The Donald Trump administration has implemented quite a few changes in the immigration policy in the past couple of months. With the expiration of the second travel ban, a third travel ban has been imposed with changes in the number of countries on the travel ban list. Along with this, the government is also planning to make the process of getting green cards more arduous with the introduction of new rules.

Here are the latest changes in the immigration and citizenship policies explained by attorney Martin Lawler

Donald Trump’s latest travel ban (version 3.0) has been overruled by a US federals appeals court. According to the judge, Trump “exceeds the scope of his delegated authority” by imposing such restrictions on immigration.

The earlier versions of the travel ban have also faced similar resistance in the past because of their discriminatory nature according to expert immigration attorney Martin Lawler. This time, a panel of three judges has declared that the ban is not based on substantial proof of the fact that those who have been blocked from entering the US can harm the country in any way.

However, the ruling passed by the judges has been put on hold because the matter is being considered by the Supreme Court which had earlier allowed the ban to come into full effect.

The third version of the travel ban restricts people from the following countries to gain entry into the US:

– Libya

– Iran

– Somalia

– Syria

– Yemen

– Chad

– North Korea

– Venezuela

This travel ban provides exemption to those who are lawful permanent residents of the US or hold dual nationality status. It does not include immigration of refugees. The Trump administration has stated that the countries on the travel ban list are unwilling to cooperate and share information with the US regarding their citizens who wish to travel to the US. However, a case-by-case waiver can be granted by government officials.

The visa approval system has also become more stringent even for exchange visitors and students from countries like Iran and Somalia on which a complete ban has not been levied. They need to prove that they are not a threat to the US before they can get entry into the country. Even people from those countries which are not on the travel ban list can face problems in visa approval in the near future with Trump calling for a ‘merit-based’ assessments of all recipients of the US visa. This can cut down the number of legal immigrants to a large extent.

Green Card Regulations

The immigrants seeking a green card are about to face more hurdles in getting the status of permanent citizens. Usually, immigrants take assistance from Congress officials to deal with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services and getting privacy waivers. However the agency would have to fill out more forms and submit notarized documents before getting the privacy waivers even in the case of immigrants who are overseas.

This can make the process of getting a green card very difficult for those who rely on lawyers and family members to represent them. The new USCIS rules when implemented, will require the privacy waiver to be signed and notarized by the person wanting to immigrate. The waiver will need to mention the name of the Congress office as the only recipient of the waiver. The potential immigrant would have to submit a translated text and prove his translation competency. Also, each follow-up query submitted after 30 days of receiving an accurate and meaningful answer from the USCIS would have to be accompanied by a separate privacy waiver. The whole process can take many months and increase the paperwork substantially.

The multiple screening levels can make it very difficult for people to gain permanent citizenship in the US according to Martin Lawler.

DACA Program

The latest update is that the Trump administration has refused to reinstate the DACA program or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program unless the Democrats support his decision to build a wall on the US border with Mexico. This can spell trouble for the 800,000 youngsters who had been brought into the US illegally as children.

Trump wants to end the chain-migration system which allows the people staying in the US to bring in family members from foreign countries. He is also planning to stop the lottery system of granting 50,000 visas to those countries from which there are not many immigrants to the US.

The main purpose of such stringent measures is to stop terrorist attacks within the borders of the US and put an end to the alleged inflow of large quantities of illegal drugs from Mexico into America. Donald Trump wants the immigrants to be economically self-reliant before coming to the US. This stance has been declared as isolationist and anti-immigrant by many people.

What a future immigrant needs to check before applying for a US visa

Those who are thinking of immigrating to the US need to keep some points in mind:

– Checking travel restrictions- With so many changes made in the immigration policy over the past few months, it is better to check whether the country from which a person wants to migrate is banned by the US or not.

– Type of visa- There are different types of visas for individual reasons for immigrating. The regulations need to be checked before applying.

– Documents required- As the process of application for immigration becomes more fraught with hurdles, it is important to find out which documents need to be submitted at what time and with which kind of authorization.

– System of visa approval- In case the merit-based system of visa approval is put into effect, the potential immigrant needs to know how to get a high score in that test. Language proficiency skills, previous accomplishments, education and income generation capacity are some of the factors which can determine visa approval under this system.

Martin Lawler predicts that the road ahead for future immigrants is a difficult one with so many obstacles at every step of the way. However, Lawler and Lawler is always ready to provide guidance and assistance to those who are willing to immigrate to the US in the process of immigration and acquiring of permanent residence.