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Green and Spiegel - An Immigration Law Firm
Jan 27, 2017

Fact Check: U.S. Visas Still Required for Most Asian Nationals

Joshua H. Rolf

We recently received an inquiry from a friend of the Firm in Vietnam regarding a fake news story claiming that one of President Trump’s Executive Orders made Asian nationals visa-exempt. In other words, this individual wanted to confirm the veracity of this story which, if true, would have allowed her and fellow Vietnamese nationals to travel to the United States without first obtaining a specific visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad.  As confirmed by a statement from the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, there is no truth to this story.

The recent debate between real news vs. fake news (or facts vs. alternative facts) has become all-consuming, and the topic of immigration is no exception. Inaccurate information and representations regarding the immigration system are unfortunately sometimes accepted as fact. That President Trump is in the process of issuing immigration-related Executive Orders, drafts of which have been released prior to issuance, only complicates matters and presents a prime opportunity for the spread of misinformation.

Visa exemption only applies in limited circumstances. For example, nationals of Canada and (in certain instances) Bermuda and the Bahamas, are visa-exempt. In Asia, nationals of Brunei, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, and South Korea may qualify for the Visa Waiver Program, which enables travel as a visitor without obtaining a B-Visa. Unless a national from another country has dual citizenship with a visa exempt or Visa Waiver Program country, he or she needs a visa for all travel to the U.S.

As President Trump continues to make executive orders, our Firm will remain attentive to our clients’ and immigration partners’ needs and help you determine exactly how changing laws and procedures will affect your situation. In doing so, we will remain a staunch ally in the fight for the rights of not only our clients, but the immigrant community as a whole. We firmly believe that our country approaches its highest ideals when it is open and inclusive, recognizing both documented and undocumented immigrants’ invaluable contributions to their families, communities, and our nation as a whole. We remain dedicated to our role as advocates.

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