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President issues memo implementing heightened vetting of visa applications and reporting requirements

  1. Date Announced

    March 6, 2017

    President issues broad policy memorandum to DHS and DOS regarding the screening and vetting of visas. Requires reports of the number of visas issued by each consular office. Directs agencies to produce a report documenting the long-term costs of refugee resettlement along with recommendations for curtailing those costs. [ID #676]

    See Biden administration action below.

    View Policy Document
  2. Effective Date of Change

    March 6, 2017
  3. Subsequent Action

    March 15, 2017

    State Department issues cable implementing memo.

    DOS Cable on Implementing Immediate Heightened Screening and Vetting of Visa Applicants
  4. Subsequent Action

    April 3, 2017

    USCIS announces new measures to "detect H-1B visa fraud and abuse."

    USCIS News Release: Putting American Workers First: USCIS Announces Further Measures to Detect H-1B Visa Fraud and Abuse
  5. Subsequent Action

    May 25, 2017

    State Department creates new form (DS-5535) to implement heightened vetting.

    Form DS-5535, "Supplemental Questions for Visa Applicants"
  6. Biden Administration Action

    February 4, 2021

    This Biden administration policy revokes in its entirety the Trump-era policy identified in this entry.

    On 2/4/21, President Biden issued an Executive Order revoking certain past presidential actions on refugee admissions and resettlement (including Executive Order 13888 of September 26, 2019) and directing government agencies to take steps to improve the refugee program; including to create a plan to address processing backlogs, to complete a review of the Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrant Visa programs, and to submit a report on climate change and its impact on migration.

    Executive Order on Rebuilding and Enhancing Programs to Resettle Refugees and Planning for the Impact of Climate Change on Migration
Status: Final/Actual
Type of Action: Presidential Orders
Subject Matter: Refugees Non-Immigrant Visas

Prior Policies

  • Annual Report to Congress - ORR FY 2016
  • The Budget and Data Analysis (BDA) section of the Office of the Director (within the Administration for Children and Families of HHS) is charged with overseeing the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s (ORR) annual budget, including formulation and execution, as well as allocating and tracking funds for refugee cash and medical assistance and State administrative costs and all other ORR programs, tracking refugee population arrivals, allocating formula funds for Social Services and Targeted Assistance Programs, and providing general budgetary guidance and assistance to the Director. BDA is also responsible for compiling the ORR Annual Report to Congress, conducting the Annual Survey of Refugees.

    8 U.S.C. §1523 - ORR Congressional Reports

Subsequent Actions

Biden Administration Action


NAFSA - Relevant Sections

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