Global Engagement Office

September 27, 2017:

GEO Immigration Alert Release to International Students & Scholars from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, Somalia, and Iraq

Presidential Proclamation Establishing New Travel Restrictions 

As you are most likely aware, on Sunday evening Sept. 24, President Trump issued a presidential proclamation instituting new entry restrictions for foreign nationals (citizens) of the following countries: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Somalia, and Yemen. Please see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) below for details about these new restrictions. 

Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Do the new entry restrictions require an international student and scholar from one of the designated countries to leave the U.S.? A. No.  The new restrictions do not require anyone from one of the designated countries to depart the U.S.   The restrictions do not affect the immigration status for those who are already present in the United States.  The U.S. government will not ask them to leave the country as long as they maintain their current immigration status.

Q. If a student or scholar is from one of the eight designated countries, does the new presidential proclamation and entry restrictions cancel (revoke) his/her valid visa stamp in the passport?  A. No. The new proclamation does not cancel or in any manner affect the validity of a current U.S. visa. 

Q. Do the new entry restrictions apply to someone who is a dual citizen of one of the eight named countries and another country?  A. The new entry restrictions do not apply to an individual who is a dual citizen if s/he presents a passport from a non-designated country (i.e. not one of the eight named countries) when entering the U.S. The U.S. visa stamp must be in the passport from a non-designated country.

Q. How does the new presidential proclamation affect foreign nationals (citizens) from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Somalia, and Yemen who are (or will be) international students or scholars at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs and wish to enter the U.S.?  A. As of October 18, 2017, foreign nationals of these eight countries, who are not "green card" holders (U.S. lawful permanent residents), will be subject to restrictions (in some cases suspension) affecting U.S. visa issuance and entry into the U.S.  The prohibitions depend upon the country.  Below is a list of the types of restrictions and the foreign nationals impacted by country:

Iran - Suspension of Entry into the U.S. as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants Except for on Student (F-1 or M-1) Visas or Exchange Visitor (J-1) Visas Entry into the U.S. of foreign nationals from Iran as either nonimmigrant temporary visas or immigrants is suspended except that individuals on valid student (F-1 or M-1) or exchange visitor (J-1) visas will be allowed entry but will be subject to enhanced screening and vetting requirements prior to being issued a visa.

North Korea & Syria - Total Suspension of Entry into the U.S.  Entry into the U.S. of foreign nationals from North Korea and Syria as either nonimmigrants on temporary visas or immigrants is suspended.  (Immigrants are individuals applying to enter the U.S. on an immigrant visa that allows them to become a lawful permanent resident/"green card" holder upon being admitted entry to the U.S.)

Chad, Libya, & Yemen - Suspension of Entry into the U.S. as Immigrants & Nonimmigrants on Business (B-1), Tourist (B-2), & Business/Tourist (B-1/B-2) Visas  Entry into the U.S. of foreign nationals from Chad, Libya, & Yemen as either nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas or immigrants is suspended. Entry of nonimmigrants on other visa types does not change with the new entry restrictions.

Somalia - Suspension of Entry into the U.S. as Immigrants & Additional Scrutiny for Nonimmigrants Entry into the U.S. of foreign nationals from Somalia as immigrants is suspended. Additional scrutiny will be applied to all nonimmigrant visa and entry applications.

Venezuela - Suspension of Entry into the U.S. by Officials of Certain Government Agencies and Their Immediate Family Members as Nonimmigrants on Business (B-1), Tourist (B-2), & Business/Tourist (B-1/B-2) Visas & Additional Measures Entry into the U.S. of officials of certain Venezuelan government agencies and their immediate family members as nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas is suspended.  Also, the proclamation states that "appropriate additional measures" will be applied to other visa holders but does not specify what these "additional measures" will be.

Q. Do the new entry restrictions apply to foreign nationals of Iraq?  A. The new entry restrictions do not apply to individuals from Iraq.  However, the presidential proclamation does state that foreign nationals from Iraq will be "subject to additional scrutiny to determine if they pose risks to the national security or public safety of the United States."  The proclamation does not provide details as to how this additional scrutiny will be applied.

Q: When do the new entry restrictions become effective?  A: For foreign nationals that have a relationship with the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (for example as a student, faculty member, visiting scholar, researcher, etc.), the effective date of the new entry restrictions is October 18, 2017.

Q. Can an international student or scholar from one of the eight designated countries who currently has a valid visa leave the U.S. and reenter?  A. If the visa is valid on October 18, 2017, the effective date of the presidential proclamation's restrictions, then the international student or scholar may use the valid visa to reenter the U.S.  However, given the rapid nature of changes in U.S. entry and travel restrictions in the last year, foreign nationals from one of the designated countries should exercise caution when travelling outside of the U.S.  

Q. Is there a waiver process under the new presidential proclamation for someone from one of the eight designated countries whom the entry restrictions affects to apply for a visa on or after October 18, 2017 at the U.S. consulate if there are special circumstances?  A. Under the new presidential proclamation, the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection can grant waivers on a case-by-case basis and therefore issue a visa and allow entry to a foreign national which otherwise would be prohibited under the new entry restrictions.  However, this decision is up to the discretion of the officer at the U.S. consulate so it may be risky to depart the U.S. as the U.S. Department of State officer may decide not to grant a waiver and visa. 

Q. What steps is the university able to take to assist current international students and scholars from the eight designated countries who may be unable to depart the U.S. or fear doing so because of the new entry restrictions?  A. For students and scholars, the Global Engagement Office is available to assist potentially impacted individuals.

Q. Can the Global Engagement Office share who may be specifically impacted by this executive order and any future ones?  A. The Global Engagement Office can provide information generally to the entire community about which groups of students are affected. Please note that in order to protect the privacy of our international students and scholars, we do not provide the exact numbers of individuals from specific, designated countries impacted by executive orders or other immigration policies.  GEO provides individualized advising and information to international students and scholars who may be affected. With any changes in immigration policies or rules that may affect international students and scholars visa status, GEO posts information on the GEO website and communicates directly with affected international students and scholars.

Q. Are there resources available online if I want to read more about the new entry restrictions?  A. On the White House website in the Presidential Actions section, you can find the text of the presidential proclamation as well as a related FAQ. The U.S. Department of State website also has information on the new visa and entry restrictions.

Q. What resources are available to international students and scholars if they are feeling stress and/or anxiety?  A. Students can utilize counseling/mental health services in the Wellness Center to talk through feelings of anxiety, loneliness, stress, or just to have someone supportive to whom they can talk. The advisors in the Global Engagement Office are able to assist with questions or concerns for affected students.

Q. What if an international student or scholar feels hurt or discriminated against?  A. The University of Colorado Colorado Springs is fully committed to protecting any student or employee from unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, or religion. To report an incident or seek assistance, please contact the Office of Institutional Equity: equity@uccs.edu, 719-255-4324.

We in GEO want you to feel supported, safe, and comfortable during your time at UCCS and in the U.S. Please know that if you need to talk or have any questions, our doors, ears, and hearts are always open. The GEO office is located in Copper House (in Summit Village) 9202 (2nd floor). We offer drop-in and by-appointment advising hours Monday through Friday. You can also email us at international@uccs.edu anytime, or call 719-255-5018. GEO staff do not provide legal advice, so please consult with an immigration attorney for legal advice regarding your specific situation.  

June 27, 2017 - Latest Updates

On June 26, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an order temporarily putting into effect parts of the Executive Order signed by President Trump on March 6, 2017, including the 90-day ban on entry into the United States for individuals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Lower courts had previously issued temporary orders blocking the travel ban and other parts of the Executive Order. The recent Supreme Court order applies to the entire United States.

However, the Supreme Court specifically states in the order that the travel ban does not apply to international students admitted or currently attending U.S. universities and international scholars formally invited to and/or employed by U.S. universities to lecture, conduct research, etc. In general, the Supreme Court order states that the travel ban does not apply to individuals with a close, formal relationship to a person or organization in the U.S. For this reason, we do not expect this decision to have an effect on our current or admitted students or our international scholars.

In the fall, the U.S. Supreme Court will make a permanent decision on whether or not the Executive Order is allowable under U.S. laws.

April 19, 2017 - Latest Updates

At this time, the Executive Orders that were to affect travel and visa issuance for nationals from several countries are not in effect due to court decisions in some U.S. states. GEO does not have any information to suggest that current/continuing students in valid F-1 or J-1 status, holding valid passports, visas, and other immigration documents, will be affected in their travels other than greater wait times expected at U.S. entry ports due to increased entry security. However, there is information to suggest that those applying for visas, or needing to renew visas, will face increased processing times. The March 17 Department of State cable to all U.S. consular posts instructs them to limit visa interviews per day to 120, which is expected to create backlogs for all applicants. If you are in this situation (needing to travel and needing to renew your visa) we recommend you make an appointment with your GEO international student advisor.

GEO continues to recommend that all international students minimize international travel as possible, and take these increased timelines into account if needing to renew a visa.

If you have special travel concerns or feel you may be affected by the Executive Order, you may visit the CBP INFO Center website for additional information. On that page, travelers may also request additional guidance by clicking on the 'Email us your Question' button.

To know more about U.S. Department of State visa issuance updates, please see the announcement page for ongoing alerts and information visa issuance processes and timelines.

March 17, 2017 - Updates about the latest Executive Order

  • On March 16, 2017, the U.S. District Court in Maryland issued a nationwide preliminary injunction, preventing the Government from enforcing Executive Order 13780's 90-day entry bar, which had been scheduled to go into effect on March 16, 2017. Also read the court opinion supporting the preliminary injunction order.
  • On March 15, 2017, the U.S. District Court in Hawaii issued a nationwide temporary restraining order, preventing the Government from enforcing Executive Order 13780's 90-day entry bar and 120-day refugee entry bar, which had been scheduled to go into effect on March 16, 2017.

Other sections of Executive Order 13780 that are not enjoined by court order became effective at 12:01 a.m. eastern time on March 16, 2017.

March 9, 2017 - Information about the latest Executive Order

To our UCCS international students and scholars: All UCCS international students and scholars are encouraged to carefully read and understand the important information below, and to contact the Global Engagement Office with any questions or concerns. Call 719-255-5018 to speak with an international student advisor, or for an appointment. Please also keep in mind that the situation is changing quickly, and updated information will be provided as is it is available.

On March 6, 2017, President Trump signed a new Executive Order entitled "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States." The order includes a revised entry ban on nationals of six countries - Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen-for the next 90 days from March 16, 2017. The new order revokes and replaces Executive Order 13769 in its entirety, effective March 16, 2017.

See official information from the U.S. government:

Other Helpful Resources:

Important details of this Executive Order:

Visa Application Process for Everyone, Regardless of Country of Citizenship

Sec. 9. Visa Interview Security. (a) The Secretary of State shall immediately suspend the Visa Interview Waiver Program and ensure compliance with section 222 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1202, which requires that all individuals seeking a nonimmigrant visa undergo an in-person interview, subject to specific statutory exceptions. This suspension shall not apply to any foreign national traveling on a diplomatic or diplomatic-type visa, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visa, C-2 visa for travel to the United Nations, or G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-4 visa; traveling for purposes related to an international organization designated under the IOIA; or traveling for purposes of conducting meetings or business with the United States Government.

This means all F and J visa applicants will be required to apply through an in-person appointment with the U.S. consulate.  This would impact any of our international students and scholars and their dependents, regardless of country of citizenship (except for the six countries listed below).  One example of this would be the "bank" or "drop off" system used by many Chinese and Indian citizens to "renew" visas.  

  • If your current F or J visa is still valid, this will not impact you.
  • If your current F or J visa is expired but you are staying inside the U.S., then this will not impact you.
  • If your F or J visa is expired AND you travel outside the U.S., then you must make an appointment to go to the U.S. consulate in person to renew your visa.
  • At this time we cannot predict how appointment wait times and processing times will be impacted, or whether F and J visa applicants will continue to be eligible for priority appointments, as has been the case in the past.  We recommend planning ahead as much as possible, and visit the website of the consulate (link is external) where you would renew your visa to see what they list as current wait times.

What about revoked visas?  The new order goes on to clarify that, "No immigrant or nonimmigrant visa issued before the effective date of this order shall be revoked pursuant to this order."  Furthermore, it states that anyone whose visa was cancelled/revoked due to the original January 27 executive order "shall be entitled to a travel document confirming that the individual is permitted to travel to the United States and seek entry."

Entry Restrictions for Specific Countries

(c) To temporarily reduce investigative burdens on relevant agencies during the review period described in subsection (a) of this section, to ensure the proper review and maximum utilization of available resources for the screening and vetting of foreign nationals, to ensure that adequate standards are established to prevent infiltration by foreign terrorists, and in light of the national security concerns referenced in section 1 of this order, I hereby proclaim, pursuant to sections 212(f) and 215(a) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f) and 1185(a), that the unrestricted entry into the United States of nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen would be detrimental to the interests of the United States. I therefore direct that the entry into the United States of nationals of those six countries be suspended for 90 days from the effective date of this order, subject to the limitations, waivers, and exceptions set forth in sections 3 and 12 of this order.

Individuals from the following countries are impacted by this section.

  • Iran
  • Libya
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Yemen

Nationals of these countries will be restricted from entering the U.S. or obtaining a new visa as follows:

  • are outside the U.S. on the effective date of this order
  • did not have a valid visa at 5:00 p.m. EST on January 27, 2017, and
  • do not have a valid visa on the effective date of this order

Exceptions to the above:

  • the suspension of entry to the U.S. will not apply to Lawful Permanent Residents (green card holders)
  • any foreign national who is admitted to or paroled into the U.S. on or after the effective date of this order
  • any foreign national who has a document other than a visa, valid on the effective date of this order or issued on any date after, that permits him or her to travel to the U.S. to seek entry or admission, such as an advance parole document
  • any dual national of one of the above six countries, as long as they are traveling on a passport issued by a non-designated country
  • any foreign national traveling on diplomatic, NATO, C-2, G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-4 visas
  • any foreign national who has been granted asylum, any refugee who has already been admitted to the U.S., or any individual who has been granted withholding of removal, advance parole, or protection under the Convention Against Torture

Waivers may possibly be granted at the discretion of visa officers or Customs and Border Protection to those who would otherwise be restricted from entering the U.S.  Our office cautions that at this point in time it is difficult to know how likely such waivers are to happen.  Examples of situations that may qualify for a waiver include:

  • foreign nationals who have previously been admitted to the U.S. for a continuous period of work or study (this could be interpreted to potentially apply to F and J students or scholars), were outside the U.S. on the date this order became effective, who seek to reenter the U.S. to resume that activity, and for whom denial of entry would impair the ability to carry out that activity
  • foreign nationals who seek to enter the U.S. for significant business or professional obligations and the denial of entry would impair those obligations
  • the foreign national seeks to enter the U.S. to visit or reside with a close family member (spouse, child, or parent) who is either a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or is on a valid nonimmigrant visa, and the denial of entry would cause undue hardship (this appears that F-2 and J-2 dependents could qualify for this)
  • the foreign national is traveling as a U.S. government-sponsored exchange visitor

What About Citizens of Iraq?

The above restrictions no longer include Iraq.  However, additional processes or scrutiny may now be implemented when attempting to obtain a visa or enter the U.S.

Sec. 4. Additional Inquiries Related to Nationals of Iraq. An application by any Iraqi national for a visa, admission, or other immigration benefit should be subjected to thorough review, including, as appropriate, consultation with a designee of the Secretary of Defense and use of the additional information that has been obtained in the context of the close U.S.Iraqi security partnership, since Executive Order 13769 was issued, concerning individuals suspected of ties to ISIS or other terrorist organizations and individuals coming from territories controlled or formerly controlled by ISIS. Such review shall include consideration of whether the applicant has connections with ISIS or other terrorist organizations or with territory that is or has been under the dominant influence of ISIS, as well as any other information bearing on whether the applicant may be a threat to commit acts of terrorism or otherwise threaten the national security or public safety of the United States.

February 24, 2017 - Latest Updates on the Executive Orders

At the current time, the executive order of January 27 is still not in effect due to various court challenges. It is reported that the Trump administration is still considering a new executive order to limit travel for nationals of the seven countries in the original executive order. News is expected in the coming days.

Feb. 10, 2017 - Latest Updates on Issues Related to Recent Executive Orders on Immigration

A quick update about the Executive Order signed on January 27th, 2017. 

The Executive Order is still on hold. In legal terms, the 9th Circuit Court declined to grant a stay of the district court's temporary restraining order. The practical effect of this decision is the Executive Order is still blocked at this time. This means that travel and visa applications, for our F-1 and J-1 status students, should be unaffected. USCIS adjudication processing is also taking place as normal. However, we are still advising students not to travel for the time being.

Our advice for students at this time as covered at our information sessions last Friday (Feb. 3):

  • Continue to focus on your studies
  • Carry a COPY of your immigration documents at all times
  • When you travel in the US, carry your original documents (make sure you have a current signature from our office on your I-20/DS-2019
  • If you are planning international travel, we recommend you postpone it for the next 3 months
  • Carefully abide by all rules and regulations of your immigration status

If you have specific questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office at international@uccs.edu. We are continuing to review the 9th Circuit Court decision and what it means to us. Check back for additional information in the coming days.

Feb. 7, 2017 - Latest Updates on Issues Related to Recent Executive Orders on Immigration


To our international students and scholars:

COURT ORDER TEMPORARILY BLOCKING EXECUTIVE ORDER

Late Friday afternoon (Feb. 3), a judge in Washington state issued a temporary order blocking certain sections of the Executive Order signed on January 27, 2017, including the 90-day ban on entry to the United States for individuals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The order applies to the entire United States. However, the White House (President Trump's Administration) may appeal the decision, which means that the situation could change quickly and the ban may apply again. Therefore, the GEO office continues to recommend that individuals from the seven countries listed above do not depart the United States, as they may not be able to return for 90 days and possibly indefinitely.  

USCIS WILL ISSUE DECISIONS ON APPLICATIONS FOR IMMIGRATION BENEFITS

Late Friday afternoon, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published on its website that they will process and approve applications for immigration benefits for individuals in the United States from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. This includes applications for benefits such as EADs (Employment Authorization Documents - work permits) for Optional Practical Training for students on F-1 visas, H-1B non-immigrant status, and permanent residency.  

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE SAYS IT HAS NO CURRENT PLAN TO ADD COUNTRIES TO TRAVEL BAN

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) recently informed the American Immigration Lawyers Association that at this time the DOS does not know of any official documents that the government is working on that would expand the travel ban and visa revocation to countries other than the seven countries already affected by the Executive Order. In other words, the DOS is stating at this time they do not know of any plans to expand the list of countries under the 90-day ban.  

DUAL NATIONALS FROM ONE OF THE SEVEN COUNTRIES

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has published on their website Questions and Answers in which it states that a dual national (that is someone is a citizen/national of one of the seven countries but also a citizen of another country) will be treated based on the passport that s/he presents for admission to the United States. For example, if a student is a citizen of France and also a citizen of Syria, if s/he presents the French passport with a valid F-1 visa stamp, the CBP has stated that they will admit the student to the United States. The DOS also has published on its website that it will issue a visa to an individual who is dual national of one of the seven countries and another unrestricted country if the person has a valid passport from the unrestricted country. If you are a dual national from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, you should read the CBP and DOS websites carefully and may wish to consult with an immigration attorney.  

90-DAY BAN DOES NOT APPLY TO U.S. LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENTS (GREEN CARD) HOLDERS

On Friday, the White House released the official document that it sent to the highest officials in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the DOS stating that the Executive Order signed on January 27, 2017 does not apply to individuals who are U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents ("green card" holders). The CBP recently updated its Questions and Answers page to indicate that the Executive Order and its restrictions do not apply to U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents.

February 1, 2017: FAQ on Issues Related to Recent Executive Orders on Immigration

Q. How will the executive order issued on January 27, 2017 impact current international students and scholars who hold lawful non-immigrant status who are from one of the seven countries (Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen)? Will they be allowed to finish the semester and then have to leave? Or will they be required to leave in the middle of the semester?

A: The executive order does not affect the immigration status for those who are already present in the United States as long as they do not depart the country. There is no current indication that the U.S. government will ask them to leave the country as long as they maintain their current immigration status. However, if students or scholars from one of the seven countries leave the United States, they will not be permitted to return for 90 days at minimum and possibly indefinitely.   

Q.What happens to students and scholars who have arrived and are currently studying or working at UCCS who are from these countries?   

A.  These students and scholars continue to work and study under their current visa status. The executive order did not terminate or limit their status.

Q.Will the U.S. Department of Homeland Security try to identify and deport students or scholars and their families from these countries?  

A.  The executive orders do not direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to take any action including deportation against individuals currently in the United States in lawful immigration status.  

Q. Can the Global Engagement Office (GEO) tell us who may be impacted by this executive order and any future ones?  

A.  The Global Engagement Office can provide information generally to the entire community about which groups of students are affected. GEO also provides individualized advising and information to international students and scholars who may be affected. With any changes in immigration policies or rules that may affect international students and scholars visa status, GEO sends email messages directly to those impacted and posts the information on its website as well.  The Global Engagement Office is located in Copper House. GEO offers drop-in advising hours Monday through Friday from 8:00am-5:00pm as well as appointments. Also, you can email GEO at international@uccs.edu anytime.

Q. What resources are available to international students and scholars if they are feeling stress and/or anxiety?  

A.  Students can utilize the Counseling Services at the Wellness Center to talk through feelings of anxiety, loneliness, stress, or just to have someone supportive to whom they can talk.  This is in addition to the support provided by the Global Engagement Office.  

Q. What if an international student or scholar feels hurt or discriminated against?  

A. The University of Colorado is fully committed to protecting any student or employee from unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, national origin or religion. The UCCS Police will investigate any potential criminal conduct to the fullest extent of the law against any University of Colorado student or employee. To report an incident and seek assistance, the university has resources available to you online at //www.uccs.edu/~equity/ as well as through the Global Engagement Office (719-255-5018 or international@uccs.edu).

 
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