Global Gateway
University of Georgia

 

9/8/2017 Possible Severe Weather Information:

In the case of severe weather due to Hurricane Irma, please note the following resources available to students and scholars at UGA:

Robin Catmur, Director: (emergency cell) 706 202-2546

 

Emergency Preparedness information, UGA: http://www.prepare.uga.edu/

-       Weather information regarding Hurricane Irma can be found at nhc.noaa.gov.

-       Weather information for the Athens area may be found at weather.gov/Atlanta.

-       Information about individual preparedness may be found at prepare.uga.edu.

-       The free LiveSafe mobile safety app provides information on how to respond to emergencies, and an alternative method to communicate with the UGA Police. The app can be downloaded at http://www.prepare.uga.edu/livesafe/.

 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has information on Hurricane Irma as well:

https://www.fema.gov/hurricane-irma

Stay safe!

The United States Supreme Court issued a decision on June 26th, 2017, which temporarily re-instates certain portions of Executive Order 13780 (“EO”), and allows the federal government to restrict entry of certain refugees and foreign nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.  The Court expressly noted, however, that the EO may not be used to deny entry to those individuals who have a “bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” 

While the Court cited several examples of such bona fide relationships (such as students admitted to a U.S. college or university and individuals employed by U.S. entities), we are awaiting further guidance from the State Department regarding the full application of these rules.  We will provide additional guidance as it becomes available. 

A final decision in this case is expected from the Court during the 2017-18 academic year.  In the meantime, international students, staff, and faculty should continue to consult with the international education office for any individual guidance if they plan to travel or to study abroad. 

Please see the following U.S. government resources regarding the recent re-implementation of some of the Travel Restrictions provisions due to the Executive Order:

Department of State:  https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/news/important-announcement.html

Department of Homeland Security and CBP: https://www.dhs.gov/news/2017/06/29/dhs-announces-implementation-travel-restriction-provisions

 

 

On Wednesday, March 15, 2017, a federal court in Hawaii issued a preliminary injunction against Sections 2 and 6 of the new Executive Order signed on March 6, 2017.  The injunction places a temporary hold on the sections of the order pertaining to travel restrictions, and prohibition of visas, for citizens from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Citizens and nationals from these countries will now be allowed to apply for visas and travel to the U.S.

We are not certain how long the injunction will be in place, so if you are from one of the above countries, please consult with the Immigration Services office at UGA prior to making any travel plans. (706-542-2900 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

The text of the preliminary injunction can be found here: https://www.pacermonitor.com/view/P52F2SY/State_of_Hawaii_v_Trump__hidce-17-00050__0219.0.pdf

The text of the Executive Order signed on March 6 can be found here: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/03/09/2017-04837/protecting-the-nation-from-foreign-terrorist-entry-into-the-united-states

Update - DHS FAQ on Revised Travel Order

The Department of Homeland Security has issued an "FAQ" relating to the implementation, on March 16th, 2017, of the revised Executive Order. You may access this FAQ by clicking on the link below.

https://www.dhs.gov/news/2017/03/06/qa-protecting-nation-foreign-terrorist-entry-united-states


Below is a message from the University System of Georgia concerning the most recent executive order affecting international travel.

The University of Georgia shares USG's unwavering commitment to our international students and faculty. More specific information is available at Immigration Services - UGA.

The University System of Georgia greatly values the contributions of our international students, faculty and staff. International education, research and collaboration enrich our academic culture, benefiting students, faculty and staff throughout our 28 institutions across our University System. It is important that we continue to remain in close communication as new information and direction becomes available about policy changes impacting international travel and visa holders.

The new Executive Order issued today places travel and immigration limits for the following six countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. However, according to the terms of the Executive Order, linked here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/03/06/executive-order-protecting-nation-foreign-terrorist-entry-united-states it is to be applied to nationals of these six nations who do not hold visas as of the effective date of the order, March 16, 2017. Those who hold current visas, including our students and faculty using visas to study and teach here, are not impacted and their visas remain valid under the new order.

As this order is implemented in the coming months, individual questions may arise with our students, faculty and staff. Our System Office will continue to coordinate closely with your international education offices, who together stand ready to assist any members of our campus communities seeking information. We continue to encourage University System students, staff or faculty members with any questions to contact their international education office on their respective campus. Thank you for your support and for continuing to encourage your staff to remain in close communication as new information and guidance become available.

Dr. Steve Wrigley
Chancellor

On March 3, 2017, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a notice that the option for “premium processing” of H-1B work visa petitions will be temporarily suspended effective April 3, 2017. See: https://www.uscis.gov/news/alerts/uscis-will-temporarily-suspend-premium-processing-all-h-1b-petitions. Such a temporary suspension has previously occurred  — the last one being in 2015. If you would like to speak to an immigration advisor at UGA concerning your specific situation, please call 706 542-2900 to make an appointment.

REVISED – University of Georgia Resources in Support of Our International Community

02/20/2017

There have been recent reports from national media organizations regarding a revised Executive Order regarding travel restrictions which may be issued and signed by the President of the United States this week (2/20/2017 - 2/24/2017).  Given the uncertainty regarding what the revised order will contain, please consider carefully the possible consequences of traveling outside the U.S. at this time.  If you would like to speak to an immigration advisor at UGA concerning your specific situation, please call 706 542-2900 to make an appointment.

You can find immigration information specific to your status on our website: Immigration Services - UGA.

02/16/2017

Urgent Needs Related to the Executive Order on Immigration

  • If you are an international student or scholar traveling abroad and have concerns about returning to the United States, contact Immigration Services at the University of Georgia Office of International Education at 706.542.2900 during regular business hours (8:00 am to 5:00 pm EST).  If you have an emergency inquiry after hours, you may reach Immigration Services at 706-202-2546.
  • University Immigration Services assists international students, academic staff, and their families by advising on U.S. federal immigration and other issues, and through web resources, information sessions, and events. They also provide counseling on academic and cultural matters. To speak with a staff member directly, call 706-542-2900.

Assistance with Traveling Abroad - The Office of Immigration Services at UGA can offer this advice to internationals sponsored by UGA:

  • If you are a national of any of the seven countries referred to in the order, and you have questions about travel outside the U.S., or your status in the U.S., please contact the Immigration Services office to make to appointment with your immigration advisor: 706 542-2900.  Those countries include: Libya, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen.  While the Executive Order banned citizens and nationals of these countries from entering the U.S., a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) from February 3rd, 2017, temporarily stayed this ban.  As a result, nationals from the above countries are now allowed to travel to the U.S.  Given the uncertainty of the duration of this TRO however, all individuals affected by the original ban should consider carefully the possible consequences of departing the U.S. at this point.  If you are from one of these countries and you depart the U.S., it is still possible that your return will be delayed or prevented. 
  • If you are an international student, scholar or faculty / staff member from a country OTHER than one of the seven listed, you hold a valid non-immigrant visa, and are planning a trip outside the U.S., your travel should be largely unaffected by the Executive Order.  Please make sure that your passport is valid, and that you carry with you all required immigration documents (I-20 form for F-1 students; DS-2019 form for J-1 exchange students and scholars; H-1B approval notice for H-1B employees).  You may come to our walk-in hours or make an appointment with your immigration advisor if you have specific questions or you face unusual circumstance.
  • If you are an international student, scholar or faculty / staff member planning to travel outside the U.S., you may experience some delays, or increased scrutiny when re-entering the U.S. based on language found in the Executive Order.  Please make sure that your passport is valid, and that you carry with you all required immigration documents (I-20 form for F-1 students; DS-2019 form for J-1 exchange students and scholars; H-1B approval notice for H-1B employees).  You may come to our walk in hours or make an appointment with your immigration advisor if you have specific questions or you face unusual circumstances.
  • If you are an international student, scholar or faculty / staff member holding a non-immigrant visa and you are traveling outside the U.S., and also need to apply for a new visa prior to returning to the U.S., you may experience additional delays during the visa application process.  Please be sure to check with the U.S. embassy where you will apply for the visa for required documentation and timelines.  You can find estimated wait times for visa applications on the State Department website: https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/general/wait-times.html/               
  • If you are a legal permanent resident in U.S. and you hold an unexpired U.S. “green card” and a valid foreign passport, you should not face difficulty in departing the U.S. or re-entering.  That said, if you are a citizen of one of the seven countries, or you are traveling to one of those countries during your time abroad, you may experience some delays, or increased scrutiny when re-entering the U.S. based on language found in the Executive Order.

Information and Counseling

  • The University of Georgia Office of International Education, Immigration Services unit, assists international students, academic staff, and their families by advising on U.S. federal immigration and other issues, and through web resources, information sessions, and events.  To speak with a staff member directly, call the university at 706.542.2900. You may also access immigration information on the web at: Immigration Services
  • The Office of International Student Life (ISL) provides intercultural support and guidance to all international students. To reach an ISL advisor, please call 706-542-5867, or visit their website at: International Student Life
  • Counseling and Psychological Services, or CAPS, is a confidential place to talk with a trained health-care professional about any concern. This may include stress, loneliness, anxiety, depression, adjustment challenges, relationship difficulties, questions about identity, managing an existing mental health condition, or other issues. Please call CAPS at 706.542.2273 to speak with a staff member directly.
  • The University of Georgia Employee Assistance & Counseling Resources program offers guidance and support to benefits-eligible employees and their partners to address issues that may be affecting their personal lives and/or job satisfaction or performance. This confidential resource is part of the University of Georgia’s broad commitment to foster and support the mental health and well-being of the campus community.

Institutional Support

  • University of Georgia President Jere W. Morehead’s statement confirms the university’s continued support of international faculty, staff, and students.

 

 

*********************************************************************************************************

Previous Advisory Update – 2/3/2017

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 nonimmigrants" from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The TRO "is granted on a nationwide basis," according to the order. The TRO also prohibits enforcement of Sections 5(a), 5(b), 5(c), and 5(e) of the Executive Order, which established the 120-day suspension of admission of refugees to the United States.  The original the of the order can be found here:

https://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/washington/wawdce/2:2017cv00141/241761/52

The federal government is appealing this stay, so the situation is still uncertain for the near future. 

As of now, citizens of the seven affected countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, are allowed to travel to, and apply for entry to, the U.S. if they have proper documentation, including a valid visa.  The revocation of the visas has been stayed by this order. The Department of State has updated their announcement in light of the recent decision by the U.S. District Court 

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/news/important-announcement.html

For citizens of these countries, however, travel outside the U.S. may still be risky, as we don’t know if or when the restraining order maybe overturned.  If you need to travel outside the U.S., please consult with your student or scholar immigration adviser at the Office of International Education.  Remember, your legal status inside the U.S. is NOT affected by the Executive Order, or this stay.  You are legally allowed to stay in the U.S. and continue to pursue your academic program. 

If you have urgent questions relating to your academic visa and status here at UGA after office hours, you may reach the Immigration Services Director at: 706 202-2546.

*******************************************************************

Original Advisory - 1/28/2017

The executive order signed by President Trump on Friday, January 27th, 2017  is having an impact on some international populations, and their ability to travel and re-enter the U.S.  Every application for a U.S. visa, and for admission to the U.S., requires an individual inspection by a Consular officer and by a Customs officer.  There is no guarantee of admission, however most applicants with properly endorsed paperwork will be duly admitted.

The office of Immigration Services at UGA can offer this advice to internationals sponsored by UGA:

  •          If you are a national of any of the seven countries referred to in the order, and you have questions about travel outside the U.S., or your status in the U.S., please contact the Immigration Services office to make to appointment with your immigration advisor: 706 542-2900.  Those countries include: Libya, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen.  Currently, the Executive Order bans citizens and nationals of these countries form entering the U.S.  If you are from one of these countries, and you depart the U.S., it is highly likely that you will not be re-admitted for at least 90 days, and perhaps longer.
  •          If you are an international student, scholar or faculty / staff member from a country OTHER than one of the seven listed, that is not pre-dominantly Muslim;  you hold a valid non-immigrant visa, and are planning a trip outside the U.S., your travel should be largely unaffected by the Executive Order.  Please make sure that your passport is valid, and that you carry with you all required immigration documents (I-20 form for F-1 students; DS-2019 form for J-1 exchange students and scholars; H-1B approval notice for H-1B employees).  You may come to our walk in hours or make an appointment with your immigration advisor if you have specific questions or you face unusual circumstance.
  •          If you are an international student, scholar or faculty / staff member from a country that is predominantly Muslim, and are planning to travel outside the U.S., you may experience some delays, or increased scrutiny when re-entering the U.S. based on unclear language found in the Executive Order.  Please make sure that your passport is valid, and that you carry with you all required immigration documents (I-20 form for F-1 students; DS-2019 form for J-1 exchange students and scholars; H-1B approval notice for H-1B employees).  You may come to our walk in hours or make an appointment with your immigration advisor if you have specific questions or you face unusual circumstance.
  •          If  you are an international student, scholar or faculty / staff member holding a non-immigrant visa and you are traveling outside  the U.S., and also need to apply for a new visa prior to returning to the U.S., you may experience additional delays during the visa application process.  Please be sure to check with the U.S. embassy where you will apply for the visa for required documentation and timelines.  You can find estimated wait times for visa applications on the State Department website: https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/general/wait-times.html/
  •          If you are a legal permanent resident in U.S. and you hold an unexpired U.S. “green card” and a valid foreign passport, you should not face difficulty in departing the U.S. or re-entering.  That said, if you are a citizen of one of the seven countries, or you are traveling to one of those countries during your time abroad, you may experience some delays, or increased scrutiny when re-entering the U.S. based on unclear language found in the Executive Order.

 

A copy of the text of the executive order can be found on the White House web site: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/01/27/executive-order-protecting-nation-foreign-terrorist-entry-united-states

 

Information on how the Customs and Border Protection Agency is interpreting and implementing the order can be found on their website:

https://www.cbp.gov/border-security/protecting-nation-foreign-terrorist-entry-united-states

 

Finally, if you have an emergency inquiry after hours, you may reach the Director of Immigration Services, Robin Catmur, at 706-202-2546.

 

Immigration Services office – Contact Information:

1324 South Lumpkin St., Athens, GA (across from the running track)

706 542-2900

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday thru Friday

Our weekly walk-in hours for advising are below.  Walk-in appointments are a maximum of 15 minutes.  If you need a longer appointment, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to schedule one.

  • Tuesday: 2:00 to 4:00 pm
  • Wednesday: 2:00 to 4:00 pm
  • Thursdays: 10:00 am to 12:00 noon