Foreign Office: What Donald Trump's travel ban means for British citizens like Sir Mo Farah

Mohamed Farah of Great Britain reacts after winning gold in the Men's 5000 meter Final on Day 15 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 20, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo byCameron Spencer/Getty ImagesSir Mo Farah publicly criticised Donald Trump’s travel ban, saying it turned him into an ‘alien.’

LONDON — The British Foreign Office has clarified what US President Donald Trump’s travel ban means for British citizens with any connections to affected countries.

Donald Trump’s executive order on Friday banning people from seven majority Muslim countries from travelling to the US sparked confusion, protests, and widespread criticism from public figures across the world.

One of those who spoke out against the move was Sir Mo Farah, the British Olympic runner. Farah was born in Somalia, one of the countries covered by the travel ban, but moved to the UK as a child and has UK citizenship. He has been living and working in Oregon, US, for the last six years but said he was unsure whether he could now return to the US. Sir Mo said in a statement on Sunday: “On 1st January this year, Her Majesty The Queen made me a Knight of the Realm. On 27th January, President Donald Trump seems to have made me an alien.”

One of Theresa May’s own MPs, Iraq-born Nadhim Zahawi, also tweeted that he is “sad” that he will be excluded from the US “based on my country of birth.”

Now the UK Foreign Office has clarified what exactly Trump’s travel ban — which covers Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen — means for British citizens with links to any of the countries covered.

Foreign Office Minister Boris Johnson held conversations with US officials and issued this guidance:

  • “The Presidential executive order only applies to individuals travelling from one of the seven named countries.
  • “If you are travelling to the US from anywhere other than one of those countries (for instance, the UK) the executive order does not apply to you and you will experience no extra checks regardless of your nationality or your place of birth.
  • “If you are a UK national who happens to be travelling from one of those countries to the US, then the order does not apply to you — even if you were born in one of those countries.
  • “If you are a dual citizen of one of those countries travelling to the US from OUTSIDE those countries then the order does not apply to you.
  • “The only dual nationals who might have extra checks are those coming from one of the seven countries themselves — for example a UK-Libya dual national coming from Libya to the US.”

Theresa May was forced to issue a late night statement on Saturday saying she “does not agree” with Trump’s travel ban after attracting widespread criticism for her perceived “weak” stance on the issue.

A petition calling for Donald Trump not to be given a “State Visit because it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen” was started on Sunday following the outcry about Trump’s travel ban and has already gained over 900,000 signatures.

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