Immigration Changes

On January 25, 2017, the Trump 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. 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 studentsPlease 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.

OISS recommends that Yale students and scholars from countries listed in the most recent travel ban should not travel internationally without first consulting with OISS or an experienced immigration attorney.


A Chronological List of Selected Updates Related  to Immigration Policy Affecting the Yale Community


September 24, 2017 Presidential Proclamation Announcing a New Travel Ban

On September 24th the White House issued a Presidential Proclamation announcing new restrictions on travel to the U.S. by  certain nationals from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen. Citizens of Iraq and some groups of individuals from Venezuela will also face restrictions and/or heightened scrutiny. Sudan has been removed from the travel ban list.  The restrictions of this ban vary by country.

Chad Suspends the entry of immigrants and temporary visitors on business or tourist visas (B-1/B-2)
Iran Suspends the entry of immigrants and all non-immigrants, except F (student), M (vocational student) and J (exchange visitor) visas, though they will be subject to enhanced screening and vetting requirements
Libya Suspends the entry of immigrants and temporary visitors on business or tourist visas (B-1/B-2).
North Korea Suspends the entry of all immigrants and non-immigrants
Somalia Suspends the entry of immigrants, and requires enhanced screening and vetting of all non-immigrants
Syria Suspends the entry of all immigrants and non-immigrants
Venezuela Suspends the entry of certain government officials and their immediate family members on business or tourist visas (B-1/B-2)
Yemen Suspends the entry of immigrants and temporary visitors on business or tourist visas (B-1/B-2).

Exemptions and Exceptions:  The entry ban generally applies only to nationals of the eight countries who are outside the U.S. and do not have a valid visa on the effective date. It should have no effect on those presently in the U.S. or those who wish to travel, but already have valid U.S. visas.  The Proclamation also does not apply to any lawful permanent resident of the United States.

Effective Dates:  The section of the proclamation which apply to Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen became affective with the announcement of the travel ban on September 24th.  Effective October 18, 2017 are the provisions which apply to Chad, North Korea and Venezuela and to nationals of Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia “who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”

There remain many questions to be answered or clarified so for the time being it is best to go to the  source, both the FAQs from the White House as well as those posted by the Department of Homeland Security .  

Yale will continue to assist students and scholars affected by this most recent travel ban.  Students and scholars (and their families) from these countries who have upcoming international travel plans should consult with their OISS adviser or an immigration attorney before leaving the U.S. or before making any future travel plans.  OISS will provide a referral for a free legal consultation if appropriate.


June 26, 2017  Supreme Court to Hear Oral Arguments Re: Travel ban

On June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court announced it will hear oral arguments regarding the legal challenges to President Trump’s travel ban in October. In doing so, the Court has allowed portions of the travel ban to begin until their decision is announced. The court said the ban will affect “foreign nationals who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” Yale affiliates who already have visas will not be affected. Students and employees in the process of applying for a visa should also be un-affected since they have a specified relationship to Yale (see guidance from NAFSA: Association of International Educators.)   However, the partial lifting of the ban is a temporary measure until the Court decides the case, and Yale affiliates from one of the six countries who are in the U.S. presently are advised to not travel out of the U.S. at this time.

The affected countries are : Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. If you are from, or plan to be traveling in one of these countries please speak to your OISS advisor. OISS will post updates to this news on our Immigration Changes website as specific government agencies announce the new protocols and procedures.

On June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court announced it will hear oral arguments regarding the legal challenges to President Trump’s travel ban in October. In doing so, the Court has allowed portions of the travel ban to begin for people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen until their decision is announced. The court said the ban will affect “foreign nationals who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” Yale affiliates who already have visas will not be affected. Students and researchers in the process of applying for a visa should also be un-affected since they have a specified relationship to Yale (see guidance from NAFSA: Association of International Educators.)   However, the partial lifting of the ban is a temporary measure until the Court decides the case, and Yale affiliates from one of the six countries who are in the U.S. presently are advised to not travel out of the U.S. at this time.


On June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court announced it will hear oral arguments regarding the legal challenges to President Trump’s travel ban in October. In doing so, the Court has allowed portions of the travel ban to begin until their decision is announced. The court said the ban will affect “foreign nationals who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” Yale affiliates who already have visas will not be affected. Students and employees in the process of applying for a visa should also be un-affected since they have a specified relationship to Yale (see guidance from NAFSA: Association of International Educators.)   However, the partial lifting of the ban is a temporary measure until the Court decides the case, and Yale affiliates from one of the six countries who are in the U.S. presently are advised to not travel out of the U.S. at this time.

The affected countries are : Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. If you are from, or plan to be traveling in one of these countries please speak to your OISS advisor. OISS will post updates to this news on our Immigration Changes website as specific government agencies announce the new protocols and procedures.

 

May 25, 2017 Federal Appeals Court Refused to Reinstate Revised Travel Ban​

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.


May 4, 2017 DOS Announces New Form in the U.S. Visa Process

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.


April 18, 2017  White House Announces Executive Order, Buy America and Hire America

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.


March 29, 2017  District Court Decision Blocks Enforcement of Section 2(c) of the Travel Ban

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.


March 15, 2017  Federal Judge Issues Nationwide Order Blocking Travel Ban

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. 


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.


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.


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.


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.”


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.


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.


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.

 


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.