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Note on Recent Supreme Court Decision (June 26, 2018)
On June 26, 2018, the Supreme Court voted to uphold Presidential Proclamation 9645. The ruling impacts immigrants and non-immigrants from the following countries: Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. Notably, Iranian nations may still apply for F, M, and J visas.
Specific restrictions vary from country to country and are outlined on the Department of State's website.
Note on U.S. Embassies and Consulates in Russia
Due to the Russian government's restrictions on U.S. diplomatic presence, the U.S. Consulate in St. Petersburg is closed effective March 31, 2018. If applicants are unable to secure interview times at the Moscow embassy or the consulates in Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok, they are encouraged to interview in neighboring countries if possible.
Note on the September 12, 2017 Institution of INA 243(d)
The Department of State has announced that under directions from the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. embassies in Cambodia, Eritrea, Guinea, and Sierra Leone will not be issuing visas under certain categories beginning September 13, 2017. For details, please visit the NAFSA webpage on INA 243(d). .
Note on Recent Response in Federal Register
The International Visitors Office was notified of a proposal in the Federal Register that aimed to add supplemental questions to the visa application process. Three separate letters were filed on May 18, 2017 by the National Academies' Presidents, multiple higher education associations, and 55 professional societies and academic groups.
Though the new procedures were approved on June 1, 2017, the IVO continues to monitor immigration policy news and advise U.S. agencies as appropriate.
IVO FAQ Sheet - Updated July 2018
Q. Are non-immigrant U.S. visas currently being processed and issued as normal?
A: Because of the Supreme Court ruling on June 26, 2018, certain non-immigrant visas from Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen are not being processed. Specific application restrictions for individual countries are organized in a chart on the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs website.
The IVO is still able to report non-immigrant cases that do not fall under these restrictions. For example, Iranian students and scholars are still permitted to apply for F, M, and J category visas, and these cases can be reported by the IVO. Several Iranian visa cases from Iranian nationals reported to the IVO were processed to completion in 2017 and 2018.
Q. Can the IVO assist me if my visa application is delayed or denied?
A: The IVO is glad to assist in matters of visa delays related to scientific work or study, so long as the following criteria are met:
- B-1 or B-1/B-2 conference visas must be pending administrative processing for at least 30 days, and must be pending within 14 days of the event start date in order to be reported by the IVO.
- F-1, H-1B, or J-1 cases must be pending administrative processing for at least 60 days in order to be reported by the IVO.
- The IVO is not able to assist in dependent or tourist visa cases.
Unfortunately, the IVO is not able to report visa denials, as these decisions are made by individual consular officers. The IVO recommends that applicants reapply and reschedule an interview, making sure to bring along documentation that signifies permanent residence and intent to return home.
Q. I am a national of one of the seven countries listed above, but have dual citizenship. Should I apply for a visa using the passport of the country unaffected by the executive order?
A. If you are a citizen of and have a passport issued by a country other than the seven listed in the Presidential Proclamation, the IVO recommends applying with this passport.
Q. How are American colleges and universities being affected by these recent changes in visa policy?
A: According to Inside Higher Ed, nearly 40% of 250 colleges and universities recently surveyed reported a drop in international student enrollment. The survey was conducted by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers in February 2017. Applications from the Middle East are currently declining the most. If you are a student or scholar studying in the United States, your institution likely has multiple resources for international visitors. A Designated School Official, or DSO, found in the International Students and Scholar Services Office (ISSS), will likely be your best personal contact on campus. NAFSA, the Association of International Educators, is also a great resource. “Tips for Surviving in a Time of Immigration Uncertainty,” a recent NAFSA Blog post, offers tips for international travel and stay and may be particularly helpful at this time.
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