Citizens of six specific countries who are also permanent residents of Canada may be barred from entering the U.S. after that country's President, Donald Trump, issued a new executive order on immigration.
Trump signed the order on March 6, though it will not be implemented until March 16. Under the order, citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen are blocked from applying for U.S. visas for 90 days. It also blocks all refugees from entering the country for 120 days.
Dual citizens of one of these countries who also possess a passport from a country not on the list are exempt from the ban. In theory, this means Canadian dual citizens can travel as usual, but the status of permanent residents who want to cross the border is somewhat less clear.
The order explicitly states that a “landed immigrant” from Canada needs to apply for a “waiver” that “may” be granted, on a “case-by-case basis,” at the discretion of a consular officer or another official from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. This policy applies to a range of people, inclduing if "the foreign national is a landed Canadian immigrant who applies for a visa at a location within Canada."
It is not yet clear how this policy with respect to Canadian permanent residents will be applied. There is currently no official indication as whether the policy will be applied consistently across consulates in Canadian cities, or how generous the U.S. government may be to applicants.
On Monday, March 6, a spokesperson for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), said that “Canada will work with its counterparts in the United States to clarify the impacts of this order on Canadian citizens and Canadian temporary and permanent residents.”
After an earlier U.S. immigration order was signed and implemented on January 27, Canada's Immigration Minister, Ahmed Hussen, initially assured Canadian permanent residents who held a valid U.S. visa that their travel rights should not be affected. However, it soon became apparent that these assurances were not being met by some U.S. border officials. Soon after that initial ban was implemented, CICNews.com published a story regarding a Syrian permanent resident of Canada who was not only denied entry to the U.S, but also had his visa cancelled at the border.
Mr. Trump’s original order faced legal challenges in multiple courts, culminating in Seattle federal Judge James Robart issuing a temporary restraining order. A higher court in San Francisco upheld Judge Robart’s decision. Rather than continue with trying to re-implement the original ban, Mr. Trump decided to issue a new order.