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Can Canadians From "Muslim Countries" Still Enter the US?

UPDATE (March 21, 2017): The United States has now banned airline passengers from carrying electronic devices such as laptops, tablets and cameras onto flights originating from eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

UPDATE (March 15, 2017): A federal judge in Hawaii has blocked the revised executive order.

UPDATE (March 6, 2017): US President Donald Trump has signed a new version of the travel ban barring travel visas for citizens of six countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen (Iraq is no longer included in the list). The 90-day ban does not apply to people who have already obtained a US Travel Visa or who hold a US Green Card.

UPDATE (February 4, 2017): Following a judge's ruling, the US Department of Homeland Security has suspended the travel ban and reversed the cancellation of visas.

On January 27, 2017, US President Donald Trump implemented an executive order entitled "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States" barring citizens of several Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for at least 90 days. As a result, all citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen may be banned from entering the US indefinitely.

The travel ban has sparked mass confusion as conflicting details emerge regarding how it affects Canadian citizens and permanent residents. The US State Department originally said Canadians with dual citizenship from any of these "high terror risk" countries would be denied entry. However, a CTV News story published on January 28th reported Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's office as saying that dual Canadian citizens will not be impacted by the ban provided they are travelling on their Canadian passport. According to CTV News, Mr. Trudeau's director of communications stated: "we have been assured that Canadian citizens travelling on Canadian passports will be dealt with in the usual process." A Toronto Star article also published on January 28th appears to confirm that Canadian citizens are exempted from the travel ban, reporting that US National Security Adviser Michael Flynn "confirmed that holders of Canadian passports, including dual citizens, will not be affected by the ban."

According to a CBC News Story published on January 29th, Canadian permanent residents from banned countries may still be able to travel to USA during the ban provided they have their Canada PR card with them. CBC News reported that Canadian Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said: "the White House has given assurances that permanent residents of Canada can enter the US provided they have a valid Canadian permanent resident card and passport from one of the seven affected countries." Temporary Canadian residents without a Canada PR card, such as international students, risk being denied entry to USA if they are a citizen of one of the terror-prone countries listed under the ban.

The executive order originally barred US Green Card holders from entering the US if they were from a banned country, but this policy appears to have been reversed by the White House. On January 28th, a federal judge in New York blocked part of the ban but the White House has maintained that the ruling does not undercut the executive order. We will update this web page frequently as further information becomes available. The ban is part of President Trump's proposed "extreme vetting" program and is said to last until the American Government "can implement security procedures to effectively screen out terrorists." The ban currently impacts 218 million people worldwide, and a senior White House official has said the list of banned countries will likely grow in the future. Although there have been many reports of people being denied entry to the US and detained in various airports under the new ban, we are currently unaware of any Canadian citizens or permanent residents who have been turned away from the United States as a direct result.

Please note: US Entry Waivers will not help people overcome this travel ban. Although this ban does not appear to affect Canadian citizens or legal residents, Canadians with a criminal record may be criminally inadmissible to the United States and require a US Waiver to cross the border. Please also note that this travel ban is not officially a ban on Muslims, it simply targets people from predominantly Muslim countries that the American Government has determined pose a security threat to the nation.

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