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Fewer visas issued to people from travel ban countries

There may be fewer visitors to Arizona and other states from the seven countries targeted in President Trump’s travel ban if an April trend continues. In that month, about half the number of visas were issued to people from those countries compared to any average month in the previous year. Nonimmigrant visas issued dropped about 15 percent in April compared to an average month from the previous year.

The seven countries mentioned in the travel ban are Sudan, Yemen, Syria, Somalia, Iraq, Libya and Iran. The first version of the ban was blocked by federal courts. A second version excluded Iraq but also had certain provisions blocked. An appeals court declined to reinstate the ban on May 25, and the case may be heard by the Supreme Court. On average, in the 2016 fiscal year, citizens of those countries received 5,700 visas per month. In 2015 and 2014, they received an average of 6,000 per month. In April 2017, that number dropped to 2,800. However, data on visa applications was not released, so it is unclear what factors are responsible.

Furthermore, Iraqis actually received more immigrant visas in April 2017, at 349, compared to an average month with 305 in 2016. The same was true for Syrians who received 268 in April 2017 compared to a 2016 average of 219.

U.S. immigration law is in flux, and people who are uncertain about their immigration status might want to consult an attorney. Because of these rapid changes, a person’s legal standing might have shifted in the last few months. More people may be interested in naturalization as a way of ensuring that their immigration status is more secure. Others may be concerned about getting the right visa for themselves or a family member.