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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawVisa NewsMyanmar Now Subject to US Travel Ban: Visa Information

Myanmar Now Subject to US Travel Ban: Visa Information

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Myanmar. We are specifically discussing it in the context of US Immigration.

In a recent article from Voice of America News, I have also seen this in other official publications but the article is entitled: Expansion of US Travel Restrictions Explained. Quoting directly: "US President Donald Trump added 6 countries to his Administration's travel ban on January 31. Nigeria, Eritrea, Myanmar also known as Burma, Kyrgyzstan, Tanzania and Sudan." Quoting further:  "Travel restrictions affect each country differently. Trump's proclamation bars most citizens of Nigeria, Eritrea, Myanmar and Kyrgyzstan from obtaining Immigrant Visas that can lead to permanent US residence, also known as Green Cards, that allow people to work and live in the United States. Immigrant Visas include people who are sponsored by family members, employers or are a part of the diversity Visa program sometimes referred to as the Green Card lottery.

Well this is not good news for Myanmar Nationals and I know that this will have some impact on how things are going with respect to US Immigration matters pertaining to Southeast Asia. We do see a fair number of cases involving someone from Myanmar and usually it is a situation wherein it is usually a family based case where we are seeing someone who met their fiancée or spouse here in Thailand but the foreign national has Myanmar citizenship. So how exactly this plays out, I think it is fairly safe to say that we are just simply not going to see a lot of visas issued for folks with Myanmar citizenship in coming months presumably and possibly years, depending on how this all plays out. 

The other thing to remember is this looks to me like it is attached to nationality. It doesn't have anything to do with country, with Consular jurisdiction so unfortunately I don't think it is possible for a Myanmar foreign national to seek a visa to the United States through let's say the US Embassy in Thailand. You can't go forum shopping to get around this restriction. It is basically on those who hold the passport of the country in question. 

When I made videos way back when, it has been a while now, it has been a couple years since the first travel ban came out, I got a lot of criticism because people said "Oh you are talking about Southeast Asia all the time. Why are you doing this? It looks like you are trying to drum up viewers etc., etc."  And yes, while we do make this channel to entice viewers to watch these videos, that is certainly the case to some extent, we also make them for informational purposes. But one of the things I mentioned at the time and I don't make these videos for no reason, so sometimes what seems to be kind of an irrelevance or maybe just a curious factoid if you will, I am thinking of it in a broader context and when they first came down with the travel ban, I said in multiple videos at the time, I did not think that it would be limited to just the countries in question; I thought that there would be widespread ramifications. We have seen that in the administrative processing of Immigration cases. Specifically certain forms have been added across-the-board. More scrutiny of social media not just directed at the travel ban countries or countries in those regions. We have seen that applied again in broad strokes and now we have seen a country here in Southeast Asia being specifically brought under the "travel ban". 

So I bring these things up in order to try to provide some foresight into what may happen down the road. Now I never know exactly what is going on but at the time the travel ban first occurred I said I wonder how this is going to play moving forward and we have seen now that it has expanded. If it expands in the future remains to be seen, but we will certainly keep you updated on this channel.