President Trump Removes Chad from "Travel Ban" Effective April 13, 2018

On September 24, 2017, President Donald Trump issued his Presidential Proclamation 9645 (Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats) [see article].

In the proclamation, President Trump recognized that the United States has developed a baseline for the types of information required from foreign governments in order to properly vet their nationals seeking entry into the United States as immigrants and nonimmigrants. This baseline was developed in accordance with directives from President Trump's March 6, 2017 Executive Order 13780 [see article].

In the Proclamation 9645, President Trump placed restrictions on the entry of certain nationals from eight countries: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. These restrictions were based on the failure of these countries to meet the vetting baseline criteria established by the U.S. Government. President Trump directed the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to “review whether countries have met the baseline criteria established in Proclamation 9645; develop recommendations regarding whether the suspensions and limitations should be continued, modified, terminated, or supplemented; and to submit to [him] a report detailing these recommendations every 180 days.” The 180-day review would look at every country, including those not subject to entry restrictions, and “determine whether each country's performance against the baseline criteria had improved, worsened, or remained the same.” Finally, the Secretary of State was tasked with engaging with the Governments of countries subject to entry restrictions in order “to improve their performance against the baseline criteria, as practicable and appropriate…”

On April 10, 2018, President Trump issued a new Presidential Proclamation titled “Presidential Proclamation Maintaining Enhanced Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats” [PDF version]. This Proclamation dealt with the findings from the first 180-day review after the September 24 Proclamation. Here, President Trump accepted the Secretary of Homeland Security's recommendation that “Chad has made marked improvements in its identity-management and information-sharing practices.” President Trump detailed some of Chad's improvements:

Chad was receptive to engaging with the United States to improve its performance against the baseline;
It improved its identity-management practices;
It improved its handling of lost and stolen passports;
It shares information about known or suspected terrorists with the United States; and
It committed to sustaining cooperation with the United States through a working group.

For those reasons, President Trump announced the termination of the entry restrictions and limitations that he had placed on Chad on September 24, 2017. The lifting of restrictions takes effect on April 13, 2018. Accordingly, nationals of Chad will no longer be subject to any entry restrictions or limitations under President Trump's travel orders.

President Trump left in place the entry restrictions on the other seven countries, stating that none of them has made “notable or sufficient improvements in their identity-management and information-sharing practices.” However, he noted that Libya has taken initial steps to improve its practices and work toward meeting the baseline requirements. Nevertheless, he stated that Libya remains deficient, and for that reason that the Secretary of Homeland Security had advised the President against lifting the entry restrictions and limitations at this time.

The restrictions against the seven countries other than Chad listed in Proclamation 9645 remain in effect in full, notwithstanding the pending litigation before the Supreme Court of the United States [see article]. We will continue to update the website with information on the issue as it becomes available. Individuals who are seeking immigration benefits and who are or may be affected by the entry restrictions and limitations should consult with an experienced immigration attorney for case-specific guidance.