuals subject to P.P. 9645 or P.P. 9983 who possess a valid visa or valid travel document generally will be permitted to travel to the United States, irrespective of when the visa was issued.

 

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Background

Section 2 of Executive Order 13780 of March 6, 2017 (Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States) mandated that a global review be conducted to determine what additional information, if any, was needed from each foreign country to assess whether foreign nationals who seek to enter the United States pose a security or safety threat.  As part of that review, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) developed a comprehensive set of criteria to evaluate the information-sharing practices, policies, and capabilities of foreign governments on a worldwide basis. 

The review, which included a 50-day period of engagement with foreign governments aimed at improving their information sharing practices, concluded that there were seven countries whose information sharing practices were determined to be “inadequate” and one country that presented “special concerns” for which the President deemed it necessary to impose certain restrictions on the entry of nonimmigrants and immigrants who are nationals of these countries.  On September 24, 2017, at the end of that review, the President issued Presidential Proclamation 9645, titled Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or other Public-Safety Threats, which suspended entry and place restrictions on nationals of Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen. (The President terminated entry restrictions against the eighth country, Chad, after it made sufficient improvements that allowed it to meet the baseline.)  These restrictions are considered important in addressing the threat these existing information-sharing deficiencies, among other things, present to the security and welfare of the United States and pressuring host governments to remedy these deficiencies.

On December 4, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the government’s motions for emergency stays of preliminary injunctions issued by U.S. District Courts in the Districts of Hawaii and Maryland.  The preliminary injunctions had prohibited the government from fully enforcing or implementing the entry restrictions of Presidential Proclamation 9645 titled Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or other Public-Safety Threats to nationals of six countries:  Chad, Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia.  Per the Supreme Court’s orders, those restrictions were to be implemented fully, in accordance with the Presidential Proclamation, around the world, beginning December 8 at open of business, local time.  Statistics on P.P. 9645 are dated from December 8, 2017.

The District Court injunctions did not affect implementation of entry restrictions against nationals from North Korea and Venezuela.  Those individuals remained subject to the restrictions and limitations listed in the Presidential Proclamation, which went into effect at 12:01 a.m. eastern time on Wednesday, October 18, 2017, with respect to nationals of those countries.

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Statistical Reports

Monthly Reports

The Department of State provides statistical information on the implementation of Presidential Proclamations 9645 and 9983 on a monthly basis.  Between December 8, 2017 and December 31, 2019, 17,798 immigrant and nonimmigrant visa applicants were issued visas pursuant to a waiver of P.P. 9645’s visa restrictions.

 

Presidential Proclamation 9645 and 9983 Report - March 2020 (PDF - 1.8 MB)

Presidential Proclamation 9645 and 9983 Report - February 2020 (PDF - 1.8 MB)

Presidential Proclamation 9645 Report - January 2020 (PDF - 1.5 MB)

Presidential Proclamation 9645 Report – December 2019 (PDF - 289 KB)

Presidential Proclamation 9645 Report – November 2019 (PDF - 307 KB)

Presidential Proclamation 9645 Report - October 2019 (PDF - 299 KB)

Presidential Proclamation 9645 Report – September 2019 (PDF - 168 KB)

Report of Implementation of Presidential Proclamation 9645 – September 14, 2019 (PDF - 566 KB) 

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Congressionally-Mandated Quarterly Report

Public Law 116-6, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2019 mandated that, not later than 90 days after enactment of the act, and every 90 days thereafter until September 30, 2019, the Secretary of State, in coordination with the relevant heads of Federal agencies, shall submit a report to the appropriate congressional committees that describes the implementation of P.P. 9645.   

Quarterly Report of Implementation of Presidential Proclamation 9645 – September 2019 (PDF - 649 KB)

Quarterly Report of Implementation of Presidential Proclamation 9645 – June 2019 (PDF - 260 KB)

Quarterly Report of Implementation of Presidential Proclamation 9645 – March 2019 (PDF - 1.4 MB)

Frequently Asked Questions

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Effective Dates of PP 9645 and PP9983

What are the effective dates of the entry restrictions for Presidential Proclamation 9645 and Presidential Proclamation 9983?

The effective date of Presidential Proclamation 9645 for nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen is September 24, 2017.

The effective date of Presidential Proclamation 9645 for nationals of North Korea and Venezuela is October 18, 2017.

The effective date of Presidential Proclamation 9983 for nationals of Burma, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania is February 21, 2020.

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Exceptions to PP 9645 and PP 9983

What are the exceptions in the Proclamations?

The following exceptions listed in Section 3(b) of Proclamation 9645 apply to nationals from the thirteen countries listed in Proclamation 9645 and Proclamation 9983.  Nationals covered by an exception will not be subject to any visa restrictions listed in the Proclamations:

  1. any national who was in the United States on the applicable effective date for that national as described in Section 7 of Proclamation 9645 or Section 4 of Proclamation 9983, regardless of immigration status;
  2. any national who had a valid visa on the applicable effective date for that national as stated in Section 7 of Proclamation 9645 or Section 4 of Proclamation 9983;
  3. any national of who qualifies for a visa or other valid travel document under section 6(d) of Proclamation 9645.  For those countries listed in Proclamation 9645, the applicable date is January 27, 2017.  For those countries listed in Proclamation 9983, the applicable date is January 31, 2020;
  4. any lawful permanent resident (LPR) of the United States;
  5. any national who is admitted to or paroled into the United States on or after the applicable effective date for that national as given in Section 7 of Proclamation 9645 or Section 4 of Proclamation 9983;
  6. any national who has a document other than a visa, valid on the applicable effective date for that national as given in Section 7 of Proclamation 9645 or Section 4 of Proclamation 9983 or issued on any date thereafter, that permits him or her to travel to the United States and seek entry or admission, such as advance parole;
  7. any dual national of a country designated under the Proclamations when traveling on a passport issued by a non-designated country;
  8. any applicant traveling on a diplomatic (A-1 or A-2) or diplomatic-type visa (of any classification), NATO-1 -6 visas, C-2 visa for travel to the United Nations, or G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-4 visa; except certain Venezuelan government officials and their family members traveling on a diplomatic-type B-1, B-2, or B1/B2 visas; or,
  9. any applicant who has been granted asylum; admitted to the United States as a refugee; or has been granted withholding of removal, advance parole, or protection under the Convention Against Torture. 
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What are the categories of Special Immigrant Visas that are excluded from the entry restrictions on Immigrant Visas for Burma, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, and Nigeria in Proclamation 9983?

For Burma, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, and Nigeria, Proclamation 9983’s entry restrictions do not apply to Special Immigrants whose eligibility is based on having provided assistance to the U.S. Government.  Specifically, the entry restrictions do not apply to those applicants described in section 101(a)(27)(D)-(G), (K) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(27)(D)-(G) and (K), and any alien seeking to enter the United States pursuant to a Special Immigrant Visa in the SI or SQ classification, and the spouse and children of such individual, if any.  

Nationals of the seven countries included in P.P. 9645 who are applying for Special Immigrant Visas may be eligible for a waiver of P.P. 9645’s visa restrictions, as determined by a consular officer.

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Waivers of PP 9645 and PP 9983

How do the Proclamations address waivers?

An applicant who is subject to either P.P. 9645 or P.P. 9983 and otherwise eligible for a visa, but who does not qualify for an exception, will be refused but is automatically considered for a waiver by the consular officer during the visa interview.  Each applicant’s eligibility for a waiver is evaluated on a case-by-case basis; waivers may not be granted categorically.  A waiver may be available if:

  1. the foreign national has previously been admitted to the United States for a continuous period of work, study, or other long-term activity, is outside the United States on the applicable effective date under Section 7 of P.P. 9645 or Section 4 of P.P. 9983, seeks to reenter the United States to resume that activity, and the denial of reentry would impair that activity;
  2. the foreign national has previously established significant contacts with the United States but is outside the United States on the applicable effective date under Section 7 of P.P. 9645 or Section 4 of P.P. 9983 for work, study, or other lawful activity;
  3. the foreign national seeks to enter the United States for significant business or professional obligations and the denial of entry would impair those obligations;
  4. the foreign national seeks to enter the United States to visit or reside with a close family member (e.g., a spouse, child, or parent) who is a United States citizen, lawful permanent resident, or alien lawfully admitted on a valid nonimmigrant visa, and the denial of entry would cause the foreign national undue hardship;
  5. the foreign national is an infant, a young child or adoptee, an individual needing urgent medical care, or someone whose entry is otherwise justified by the special circumstances of the case;
  6. the foreign national has been employed by, or on behalf of, the United States Government (or is an eligible dependent of such an employee), and the foreign national can document that he or she has provided faithful and valuable service to the United States Government;
  7. the foreign national is traveling for purposes related to an international organization designated under the International Organizations Immunities Act (IOIA), 22 U.S.C. 288 et seq., traveling for purposes of conducting meetings or business with the United States Government, or traveling to conduct business on behalf of an international organization not designated under the IOIA;
  8. the foreign national is a Canadian permanent resident who applies for a visa at a location within Canada;
  9. the foreign national is traveling as a United States Government-sponsored exchange visitor; or
  10. the foreign national is traveling to the United States, at the request of a United States Government department or agency, for legitimate law enforcement, foreign policy, or national security purposes.
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What is the waiver process?

There is no separate application for a waiver.  An individual who seeks to travel to the United States should apply for a visa and disclose during the visa interview any information that might demonstrate that he or she is eligible for a waiver.  The same waiver process applies to those nationals who are subject to P.P. 9983’s entry restrictions.

As specified in P.P. 9645, consular officers may, in their discretion, grant waivers on a case-by-case basis when they determine that the applicant’s entry is in the national interest, would not pose a threat to the national security or public safety of the United States, and denying entry would cause undue hardship.  A visa may be issued if the consular officer determines that an applicant has met all of the waiver requirements.  P.P. 9645 includes a list of circumstances in which waivers may be appropriate, on a case-by-case basis, if the visa applicant is otherwise eligible and meets the standards for a waiver (see above). 

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What is a “close family member” for the purposes of determining if someone is eligible for a waiver?

Section 201(b) of the INA provides a definition of immediate relative, which is used to interpret the term “close family member” as used in the waiver category.  This limits the relationship to spouses, unmarried children under the age of 21, and parents.  While the INA definition includes only spouses, unmarried children under the age of 21, and parents of a U.S. citizen, in the context of the Proclamations it also includes these relationships with LPRs and aliens lawfully admitted on a valid nonimmigrant visa.

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Derivative Applicants and Proclamations 9645, 9983

If a principal visa applicant qualifies for an exception or a waiver under the Proclamations, does a derivative also get the benefit of the exception or waiver?

Each applicant, who is otherwise eligible, can only benefit from an exception or a waiver if he or she individually meets the conditions of the exception or waiver.

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Immigrant Visas and Proclamations 9645, 9983

I received my immigrant visa, but I haven’t yet entered the United States. Can I still travel there using my immigrant visa?

Both Proclamations provide specifically that no visas issued before the effective date of the Proclamations will be revoked pursuant to the Proclamations, and it does not apply to nationals of affected countries who have valid visas on the date it becomes effective for that country.

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I recently had my immigrant visa interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate overseas, but my case is still being considered. What will happen now?

If your visa application was refused under Section 221(g) in order for you to submit updated or missing supporting documents or for administrative processing, you should proceed to submit your documentation.  After receiving any required missing documentation or completion of any administrative processing, the U.S. embassy or consulate where you were interviewed will contact you with more information.

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I am currently working on my case with NVC. Can I continue?

Yes.  You may continue to pay fees, complete your Form DS-260 immigrant visa applications, and submit your financial and civil supporting documents to NVC.  NVC will continue reviewing cases and scheduling visa interviews overseas.  During the interview, a consular officer will carefully review the case to determine whether the applicant is affected by either of the Proclamations and, if so, whether the case qualifies for an exception or a waiver.

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What immigrant visa classes are subject to the Proclamations?

All immigrant visa classifications, except those for Special Immigrants whose eligibility is based on having provided assistance to the U.S. Government, for nationals of Burma, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, and Nigeria are subject to Proclamation 9983 and restricted.  Specifically, the Special Immigrants excepted are those applicants described in section 101(a)(27)(D)-(G), (K) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(27)(D)-(G) and (K), and any alien seeking to enter the United States pursuant to a Special Immigrant Visa in the SI or SQ classification, and the spouse and children of such individual, if any.   All immigrant visa classifications for nationals of Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia are subject to P.P. 9645 and restricted.  Only diversity visas are restricted for nationals of Sudan and Tanzania.  All immigrant visa classifications for nationals of Venezuela are unrestricted. 

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I sponsored my family member for an immigrant visa, and the interview appointment is after the effective date of the Proclamation. Will my family member still be able to receive a visa?

All immigrant visa classifications, except those for Special Immigrants whose eligibility is based on having provided assistance to the U.S. Government, for nationals of Burma, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, and Nigeria, are subject to Proclamation 9983 and suspended.  All immigrant visa classifications for nationals of Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia are subject to Presidential Proclamation 9645 and suspended.  An individual who wishes to apply for an immigrant visa may apply for a visa and disclose during the visa interview any information that might demonstrate that he or she is eligible for an exception or waiver per the Proclamations.  A consular officer will carefully review each case to determine whether the applicant is affected by the Proclamations and, if so, whether the applicant qualifies for an exception or a waiver.

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Diversity Visas and Proclamations 9645, 9983

Does Proclamation 9645 or Proclamation 9983 affect who can enter the Diversity Visa Lottery? If, for example, a Tanzanian enters the lottery, would he or she not be selected because of Proclamation 9645 and Proclamation 9983?

Neither Proclamation 9645 nor Proclamation 9983 affect the Diversity Visa Lottery process.  Any alien who is a native of one of the countries eligible for the Diversity Visa Lottery for that fiscal year can enter the lottery.  Additionally, any alien who has entered the lottery can be selected – the Department of State conducts a random selection of DV applicants, based on allocations of available visas in each region and country, from all registered users.  This is not affected by P.P. 9645 or P.P. 9983.  Once an applicant applies and is found otherwise eligible for a Diversity Visa, the consular officer will determine if the applicant is subject to P.P. 9645 and eligible for an exception.  If the applicant is not eligible for an exception, the consular officer will immediately assess the applicant’s eligibility for a waiver.

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I received my Diversity Visa, but I haven’t yet entered the United States. Can I still travel there using my Diversity Visa?

Both Proclamations provide specifically that no visas issued before the effective dates of the Proclamations will be revoked pursuant to the Proclamations, and it does not apply to nationals of affected countries who have valid visas on the date it becomes effective for their country.

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I recently had my Diversity Visa interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate overseas, but my case is still being considered. What will happen now?

If your visa application was refused under Section 221(g) in order for you to submit missing or updated supporting documents or administrative processing, please provide the requested information.  The U.S. embassy or consulate where you were interviewed will contact you with more information.

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Will my Diversity Visa application move to the back of the line for an appointment?

No.  KCC schedules appointments by Lottery Rank Number.  When KCC is able to schedule your visa interview, you will receive an appointment before cases with higher Lottery Rank Numbers.

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I am currently working on my case with KCC. Can I continue?

Yes.  You may continue to complete your Form DS-260 immigrant visa application.  KCC will continue reviewing cases and can qualify your case for an appointment.  You will be notified about the scheduling of a visa interview.

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What if my spouse or child is a national of one of the countries for whom Diversity Visa issuance is suspended, but I am not?

KCC will continue to schedule new DV interview appointments for nationals of the affected countries.  A national of any of those countries applying as a principal or derivative DV applicant should disclose during the visa interview any information that might qualify the individual for a waiver or exception.  Note that diversity visas, including derivative visas, can only be issued during the program year, which ends September 30 of that year, and only if visa numbers remain available.  There is no guarantee a visa will be available in the future for your derivative spouse or child.

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Medical Treatment and Proclamations 9645, 9983

Can those applicants subject to P.P. 9645 or P.P. 9983 needing urgent medical care in the United States still qualify for a visa?

Applicants who are otherwise qualified and seeking urgent medical care in the United States may be eligible for an exception or a waiver.  Any individual who seeks to travel to the United States should apply for a visa and disclose during the visa interview any information that might qualify the individual for an exception or waiver.  A consular officer will carefully review each case to determine whether the applicant is affected by the Proclamations, and if so, whether the case qualifies for an exception or a waiver.

P.P. 9645 provides several examples of categories of cases that may be appropriate for consideration for a waiver, on a case-by-case basis, when in the national interest, when entry would not threaten national security or public safety, and denial would cause undue hardship (see above).  Among the examples provided, a foreign national who seeks to enter the United States for urgent medical care may be an appropriate circumstance for a waiver.

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Follow-To-Join Asylees and Refugees and Proclamations 9645, 9983

Do either of these Proclamations affect follow-to-join asylees or follow-to-join refugees?

Neither Proclamation affects follow-to-join asylees or follow-to-join refugees.