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Green card, visa holders who leave US could face 90-day wait to return

Posted at 2:52 PM, Jan 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-28 15:51:30-05

A federal law enforcement official says any non-U.S. citizen from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia or Yemen is now barred from entering the United States, according to the Associated Press.

That includes legal permanent residents — green card holders — and visa-holders from those seven countries who are out of the United States. They cannot return to the U.S. for 90 days under the temporary ban ordered Friday by President Donald Trump.

Instead, those travelers will have to apply for a waiver to the executive order that instituted the ban, sources told CNN.

Green card holders already overseas seeking to return to their homes in the U.S. will be processed through a waiver authority that has already been established.

One official told CNN there is a case-by-case admissions process and another said it is being done “expeditiously.”

The official says there’s an exemption for immigrants and legal permanent residents whose entry is in the U.S. national interest, but it’s unclear how that exemption will be applied. Diplomats are also exempted.

Exemptions will be at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department, and criteria for exemptions include refugee status for religious minorities facing persecution, if denying admission would cause undue hardship or if not doing so would not pose a risk to the security or welfare of the US.

Customs and Border Protection is notifying airlines about passengers whose visas had been canceled or legal residents scheduled to fly back to the U.S., and the airlines are being told to keep them off those flights. Those traveling without a green card who landed in the U.S. after the order was signed would be detained and put back on a flight to their country of citizenship, an administration official told CNN.

The official that spoke with the Associated Press said visa and green card holders already in the U.S. will be allowed to stay.

The official wasn’t authorized to publicly discuss the details of how Trump’s order is being put in place and spoke to the Associated Press only on condition of anonymity.