IMMIGRATION POLICY UPDATES AND FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

The International Center has created this page to provide information and support resources to UCI international students and scholars regarding changes in immigration policies and practice. Information will be updated as needed.

If you need any clarification regarding travel, employment, study, or your status please do not hesitate to contact the International Center with your questions or to schedule a time to meet with one of our advisors, internationalcenter@uci.edu or 949.824.7249.

***UPDATE: June 26, 2017**** U.S. Supreme Court Decision on Travel Ban

Today's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to allow some aspects of the travel ban to be implemented will not affect international students and scholars coming to UCI to study, teach or do research. The decision contains an exception that allows individuals to continue to apply for visas and enter the U.S. if they have a "credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States", this includes: students who have been admitted to a U.S school and individuals who have been offered employment.

Please contact the International Center if you have questions.

***UPDATE: March 16, 2017**** Temporary Restraining Order  and Preliminary injunction on  Executive Order Signed on March 6, 2017

On March 15, 2016 the U.S. District Court in Hawaii issued a nationwide temporary restraining order preventing the enforcement of the Executive Order's 90-day entry ban which has been scheduled to go into effect on March 16, 2017.

On March 16, 2017  the U.S. District Court in Maryland issued a nationwide preliminary injunction, preventing the enforcement the Executive Order's 90-day entry ban.

The International Center will update this page as new information becomes available. Because this is working its way through the court system, things can can change in regards to the travel ban. We continue to caution individuals from the six countries named in the executive order in regards to travel. Additionally, anyone travelling (regardless of country) should be sure to have all entry immigration documents in order and should consult with the International Center.  All applications for immigration benefits (OPT, CPT, extension of visa documents) and issuance of initial I-20s/DS-2019s for new students and scholars will continue.

 Contact the International Center at (949) 824-7249 if you have any questions.

***UPDATE: March 6, 2017****  Information on Executive Order Signed on March 6, 2017

On March 6, 2017 Presdient Trump signed an updated Executive Order Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States. This is a new version of the Executive Order signed on January 27, 2017.   The new order puts a 90 day  hold on issuance of visas to citizens from six countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen (note that Iraq is not included as it was in the previous order). This new order takes affect 10 days from today on March 16, 2017.  We will continue to keep you updated on new developments and as new information becomes available. If you do have any questions, please call the International Center at (949) 824-7249. 

As in the previous order, applications for CPT, OPT or Academic Training; and issuance of I-20s or DS-2019 for new students or scholars or extensions are not affected by the order. If you have questions, please call the International Center (949) 824-7249.

UC Office of the President has issued preliminary guidance and can be found on the UC Office of the President website.

Information on Executive Order Signed on January 27, 2017

On January 27, 2017 President Trump signed an Executive Order titled Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States. This Executive Order contains provisions that directly affect international students and scholars. Visas and entry has been suspended for 90 days from the date the Order was signed for individuals from Libya, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

The Department of State has issued a statement advising that citizens of these countries, should not schedule a visa appointment or pay any visa fees. If you already have an appointment scheduled, you should not attend. You will not be permitted entry to the Embassy/Consulate.

Please read UCI Chancellor Gillman’s message with guidance on the Executive Order and UC recommendation not to travel.

****UPDATE: FEBRUARY 9, 2017****  TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER STILL IN AFFECT (TRAVEL BAN CONTINUES TO BE LIFTED)

On February 9, 207 the Ninth Court of Appeals denied the Federal Government's request for an emergency stay of the Temporary Restraining Order.  The court decided to continue the temporary restraining order, which means the travel ban is lifted until the a new decision is made on this case.

If you have any questions about the Executive Order and travel and visa issuance, please contact the International Center at internationalcenter@uci.edu or 949.824.7249.

***UPDATE: FEBRUARY 6, 2017*** DISTRICT COURT'S TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER

On February 3, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington granted a temporary restraining order that temporarilty prevents the Federal government from enforcing some provisions of the Executive Order. The relevant part for interantional students and scholars is that the restraining order prevents  enforcement of the 90-day ban on entry of  "immigrants and non-immigrants" from Iran, Iraw, Libya, Somali, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Please be aware that this may change with minimal notice and that the International Center contiues to recommend  that travel outside the U.S. be avoided if possible. If you do need advice on upcoming travel, please contact the International Center.

***UPDATE: FEBRUARY 3, 2017*** USCIS CONTINUES TO PROCESS APPLICATIONS

USCIS has indicated that they will contiue to process applications and petitions filed in the U.S. regardless of their country of origin. The International Center also continues to process all requests for I-20s and DS-2019s, including extension, OPT, and CPT. If you have any questions, please contact us at the International Center.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

I am a citizen from one of the countries on the list, can I travel outside the U.S. and return?

If you are an international student, scholar or dependent on a visa, we recommend that you do not travel outside the U.S.

I am a citizen from a country not part of the list in the Executive Order. Can I travel outside the U.S.? Can I apply for a new visa?

At this time, it is recommended that all international travel be minimized because of possible future changes in visa policies or U.S. entry.  In addition, there may be longer processing times for visas and your re-entry may be delayed. However, if you have travel plans that are necessary, please contact the International Center for further guidance.

Does the signing of the Executive Order prevent me from applying for OPT, OPT-STEM, CPT, Academic Training?

We have received no information that processing of applications are on “hold”. Our professional association has inquired directly to USCIS on this issue. It is recommended at this time to continue to apply for these immigration benefits.

The International Center will continue to processes recommendations and certifications for these benefits. We will provide updates as we get more information about these immigration benefits.

Who should I go to for help or questions about my visa status?

The International Center continues to be your point of contact in regards to immigration advice and support. Our advisors are available for appointments to discuss your concerns and questions. If you have a complex immigration related situation, we will provide referral to an immigration attorney.

I am feeling a lot of stress worrying about these changes, where can I go for help?

If you are an international student and find that you are impacted by the events and need support, the Counseling Center has Urgent Care walk-in available for UCI students from 8am-4:30pm Monday-Friday. Routine appointments are also available by calling or stopping in the Counseling Center to schedule. Alternatively, you can call to speak with a counselor by phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (949) 824-6457. After Counseling Center business hours, you select option 2 to connect to our after-hours telephone counseling service.

International Scholars and Employees can find support through the Employee Assistance Program. This is a free, confidential benefit that can help address personal or work-related issues faced by UCI faculty, staff, retirees and dependents.  

I work in an academic unit and have faculty members interested in inviting J-1 visiting scholars from one of the seven countries listed in the Executive Order. Can we still invite them to UCI?

We recommend that departments continue with their plans, but be aware that there will be delays in obtaining a visa and that the situation on the travel ban may change with very little notice. The International Center will continue to process visa document requests, we will work with the specific department to find a realistic start date for arrival. Visa delays have always been common for the countries on the list; therefore, we recommend planning  in advance for arrival of a visiting scholars. Departments should contact the Scholar Advisor at the International Center for guidance.

I want to learn about my rights in case I come into contact with an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent?

We recommend that you read the resources provided below to learn more about your rights.

RESOURCES

Text of the Executive Order

Chancellor Gillman Message to UCI Community: Guidance on the Executive Order Affecting Visa Processes and Entry into the United States

Department of State notice on visas after Executive Order https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/news.html

Department of Homeland Security Fact Sheet https://www.dhs.gov/news/2017/01/29/protecting-nation-foreign-terrorist-entry-united-states

DHS Statement on Compliance with Court Orders and President’s Executive Order https://www.dhs.gov/news/2017/01/29/dhs-statement-compliance-court-orders-and-presidents-executive-order

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