It is important to become familiar with your legal rights and responsibilities in the U.S. since norms can vary between cultures. All persons in the United States, including foreign nationals, have certain basic rights that must be respected by authorities, including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and local police.
As a member of the Yale community, you are expected to abide by Yale Policies. Familiarize yourself with these policies, as well as the student code of conduct in your school, to avoid academic, and potentially legal, repercussions. Even innocent violations of the law could have serious consequences for your immigration status. Get to know the Yale's policies governing intellectual property and plagiarism, copyright infringement, the consumption of alcoholic beverages, drug use, sexual harassment, and domestic disputes.
Your Non-Immigrant Status
Every person with a non-immigrant status (F-1, J-1, H-1B, etc.) has certain rights and obligations. Familiarize yourself with these by viewing the 'Maintaining Status' page for your visa status on this website - links to these pages are available to the right (or below on mobile devices).
Non-immigrants (including F, J, H-1B, O-1 visa holders) have certain constitutional rights in the U.S. when confronted by local or federal authorities (see resources below for more information). Any member of the Yale community may contact OISS to speak to an adviser about a specific interaction with local or federal government, or general concerns about rights as a non-citizen.
Questions about Your Immigration or Citizenship Status
Understand that you have the right to remain silent and do not have to discuss your immigration or citizenship status with police, immigration agents, or other officials. Do your homework and read about how to respond to immigration questions if you are stopped by police of other government officials (see bottom of page for translations in different languages.)
The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) has a well-developed site discussing the rights of all who are present in the U.S. Again this information is not intended as legal advice, but is for informational purposes only.
- What to do if you are stopped by police, immigration agents, or the FBI
- Video: what to do if stopped by police or ICE
- Know Your Rights if ICE visits (in English, Haitian Creole, Chinese, Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese)
Red Cards - asserting your rights (in many different languages)