Questions about the new Executive Orders (EO) regarding Immigration?

IMPORTANT UPDATE:  On June 26th, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed parts of the 90 day travel ban to go into place. The reinstatement of the travel ban is expected to go into effect on or about June 29th, 2017. An exception has been put in place for individuals “who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” The U.S. Supreme court gave examples of individuals who would likely have the required “bona fide relationship” with a U.S. entity as:
  • Students who have been admitted to a U.S. school (e.g., F-1, M-1, or J-1 students)
  • workers who accept an offer of employment from a U.S. employer (e.g., H-1B, O-1, TN)
  • and lecturers invited to address an American audience. 

If you are a citizen of one of the six listed countries and are an F-1 student, J-1 exchange visitor or employment based nonimmigrant visa holder, you should be able to meet the condition of “bona fide relationship” and be able to enter the United States.

As we’ve recently witnessed, immigration rules can change overnight. While UNT’s International Student and Scholar Services Office is dedicated to staying up to date with any changes, it is important for you to know where you can go to get the facts. Please see our tips and list of resources below:

TRAVEL ADVISORY FOR NATIONALS OF CERTAIN COUNTRIES PURSUANT TO EXECUTIVE ORDER:
On June 26th, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed parts of the 90 day travel ban to go into place. Nonimmigrants from six countries have had their entry permissions suspended for at least 90 days effective on or about June 29th, 2017 unless they are individuals "who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States." The six countries are currently: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The U.S. Supreme court gave examples of individuals who would likely have the required “bona fide relationship” with a U.S. entity as “Students who have been admitted to a U.S. school (e.g., F-1, M-1, or J-1 students), workers who accept an offer of employment from a U.S. employer (e.g., H-1B, O-1, TN), and lecturers invited to address an American audience.”  If you are a citizen of one of the six listed countries and are an F-1 student, J-1 exchange visitor or employment based nonimmigrant visa holder, you should be able to meet the condition of “bona fide relationship” and be able to enter the United States. However, if you have concerns about entering the United States, we urge you to contact a trusted immigration attorney.

DURATION OF THE BAN:
Currently, the duration of the ban is set to 90 days. Please note that the ban is not automatically lifted after the initial 90 day period. The Executive Order has set out specific requirements to be met prior to the ban being lifted. If those requirements are not met to the satisfaction of the U.S. President, it is possible that the ban could be extended or expanded. The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments regarding the EO during their next session which will take place in October 2017. The outcome of that case could impact any longer implementation of this 90 day ban.

VISA ISSUANCE:
If you are from one of the listed six countries and are a student, exchange visitor, or employment based nonimmigrant visa holder, you should be eligible to apply for a visa stamp at this time. Please check the Department of State website for updates. If you are not from one of the listed six countries, please be aware that this Executive Order also significantly reduces the visa interview waiver program. Expect visa wait times to be longer than usual.

WHO CAN HELP ME?
UNT’S International Student and Scholar Services Office is dedicated to providing as much information as possible. For questions regarding U.S. legal permanent residence or if you are a dual citizen, please reach out to a trusted immigration attorney. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is a good place to find licensed immigration attorneys. Their website is www.aila.org. Up to date information can also be found at www.nafsa.org/eoentry. NAFSA is the Association of International Educators and works in the interest of international students and scholars. Also remember that you can and should go straight to the source- check government websites such as www.whitehouse.gov, www.dhs.gov, https://travel.state.gov, and www.cbp.gov for updates. As tempting as checking immigration blogs may be to find quick and easy answers, those blogs can be full of misinformation.

Updated 06/26/2017.
______________________________________________________________________

 
Announcement from 02/06/2017:

A Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) is currently in place which removes the ban for the seven countries impacted by the Executive Order 13769. This TRO could be removed at any time which would mean the travel ban is reinstated. 

As of 2/6/2017, individuals with a valid visa and other required documents for entry, regardless of their nationality, can enter the United States. Please read the update about the provisional visa revocation HERE.  The TRO does not impact the Executive Order's removal of the Visa Interview Waiver Program. Please note that wait times for visa issuance and renewals will most likely be longer than normal for everyone. The current situation regarding Executive Order 13769 is fluid. If you have plans to travel and are from one of the 7 countries impacted by the order, it is recommended that you seek legal counsel before traveling internationally. 

______________________________________________________________________
 
Announcement from 01/31/2017:
 
TRAVEL ADVISORY FOR NATIONALS OF CERTAIN COUNTRIES PURSUANT TO EXECUTIVE ORDER:

Both immigrants and nonimmigrants from seven countries have had their entry permissions suspended for at least 90 days “except for those traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas.” These countries are currently: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. If you are a citizen of one of these countries and are not a U.S. Legal Permanent Resident, we recommend that you do not leave the United States at this time. If you are a U.S. Legal Permanent Resident and a citizen of one of these seven countries, we urge you to seek advice from a trusted immigration attorney prior to departing the United States as a general exception may have been made in your case.

DURATION OF THE BAN:
Currently, the duration of the ban is set to 90 days. However, please note that the ban is not automatically lifted after the initial 90 day period. The Executive Order has set out specific requirements to be met prior to the ban being lifted. If those requirements are not met to the satisfaction of the U.S. President, it is possible that the ban could be extended.

VISA ISSUANCE:
If you are from one of the listed seven countries, you are not eligible to apply for a visa stamp at this time. If you have already applied and your visa interview is scheduled, do not attend. You will not be permitted to enter the U.S. embassy or consulate. If you are not from one of the listed seven countries, please be aware that this Executive Order also eliminates the visa interview waiver program. Expect visa wait times to be longer than usual.

WHO CAN HELP ME?
UNT’s International Student and Scholar Services office is dedicated to providing as much information as possible. For questions regarding U.S. legal permanent residence or if you are a dual citizen, please reach out to a trusted immigration attorney. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is a good place to find licensed immigration attorneys. Their website is www.aila.org. If an attorney is a member of AILA that is a good way of knowing that they are a reputable source for information.  Up to date information can also be found at www.nafsa.org. NAFSA is the Association of International Educators and works in the interest of international students and scholars. Also remember that you can and should go straight to the source- check government websites such as www.dhs.gov, https://travel.state.gov, and www.cbp.gov for updates. As tempting as checking immigration blogs may be to find quick and easy answers, those blogs can be full of misinformation.