The "watered-down" revised version of President Donald Trump's fiercely litigated travel ban has finally gone into effect after months of winding through courts, the media reported.
The ban went into effect at 8 p.m., on Thursday, reports CNN.
Less than an hour before the ban was slated to begin, an emergency motion was filed in federal court by the state of Hawaii, which contests the Trump administration's plan to exclude certain categories of foreign nationals that the state believes are allowed to enter the country under existing court rulings.
The White House on Wednesday set new guidelines for visa applicants from six Muslim-majority countries -- Libya, Syria, Iran, Somalia, Yemen and Sudan -- and all refugees, requiring them to have a "close" family or business tie to the US.
A hotel reservation, for example, will not constitute a bona fide relationship under the executive order, but an academic lecturer invited to speak in the US will be exempt from the travel ban.
Visa applicants will now have to prove a relationship with a parent, spouse, son, daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or sibling in the US, CNN quoted a senior administration official as saying.
If the applicant cannot sufficiently establish such a close relationship, he or she will be banned for 90 days if one is from the six Muslim-majority countries, and 120 days if one is a refugee from any country.The new guidelines were issued in response to the Supreme Court's ruling partially restoring Trump's controversial travel ban.
The State Department criteria applies not only to visa applicants, but also to all refugees currently awaiting approval for admission to the US.
However, the categories of travellers who are excluded from the travel ban comprise US citizens; legal permanent residents or green card holders; current visa holders; any visa applicant who was in the US as of June 26; dual nationals; anyone granted asylum; any refugee already admitted to the US (or cleared for travel by the State Department through July 6); and foreign nationals with "bona fide" family, educational or business tie to the US, CNN reported.
Also, visas that have already been approved will not be revoked, and senior administration officials confirmed on Thursday that previously scheduled visa application appointments will not be cancelled.