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Changes to Immigration Law Block Journalist’s Entry to the U.S.

Written By The Shapiro Law Group on March 14, 2016

A BBC journalist was recently rejected from boarding a plane to the U.S. under new immigration rules rules passed in 2015. Rana Rahimpour, a London based journalist with dual British-Iranian citizenship, was attempting to fly from London to New Jersey when she was turned away. While British citizens do not generally need a visa to enter the U.S. for up to 90 days as a tourist, those with dual nationality from Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria now will need a visa.

Journalists like Rahimpour are accustomed to needing a visa to enter the U.S. when visiting for business purposes. The recently implemented Visa Waiver Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 extends the need for a nonimmigrant visa to those like her who also travel to the U.S to visit family or vacation.

Previously, these dual citizens were also able to visit the U.S. to conduct certain business meetings or consultations without a visa, but this is no longer the case. Many may now need the assistance of an immigration lawyer in Chicago as part of the advanced planning of such a trip.

Restricted but not Banned

The new regulations do not mean that dual citizens can no longer travel to the U.S., according to the Department of State. Business people who have visited one of the restricted countries or are dual citizens of one of them still have a good chance of gaining entry to the U.S. Those who wish to travel to the U.S. need to now go through the nonimmigrant visa process that they were exempt from before the new law began in January.

While business people and potential employees wishing to work within the U.S. may face some new restrictions, there is still a pathway to life and success in the U.S. through obtaining the proper visa.