Immigration Policy Under the New Administration
On January 25, 2017, the new administration began issuing Executive Orders and agency statements that affect immigration policy and the status of non-citizens living in or traveling to the U.S. Yale University is committed to protecting and supporting members of our diverse community. The university will use this website to continue to post updates, guidance, and resources related to these changes. While many of the changes affect a wide section of the Yale population, the primary focus of this web presence will be on non-immigrants with student or scholar visas such as F-1, J-1, H-1B, O-1, TN, as well as undocumented students.
Please note that the information listed on these pages does not constitute legal advice. If you would like to obtain individual guidance or if you have any questions related to these changes please contact OISS directly. You can find an archive of relevant government statements (orders, memos, agency guidance), local and national resources, and recent statements from the Yale community on the right-hand side menu.
A chronological list of policy updates related to Executive Orders
Update February 21, 2017: DHS signs Border Security and Enforcement of Immigration Law memos
The Department of Homeland Security posted two new “implementation memos” related to the Executive Orders issued on January 27th. Neither the Border Security or Enforcement of Immigration Law memos appear to have any immediate affect on international students (including DACA) and scholars. However they broaden the scope of who is deportable to an unprecedented level. The American Immigration Council, along with the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild and the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project, provided a practice advisory addressing the coming expansion of expedited removal, who might be impacted by it, and possible ways to challenge an expedited removal order. Another topic of possible concern in the “Enforcement of Immigration Laws” memo is the potential vulnerability of Advanced Parole. Until we have further clarification of the memo we recommend that any member of the Yale community planning to use Advanced Parole speak to an OISS Advisor before making travel plans.
Update February 9, 2017: Suspend Travel Ban
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously rejected the Department of Justice's (DOJ) bid to reinstate the ban on travel. Therefore, until further action by a court, the order barring implementation of the travel and refugee ban remains in place, and all individuals may apply for visas and admission to the United States without regard to nationality. OISS recommends that international students and scholars from one of the designated countries listed in the original ban to speak to an advisor before making any travel plans.
Update February 3, 2017: Ban Temporarily Lifted and Processing of Immigration Benefits Continues
On February 3, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington in Seattle granted a temporary restraining order (TRO) that temporarily prohibits the Federal government from enforcing Section 3(c) of Executive Order 13769, the provision that established the 90-day ban on entry of “immigrants and non-immigrants” from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Anyone from one of the designated countries should speak to an immigration attorney or an OISS adviser before acting on this new information. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral argument on the government's request for an emergency stay of the District Court's temporary restraining order on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at 3:00 pm Pacific Time (6:00 Eastern time.)
There was speculation that nationals from the seven designated countries would not be able to apply for “benefits” such as F-1 OPT, and change or extension of immigration status inside the U.S. The United Stated Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has now issued a statement that benefits are not currently being affected and that they will continue to “adjudicate applications and petitions filed for or on behalf of individuals in the United States regardless of their country of origin.”
Update February 1, 2017: Entry of Dual Nationals and Visa Interview Requirement for all (not just designated countries)
According to CBP, the Executive Order does apply to dual nationals, but travelers “are being treated according to the travel document they present.” In other words if you are a citizen of the U.K. and Iran, by presenting the U.K. passport the travel ban should not affect your entry to the U.S.
In addition, the Executive Order published in the Federal Register withdrew a provision which for years allowed non-immigrants to obtain subsequent visas (same school/job but new visa renewal or extension) without needing an interview. The State Department has not yet written guidance about this.
Update January 29, 2017: Entry of U.S. Permanent Residents in the National Interest
A memo was issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) late Sunday night addressing the travel ban on green card holders (Lawful Permanent Residents, LPR) from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen. While this memo, and a fact sheet released the same day on their website gives DHS discretion to admit green card holders on a case-by-case basis, U.S. lawful permanent residents from these countries should consult with an immigration attorney before traveling outside the U.S.
Update January 27, 2017: Executive Order 13769 Signed
President Trump signed Executive Order 13769, entitled Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Entry into the United States by Foreign Nationals. Under Section 3(c) of this Executive Order, entry into the United States of “immigrants and non-immigrants” from 7 countries has been suspended for 90 days from the date the Executive Order was signed, “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.” Section 3(c) of this executive order:
- Affects nationals from seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
- Suspends nonimmigrant (visas such as F, J, H, etc.) entry to the U.S. by nationals from these designated countries for 90 days.
- Provisionally revokes valid U.S. visa stamps issued to the nationals of these countries for 90 days.
OISS recommends that nationals of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen should not travel internationally without first consulting with OISS or an experienced immigration attorney.
DISCLAIMER: The resources and guidance listed on this page do not constitute legal advice. Please consult with your OISS adviser or an immigration attorney about the particulars of your situation.