On Tuesday, April 10, 2018, President Donald Trump announced that restrictions on travel would be lifted for citizens of Chad, one of eight countries included in the third version of the administration’s controversial travel ban.   In doing so, the president cited improvement in Chad’s identity-management and information sharing practices. Originally announced on September 24, 2017 in the “Presidential Proclamation Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats,” Travel Ban 3.0 imposed restrictions on travel for nationals of Chad and seven other countries: Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen.   Mayer Brown’s Legal Advisory in September 2017 addresses the precise restrictions on each of the countries.

In the Statement announcing the ban, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders indicated that the decision is based on DHS’s 180-day review of entry restrictions imposed by Travel Ban 3.0.  According to Sanders, “the enhanced global security measures that DHS and the Department of State established” are “the first ever set of minimum requirements for international cooperation in support of our visa and immigration vetting and adjudications.”  Sanders touted the success of Travel Ban 3.0 by noting in the Statement, “By lifting travel restrictions on nationals of Chad, the United States is demonstrating that the criteria set forth in Proclamation 9645 can and do work to enhance the security of the United States.”

As previously reported by Mayer Brown, the US Supreme Court agreed in December to review the legality of the current travel ban, but has allowed it to go into full effect while the justices deliberate.  Travel Ban 3.0 permits restricted individuals to obtain a waiver for admission only if rigorous criteria are met.  Three factors must be met:  (1) admitting the individual is in the national interest,  (2) denying entry would cause “undue hardship,” and (3) allowing entry does not pose “a threat to the national security or public safety of the United States.”  According to media reports citing Department of State data, more than 8,400 individuals affected by the ban applied for nonimmigrant and immigrant visas between December 8, 2017 and January 8, 2018, and only two waivers were approved as of February 15, 2018.

The administration indicated that none of the seven remaining countries has made sufficient progress toward meeting security baselines outlined by the Departments of Homeland Security and State. The Department of State provided President Trump with a report on March 30, 2018, evaluating each affected country, recommending that restrictions for Chad be lifted, and noting that Libya had also made significant progress.