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.

Executive Orders & 
Agency Memos

Other Agency


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 May 25, 2017

The federal appeals court in Richmond VA refused to reinstate the revised travel ban (Executive Order) citing discrimination on the basis of religion. Chief judge Gregory said “…The question for this Court, distilled to its essential form, is whether the Constitution, as the Supreme Court declared in Ex parte Milligan, 71 U.S. (4 Wall.) 2, 120 (1866), remains “a law for rulers and people, equally in war and in peace.” And if so, whether it protects Plaintiffs’ right to challenge an Executive Order that in text speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination. Surely the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment yet stands as an untiring sentinel for the protection of one of our most cherished founding principles—that government shall not establish any religious orthodoxy, or favor or disfavor one religion over another. Congress granted the President broad power to deny entry to aliens, but that power is not absolute.” Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Department of Justice would ask the Supreme Court to review the Fourth Circuit's ruling.

Update May 4, 2017

The U.S. department of State published the following in the Federal Register: Notice of Information Collection under OMB Emergency Review: Supplemental Questions for Visa Applicants (DS-5535)  This proposal would introduce a new form (DS-5535) that some visa applicants would be asked to complete when applying for a visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate. It is not clear how long it will take for the State Department to read all of the comments and design the final form, but most likely it will be many months from now. We will update this site the minute we learn anything new about this proposed form. The new administration is calling this form and related process “extreme vetting.”  One of the criticisms of this form is that the proposal does not explain who may be subject to this extreme vetting. Many of our associations within higher education have responded to the proposal calling it unnecessary and poorly articulated. You can read their comments (NAFSA: Association of International Educators and the American Association for the Advancement of Science) on this site.

Update April 18, 2017

The April 18 Executive Order, Buy American and Hire American, calls for, among other things, a review of the laws and regulations governing the entry into the U.S. of workers from abroad, including a review of the H-1B program.  The White House has requested the executive agencies (Labor, Justice, Homeland Security and State) to suggest reforms as soon as practicably possible.  It is important to note that for now nothing about the H-1B regulations has changed .  Generally statutory changes, and regulatory changes, take a while (often a long while) to accomplish.  For background information on the process of changing a law or regulation click here.   A preliminary analysis of the order can be found here.

Update March 29, 2017

The U.S. District Court in Hawai'i converted its March 15, 2017 temporary restraining order (which was valid for a maximum of 14 days), into a preliminary injunction, which will continue to block enforcement of the Section 2(c) 90-day travel bar and the Section 6 120-day refugee admissions bar for the duration of the litigation in the Hawai'i District Court. This means there is no travel ban unless a higher court makes a new ruling.

Update March 15, 2017

A federal judge in Hawaii issued a nationwide order Wednesday evening blocking President Trump’s ban on travel from six majority countries. OISS is in the process of analyzing this latest news and will update this website soon. 

Update March 6, 2017 Executive Order barring entry to the U.S. from anyone from six countries

The White House today signed a new Executive Order (which becomes effective on March 16, 2017) that reinstates a 90 day travel ban for nationals of six countries  (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.)  The Department of Homeland Security has also issued a Q&A page related to the rule.  Iraq has been removed from this list.  This travel ban could be extended and countries could be added or eliminate from the list of six at a later time.  Per the Executive Order, foreign nationals from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen who have valid visas will not be affected by this Executive Order. No visas will be revoked solely based on this Executive Order.  U.S. permanent residents or  dual nationals presenting the passport of a country not on the list of six are not prohibited from entering the U.S. under this order.  Individuals from the six countries will be unable to apply for a new  non-immigrant visa to enter the U.S. from abroad for the 90 period of this ban.  This includes individuals who have previously had valid visas and are continuing study or employment.  There is a provision for a case-by-case waiver.  The EO also puts a “pause” in place  on the admission of refugees to the U.S. and suspends the Visa Interview Waiver Program..

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.