Frequently Asked Questions about the January 27, 2017, and March 6, 2017, Executive Orders
Last updated on Thursday, March 16, 2017
1. I am from one of the 7 countries directly affected by the Executive Order signed on January 27, 2017 (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen). Does this mean I will have to leave the U.S.?
No. The January 27, 2017 Executive Order is temporarily suspended by the courts and will be revoked effective March 16, 2017. A new order signed on March 6, 2017, was to have taken effect on March 16, 2017. The new order applies to citizens and nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Iraq has been removed from the list of affected countries. However, the second Executive Order has now been blocked by the courts and did not go into effect.
2. I am from one of the 6 countries directly affected by the Executive Order signed on March 6, 2017 (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen). Does this mean I will have to leave the U.S.?
No. The Courts have blocked enforcement of the March 6, 2017 Executive Order and it has not gone into effect. If you are currently inside the U.S. then you can continue with your student or scholar activities as usual. There is nothing in the Executive Order that would have required departure from the United States or a prohibition against continuing studies or authorized work in the U.S. Those who entered the U.S. in legal status, remain in legal U.S. immigration status (regardless of nationality) under the terms and conditions that govern international students and scholars in the U.S.
3. I am outside the U.S. and have been restricted from returning, or one of my F-2 or J-2 dependents is unable to return, what should I do?
On February 3, 2017, and again on February 9, 2017, and again on March 15, 2017, a federal court temporarily halted the enforcement of parts of the executive order on immigration. The court’s decisions suspended the travel ban for those with a valid U.S. entry visa (including those from the 7 countries directly affected) and that suspension remains in place. A new Executive Order signed on March 6, 2017, was supposed to have taken effect on March 16, 2017. The new Executive Order permits those who hold valid visas to travel to the U.S. prior to the expiration date of the visa. In addition the March 6, 2017, Executive Order revokes the January 27, 2017 Executive Order. However, this new order was put on hold by the courts on March 15, 2017. It has not taken effect. There are currently no restrictions on visa issuance or entry to the United States.
4. I am from one of the six countries directly affected by the Executive Order. Will this prevent me from extending my I-20 or DS-2019, applying for OPT or CPT, or obtaining part-time, on-campus work authorization?
No, none of these things are impacted by the Executive Order. You may still apply for the usual benefits available to those in legal F or J status. USCIS continues to process applications and petitions filed with them regardless of nationality. Read the USCIS statement here: USCIS statement
5. I am from a "Muslim majority" country that is not one of the 6 countries directly affected by the Executive Order. What should I do?
As of this time, there is no change in visa issuance or the ability to enter the United States with a valid visa. Both Executive Orders have been put on hold by the U.S. Courts. In addition the Department of Homeland Security clarified on February 3, 2017, “No other countries face such treatment. Nor have any other countries been identified as warranting future inclusion at this time, contrary to false reports." If anything changes, ISSO will contact those directly affected and update the entire international community.
6. I am from a country that is not on the list and is not a "Muslim majority" country (ex. China, India, South Korea, etc.). Do I need to be worried or do anything differently?
At this point the only change for you is if (1) you travel outside the U.S. and (2) your visa is expired so that you need to renew your F or J visa. If you do require a new visa, then you may be required to go in person to a U.S. Embassy or Consulate to complete the visa renewal application process, including an interview. Some mail-in, drop box, and bank application processes have been disallowed if your most recent visa was issued more than 12 months ago. Check with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you will apply for your new visa for the latest procedures in place at that location. If your visa is still valid, then nothing is different for you. It is recommended that all international students follow the situation closely to ensure that you are aware of any potential changes or new developments. The International Students and Scholars Office will keep students updated on any changes.
7. I am not a citizen or national of one of the 6 countries directly affected by the Executive Order, but I traveled there recently, will the travel ban impact me?
8. I am from an Iowa State University department and we are expecting a J-1 scholar who may be impacted by the Executive Order. What should we do?
At the moment, the ban on visa issuance and travel contained in both Executive Orders have been restrained by the Courts and are not in effect. If you have questions, please contact the ISSO Scholar Unit at email@example.com.
9. If faculty travel internationally can they return to the U.S?
At this time, no ban on travel or visa issuance is in effect. The provisions of the January 27, 2017, and March 6, 2017, Executive Orders have been temporariliy halted by the courts. However, the administration has stated that they will challenge the court rulings. The safest course of action for those from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen who do not have valid visas for return to the U.S. may be to delay international travel at this time. However, those from other countries may travel, apply for visas, and return to the U.S. as usual.
10. If faculty travel internationally, do they risk being detained abroad and not being able to return?
At the moment, normal visa issuance and travel policies apply as both Executive Orders barring visa issuance and travel for those from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen have been restrained by the courts. In addition, the Department of Homeland Security has issued a statement as follows: "Importantly, these countries are the only countries to which the pause on entry applies. No other countries face such treatment. Nor have any other countries been identified as warranting future inclusion at this time, contrary to false reports."
11. Many students, faculty, and staff go home to visit their families during breaks, or for emergencies, or for holidays. Must they now remain in the U.S. until the completion of their studies or employment contracts?
Please see the question above. The new Executive Order stipulates a 20 day period during which the U.S. government will gather information from any country to determine what information is needed from that country to determine the true identity of its citizens and ensure public safety. An additional 50 days are allotted for countries to comply with this request. To be removed from the travel ban will require a country to provide the requested information. Thus, depending on a country's compliance with the U.S. government's request for information, and if the Executive Orders are reinstated by the courts, persons from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen may be prevented from returning to the U.S. after international travel for longer than 90 days if they do not already have a valid entry visa.
12. Many students receive funding from their home countries. If that is cut off, will that mean students have wasted their time here, or can they be funded by separate means?
Students can request their transcript be sent to another university. Credit earned at Iowa State can be accepted and applied towards a degree program at another university. Each university will determine how credits apply towards progress to earning a degree.
There are limited scholarships available through the International Students and Scholars Office. In addition, international students who have a U.S. co-signer may qualify for a student loan. For more information, see http://www.internationalstudentloan.com/.
13. For students, faculty, and staff who are supposed to join ISU next year, is their acceptance now revoked because they cannot enter the country? Are they barred from reapplying?
No. The university has not revoked any student acceptances. All applications continue to be processed. Iowa State does not discriminate on the basis of country of origin. Each undergraduate applicant received a personal email from the director of Admissions encouraging qualified applicants to apply and stating that nationality will not be considered in admission decisions. This statement has been added to the admissions homepage and is linked from all admissions webpages. Any admitted student (graduate or undergraduate) who is prohibited from entering the country may request their entry term be moved forward to any term through August 2018. Impacted students may reapply for consideration for any term beyond August 2018. Please contact the Department of Admissions with questions.
14. Can affected students travel domestically by air?
There is nothing in the Executive Order that prohibits or restricts domestic travel. Students are reminded to carry their passport and immigration documents with them whenever they travel. It is a good idea to carry a copy of Form I-94 at all times. Form I-94 can be obtained electronically from this site: Form I-94
15. What housing options are available for students from affected countries cannot who may not be able to return home during breaks and for students who are now discouraged from traveling abroad.
During the academic year, residence hall and apartment facilities remain open during all breaks except semester (winter) break. Some residence hall and all apartment facilities remain open during semester break. Available University summer housing options have never filled. ISU can and will provide housing to any student from a banned country during any time of the year. Students can complete a housing contract to reserve summer housing. Please contact the Department of Residence for assistance: http://www.housing.iastate.edu/contracts/summer
16. How is the university assisting students, faculty, and staff to maintain and renew their student or work visas.
On February 3rd, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a statement that it will continue to "adjudicate applications and petitions filed for or on behalf of individuals in the United States regardless of their country of origin." Applications and petitions filed with USCIS include change of status, OPT, H-1B, Immigrant Petitions, and Adjustment of Status (green card) applications. The ISSO continues to process applications for extension of student status,work permission, and permanent residence as before.
17. What advocacy efforts has Iowa State University taken in response to the recent executive order on immigration?
Outreach was made to all six member offices of the Iowa Congressional delegation sharing the university’s concern regarding the executive order, the potential consequences of this action, and the impact it is already having on individuals connected with Iowa State. The statement made by President Steven Leath on January 30, 2017 and the University updated statement issued on January 31, were shared as a part of this communication.
Iowa State University signed onto the February 3 organized letter to Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly to express concerns about President Trump’s executive order on immigration. This letter was authored by the American Council on Education (ACE) and signed by 600 colleges and universities. That same day, a federal court temporarily halted the enforcement of parts of the executive order.
Additionally, administrators continue to work on a case-by-case basis with individuals directly affected by this order to help connect them with resources.
Iowa State University feels strongly that a diverse campus enriches the educational experience of our students and helps to prepare them to be thoughtful and capable citizens of a global society. Our ability to attain the best and brightest students and scholars helps our nation’s ability to be on the forefront of innovation. To that extent, we will continue to advocate for immigration measures that help safeguard our students, faculty, and staff and also provide security to our nation.
There has been on-going advocacy related to international affairs and immigration. To see a highlight of relevant activity, please visit the ISU Federal Relations webpage.
18. What are my rights and responsibilities if I am stopped or questioned by law enforcement in the community or at the airport?
The answer to this question is different depending on the type of law enforement you encounter. A good source of information on this topic is the American Civil Liberties Union which has a Website explaining the differences here: Know Your Rights
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