Over 27,000 Visa Applications Denied in 2018 Due to "Travel Ban"

Alexander J. Segal's picture

On February 26, 2019, Reuters reported that the Department of State (DOS) refused more than 37,000 visa applications in 2018 under President Donald Trump's Presidential Proclamation 9645, colloquially known as the “travel ban.”1 DOS denied 21,645 applications for nonimmigrant visas and 15,384 applications for immigrant visas in 2018 under the travel ban. The DOS granted approximately 2,200 waivers of the entry restrictions for nationals from affected countries.

The 37,000 denials marked a dramatic increase from 2017, when only 1,000 visa applications were denied under previous iterations of the ban. The increase corresponds with the Supreme Court of the United States' decision in Trump v. Hawaii, which upheld the travel ban in Presidential Proclamation 9645 in its entirety. Reuters notes that the number of visas issued to nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen in 2018 were down approximately 80 percent from 2016.

It is clear that Presidential Proclamation 9645 is being implemented in a way that creates a high bar for those from affected countries seeking to overcome the entry restrictions. Individuals from these countries seeking visas in affected categories should consult with an experienced immigration attorney for case-specific guidance. To learn more, please see our full articles on the “travel ban” [see article] and the opinion of the Court in Trump v. Hawaii [see article].


  1. Torbati, Yeganeh. “U.S. denied tens of thousands more visas in 2018 due to travel ban: data.” Reuters. Feb. 26, 2019. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration-ban/u-s-denied-tens-of-thousands-more-visas-in-2018-due-to-travel-ban-data-idUSKCN1QF2KF
Over 27,000 Visa Applications Denied in 2018 Due to "Travel Ban"