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US issues new visa criteria for 6 Muslim nations

The move comes after the Supreme Court partially restored President Donald Trump's executive order that was widely criticised as a ban on Muslims.

Published: 29th June 2017 11:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th June 2017 11:40 AM   |  A+A-

Havana, Cubans deported, Little Havana

Heriberto Evora holds a sign during a news conference calling on President Trump to issue a humanitarian visa to his family in Mexico, in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami, on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. (File Photo | AP)

By PTI

WASHINGTON:  The Trump administration has set new criteria for visa applicants from six mainly Muslim nations and all refugees that require a "close" family or business tie to the United States.

The move comes after the Supreme Court partially restored President Donald Trump's executive order that was widely criticised as a ban on Muslims.

The new guidelines sent to US embassies and consulates yesterday say that applicants from the six countries must prove a relationship with a parent, spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or sibling in the US.

This is according to a State Department cable obtained by the Associated Press. Grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-laws and sisters-in-law, fiancees or other extended family members are not considered to be close relationships.

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Senior officials from the departments of State, Justice and Homeland Security are finalising criteria that visitors from six mostly Muslim must meet to avoid the Trump administration's revived travel ban.

The White House deliberations come as US embassies and consulates await instructions later yesterday on how to implement this week's Supreme Court order that partially reinstated the ban after it was blocked by lower courts.

The new measures are expected to be implemented today. The justices' opinion exempts applicants from the ban if they can prove a "bona fide relationship" with a US person or entity. Government lawyers must determine how to define such a relationship.

The court offered only broad guidelines suggesting it would include a relative, job offer or invitation to lecture in the US.

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