FAQ on Executive Orders on Immigration and Travel

 

  1. How will the change in administration affect my immigration status?

The change in administration has no immediate impact on the immigration status of those currently in the United States. Current regulations remain in place; until any changes the administration chooses to make. Be aware that change in laws and regulations typically take considerable time.

However, changes in policy or guidance and executive orders may happen more quickly and may take effect immediately. The Office of International Student Services (OISS) will continue to monitor any decisions impacting our student and scholar populations, and will provide updated information as it is available to us.

The Association of International Educators (NAFSA) offers an excellent summary of the U.S immigration system, government agencies and the process of change on their Practical Immigration Concepts in a Time of Change webpage. More detailed information can also be found in the following resources:

           How Laws Are Made and Presidential Executive Orders available on the USA.gov website.

           The Legislative Process available on the congress.gov website.

           Series of Videos describing the legislative process available on the Congress.gov website.

           Guide to the Rulemaking Process by the Office of the Federal Register.

 

  1. Are there any recent developments pertaining to the Temporary Restraining Order on President Trump’s Travel ban?

On February 9, 2017, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the government’s emergency motion for stay on the District Court’s Temporary Restraining Order preventing the government from enforcing the 90-day entry bar. The Court of Appeals States in its order:

we hold the government has not shown a likelihood of success on the merits of its appeal, nor has it shown that failure to enter a stay would cause irreparable injury, and we therefore deny its emergency motion for a stay.”

This leaves in place the District Court’s temporary restraining order, which continues to prevent the government from enforcing the 90-day ban on entry of “immigrants and nonimmigrants” from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

WE CONTINUE TO MONITOR THIS SITUATION CLOSELY AND WILL PROVIDE UPDATES IF AND WHEN THEY OCCUR

  1. Can I travel outside the U.S? Can I get my visa renewed? I am a citizen of X country – am I allowed to travel?

For the near future, OISS recommends minimizing international travel due to the changing nature of the new administrations’ policies on visas and U.S. entry. Should you have concerns about immediate or essential international travel or visa renewal, please contact OISS.

Also refer to the  Association of International Educator’ (NAFSA)  Executive Order Resources page and Travel Advisory.

See Customs and Border Protection’s Executive Order webpage & FAQ, which addresses traveler questions specific to the rule. Individuals who may be affected by this Executive Order may visit the CBP INFO CENTER website for additional information. On the webpage, travelers may also request additional guidance by clicking on the “Email us your Question” button.

  1. How will the change in administration impact students from certain affected areas of the world or students in specific religious groups?

OISS supports our diverse student, scholar and employee populations and is continuing to monitor the current immigration situation closely. We will provide updated information through this website and email updates. Should you have any immediate concerns please contact OISS to speak with an advisor.

  1. Will there be any changes to the OPT/STEM/H-1B programs?

At this time, there is no information regarding what actual changes we will see in the future for any particular visa category. Current regulations remain in place; until any changes the new administration chooses to make. Be aware that changes in laws or regulations can take time and will have advance warning.

Changes in policy or guidance and executive orders may happen more quickly and may take effect immediately. OISS will continue to monitor any decisions impacting our student and scholar populations, and will provide updated information.

  1. What are my rights and how can I protect myself?

The American Civil Liberties Union has a series of Know Your Rights resources available on topics of immigration status, being stopped by police, attending demonstrations/protests and anti-Muslim discrimination. The Know Your Rights When Encountering Law Enforcement pamphlet offers specific advice about airports and ports of entry.  

  1. Where can I find support if I have immigration concerns, or need support for anxiety or stress?

Please visit OISS with any F-1 immigration concerns or questions. Our office provides a welcoming, safe environment to explore any worries you may have related to your visa status, as well as explore options and benefits available to your current or future plans. For complex issues beyond our scope, we can assist you in finding an immigration attorney or other professional advisors.

NAFSA’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals resource page provides detailed tracking of the current state of issue for DACA students.

Students can also access resources through Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), including individual confidential counseling appointments, groups, self-help tools and more.

  1. What things could currently jeopardize my status?

At any time, it is important to avoid any violations of your F-1 status. In addition to enrollment requirements, address reporting, or employment restrictions individuals in non-immigrant status are expected to refrain from breaking any U.S. state or federal laws. (The American Civil Liberties Union has a series of Know Your Rights resources available including being stopped by police, and attending demonstrations/protests.) Please think carefully before engaging in protest activities, as arrests can seriously impact immigration status or future visa applications. Arrests or convictions that involve violence, drugs or alcohol can have serious or long-lasting impact on current or future immigration status.

Also, be aware that while marijuana use is legal in may U.S. states, it remains illegal at the federal level and use constitutes a violation of federal law. Use of marijuana, or alcohol/drug-related DUI arrests or convictions due can lead to severe immigration consequences ranging from fines, visa cancellation to deportation.