Immigration Updates

The Supreme Court of the United States has allowed provisions of the Presidential Proclamation issued on September 24, 2017 to be fully enforced. This is not a final ruling on the travel ban, as challenges to the policy continue to work their way through federal courts and the Supreme Court will ultimately rule on its legality soon. As background, below are the specifics of each travel ban / proclamation that has been issued. We will continue to monitor events and keep this page up-to-date as details become available.

The President of the United States first signed executive order 13769 on January 27, 2017 that affected travelers from seven countries. That order was temporarily suspended by a federal court and is no longer an issue.

On March 6, 2017, the President signed a new executive order that affects travelers from six countries. It too was temporarily suspended by a federal court.

However, on June 26, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court partially granted the government's request to stay the preliminary injunctions. The decision, however, contained an important exception that upheld the injunction for individuals "who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States." As a result, most students and scholars were exempt from the 90-day bar.The period covering this ban expired on October 18, 2017.

On September 24, 2017, a Presidential Proclamation -  “Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats” - was issued. This new proclamation affects nationals from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Venezuela, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen. Sudan was removed and Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela were added. The new Proclamation represents a complete ban for all nationals, immigrant and nonimmigrant, from North Korea and Syria. Nationals from the other six countries will face varying degrees of additional security checks when applying for certain visas.

The government has determined that nationals of these countries will have restrictions and/or heightend security processes to complete before travel is possible. How each country is affected is detailed below:

  • North Korea and Syria:  Entry as immigrants and nonimmigrants is suspended. Student (F-1), exchange (J-1) and employment (H-1B) visa holders are ineligible to travel if they are outside the U.S., do not have a valid visa, or do not qualify for a visa or travel document on the applicable effective date of the Proclamation.
  • Chad, Libya and Yemen: Entry as immigrants and nonimmigrants on B-1/B-2 tourist visas is suspended. The ban has no effect on student (F-1), exchange (J-1) or employment (H-1B) visa holders.
  • Somalia: Entry as immigrants is suspended. All nonimmigrants, including those applying student (F-1), exchange (J-1) or employment (H-1B) visas, face enhanced screening and vetting requirements.
  • Iran: Entry as immigrants and on most nonimmigrant visas is suspended if they are outside the U.S., do not have a valid visa, or do not qualify for a visa or travel document on the applicable effective date of the Proclamation. However, student (F-1) and J-1 exchange visitor visas are still eligible to travel. Students and exchange visitors will have enhanced screening and vetting requirements.
  • Venezuela: Entry of Venezuelan government officials and their immediate family members as nonimmigrants on B-1/B-2 visas is suspended. Student (F-1), exchange (J-1) or employment (H-1B) visas, face enhanced screening and vetting requirements.
  • Sudan: No longer have travel restrictions.
  • Iraq: Iraq is not listed as one of the affected countries, but the Proclamation states that DHS recommended "that nationals of Iraq who seek to enter the United States be subject to additional scrutiny to determine if they pose risks to the national security or public safety of the United States." Iraqi nationals should expect advanced screening and vetting.

These restrictions do not apply to anyone inside the U.S. as of the applicable effective date or those with a currently valid green card, visa or travel document. However, unlike the earlier ban, which temporarily limited travel for 90 days, the new restrictions are indefinite and condition-based, not time-based.

In addition, on October 8, 2017, the U.S. Department of State announced that it had suspended non-immigrant visa services at all U.S. diplomatic facilities in Turkey. The suspension only impacts Turkish nationals and applies to all non-immigrant visas, including F-1 student, J-1 exchange visitor, and H-1B specialty worker. Normal travel to the U.S. can continue for Turkish nationals with existing U.S. visas and for other nationalities traveling via Turkey. More details will be provided when known.

If you have any questions, you can contact the international office for assistance.