Britons with dual citizenship will be exempt from Donald Trump’s travel ban, the Foreign Office has confirmed.
The US president’s team has told Boris Johnson that Britons who have shared nationality with one of the seven mainly Muslim countries will not be stopped from entering America.
But UK dual citizens travelling to the US directly from one of the banned countries will face extra checks.
The Foreign Secretary spent today speaking to the President’s senior adviser Jared Kushner and chief strategist Stephen Bannon about the immigration curbs.
His officials later issued guidance about what the clampdown:
• The ban only applies to individuals travelling from one of the seven named countries – Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
• Travellers to the US from anywhere other than those countries will experience no extra checks regardless of nationality or place of birth.
• UK nationals travelling from one of those countries are not included in the ban even if they were born in one of the affected states.
• Dual citizens from one of the seven countries travelling to the US from outside those countries are not affected.
• Dual nationals might have extra checks if they travel directly from one of the countries.
Mr Johnson earlier branded Mr Trump’s controversial policy, which includes a bar on all refugees, “divisive and wrong”, and criticised the decision to “stigmatise” people based on their nationality.
Prime Minister Theresa May faced a backlash after repeatedly refusing to criticise Mr Trump over the ban when questioned about the policy at a press conference in Turkey.
No 10 later said the Prime Minister did “not agree” with the policy and would act to help UK citizens.
Mr Trump issued a statement insisting he had not imposed a Muslim ban. He said: “America is a proud nation of immigrants and we will continue to show compassion to those fleeing oppression, but we will do so while protecting our own citizens and border.
“America has always been the land of the free and home of the brave. We will keep it free and keep it safe, as the media knows, but refuses to say.
“My policy is similar to what President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months.
Mr Trump added: “The seven countries named in the Executive Order are the same countries previously identified by the Obama administration as sources of terror.
“To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting. This is not about religion – this is about terror and keeping our country safe.
“There are over 40 different countries worldwide that are majority Muslim that are not affected by this order. We will again be issuing visas to all countries once we are sure we have reviewed and implemented the most secure policies over the next 90 days.
“I have tremendous feeling for the people involved in this horrific humanitarian crisis in Syria. My first priority will always be to protect and serve our country, but as President I will find ways to help all those who are suffering.”
Meanwhile, the order brought chaos and outrage across the US, with travellers detained at airports and protests against the measure.
Lawyers struggled to determine how many people were affected by the rules. Lawyers manned tables at New York’s Kennedy Airport to help families with detained relatives. A federal judge in New York issued an order temporarily blocking the government from deporting people with valid visas who arrived after President Trump’s ban took effect.