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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
Urgent Needs Related to the Executive Order on Immigration
Assistance with Traveling Abroad - The Office of Immigration Services at UGA can offer this advice to internationals sponsored by UGA:
Information and Counseling
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:
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
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:
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:
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)
Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday thru Friday