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Terrorism-Related Inadmissibility Grounds (TRIG) - Situational Exemptions

Situational Exemptions to Date
Material Support Under Duress
Solicitation Under Duress
Military-Type Training Under Duress
Voluntary Medical Care
Certain Applicants with Existing Immigration Benefits
Certain Limited Material Support
Insignificant Material Support

Material Support Under Duress

Exemptions may be granted for applicants who provided material support under duress to designated or undesignated terrorist organizations, which at minimum requires that the material support was provided in response to a reasonably-perceived threat of serious harm. An example of material support under duress could include providing money or a service (such as transporting fighters and supplies) to a rebel group when threatened at gunpoint to comply with such a demand.

For more information on the Exemption for Providing Material Support to an Undesignated Terrorist Organization, please see:

For more information on the Exemption for Providing Material Support to a Designated Terrorist Organization, please see:

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Solicitation Under Duress

Effective January 7, 2011, the secretary of homeland security, in consultation with the secretary of state and the attorney general, exercised her discretionary authority not to apply an inadmissibility ground to certain applicants who, under duress, solicited funds or members for a terrorist organization.

For more information on this exemption, please see:

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Military-Type Training Under Duress

Effective January 7, 2011, the secretary of homeland security, in consultation with the secretary of state and the attorney general, exercised her discretionary authority not to apply an inadmissibility ground to certain applicants who, under duress, received military-type training from, or on behalf of, a terrorist organization.

For more information on this exemption, please see:

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Voluntary Provision of Medical Care

Effective October 13, 2011, the secretary of homeland security, in consultation with the secretary of state and the attorney general, authorized an exemption for certain applicants who provided medical care to individuals that the applicant knew, or reasonably should have known, committed or planned to commit a terrorist activity, or to members of a terrorist organization as described in INA Section 212(a)(3)(B)(vi). An example of the provision of medical care could include providing services in the capacity of a medical professional to members of a terrorist organization.

For more information on this exemption, please see:

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Certain Applicants with Existing Immigration Benefits (Limited General Exemption)

On August 10, 2012, the secretary of homeland security, in consultation with the secretary of state and the attorney general, authorized an exemption for certain applicants with existing immigration benefits who are currently inadmissible under INA section 212(a)(3)(B)(i). Applicants eligible for this exemption must have only select voluntary, nonviolent, associations or activities with certain undesignated terrorist organizations. This exemption may be applied only to applicants  who currently possess lawful status in the United States (i.e., asylee or refugee status, temporary protected status, or adjustment of status under the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act or Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act, or similar immigration benefit other than a nonimmigrant visa), and to beneficiaries of a Form I-730 Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition, filed at any time by such an asylee or refugee.

For more information on this exemption, please see:

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Certain Limited Material Support

On February 5, 2014, the secretary of homeland security and the secretary of state (the “Secretaries”), following with the attorney general, exercised their discretionary authority not to apply the material support inadmissibility ground to certain applicants who provided certain limited material support to an undesignated terrorist organization, or to a member of such an organization.  Limited material support may include:

  • Certain routine commercial transactions;
  • Certain routine social transactions;
  • Certain humanitarian assistance; and
  • Material Support provided under substantial pressure that does not rise to the level of duress (“sub-duress pressure”).

For more information on this exemption, please see:

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Insignificant Material Support

On February 5, 2014, the secretary of homeland security and the secretary of state (the “secretaries”), following consultation with the attorney general, exercised their discretionary authority not to apply the material support inadmissibility ground to applicants who provided insignificant material support to an undesignated terrorist organization, or to a member of such an organization.

For more information on this exemption, please see:

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 05/19/2015