A redesigned US travel ban aimed at stopping travellers from six mainly Muslim countries and refugees from entering the country has been signed off by President Donald Trump.
The ban is reworded with tighter criteria followed a Supreme Court ruling partially restored Trump’s executive order that caused a storm of controversy earlier this year.
The revised banning order is the administration’s third try at stemming the flow of visitors from certain countries into the States.
Under the new order, visa applicants from Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iran and Yemen must prove they have a close family relationship with someone already living in the USA.
To pass the test, the applicant must have a parent, spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or sibling in the country.
The order took effect from the stroke of midnight on Thursday, June 29.
Although issued visas will not be revoked, the new guidelines will apply to all new applications to US embassies.
The order also bans travel to the US for business or professional reasons unless the applicant can show they already have a relationship that is “formal, documented and formed in the ordinary course rather than for evading” the ban.
Journalists, students, workers or lecturers who have valid invitations or employment contracts in the US are exempt from the ban.
The new temporary order closely follows the decision from the Supreme Court handed down on Monday that clarified the grounds for withholding a US visa. A final ruling from the court is expected in due course.
Green card raffle
The latest ruling excepted travellers with a credible claim of a relationship with someone already in the US.
The ban also extends to the green card raffle, where 50,000 expats are granted the right to stay in the US indefinitely unless those taking part pass the visa family test.
The original ban included travellers from Iraq, but the new order has dropped this country.
The Department of Homeland Security said it expected “business as usual at our ports of entry”.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said it would be closely monitoring the guidance and implementation of the order.