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New Bans on Electronics on Certain International Flights

by: Justin Burton

The Trump administration has targeted the issue of immigration in many different ways, especially immigrants from certain regions of the world. One executive order seeks to ban immigrants from six specific countries from traveling to or entering the United States. In another recent government announcement, additional restrictions will be placed on both U.S. citizens and non-citizens traveling to the U.S. from certain airports.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that no passenger coming from certain airports may have any electronic device that is bigger than a smartphone in the cabin of an airplane. This includes laptops, tablets, and similar devices. These devices are banned on flights traveling to the U.S. from the following places:

  • Istanbul, Turkey;
  • Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates;
  • Cairo, Egypt;
  • Dubai;
  • Kuwait;
  • Qatar;
  • Jeddah, Saudi Arabia;
  • Riyadh, Saudi Arabia;
  • Jordan;
  • Casablanca, Morocco.

All airlines that will be affected are international companies, as no U.S. airline companies have direct flights from the designated airports. However, the following airlines will need to make policy changes:

  • Emirates Airways;
  • Turkish Airlines;
  • Qatar Airways;
  • Egypt Air;
  • Kuwait Airways;
  • Saudi Arabian Airlines;
  • Etihad Airways;
  • Royal Jordanian Airlines;
  • Royal Air Maroc.

Anyone flying to the U.S. on these airlines will have to check their electronics in their baggage and will not be able to use such devices for work or entertainment for the duration of their flights. Because passengers do not have access to checked luggage during connections, they are advised to check all devices at the beginning of their trip even if that leg of the flight does not include one of the above airports or the U.S.

While many people have complained about the new restrictions, it seems the ban may stay in place for some time, as other countries have initiated similar bans. Specifically, the United Kingdom followed suit by announcing restrictions for flights out of certain countries – including British Airways – and rumors indicate that Canada may also implement restrictions on electronic devices.

This is important for people coming into the U.S. to know, as any attempt to bring a banned electronic device – even unintentionally – onto a flight can raise serious security concerns. You may be detained and your devices may also be detained so agents can inspect and examine them. If you are seen as a security risk, it may affect an existing visa or future immigration applications for visas, green cards, or citizenship.

Discuss Any Concerns With a Chicago Immigration Lawyer Today

Everyone who is flying internationally to the U.S. should closely examine any travel restrictions set out by DHS and TSA. Violating such restrictions can raise red flags and can cause complications for your immigration status. If you are facing any complications or have been detained at an airport, you should not delay in calling a highly experienced immigration attorney at the Chicago office of Kriezelman Burton & Associates. We are here to help resolve any issues whenever possible, so call today at 312-332-2550.

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