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BISO Home > IVO Homepage > Current U.S. Travel Questions and Concerns

Note on Updated Travel Restrictions (September 24, 2017)
The Trump administration's original travel restrictions have been expanded to include three additional countries -- North Korea, Venezuela, and Chad -- in addition to Iran, Libya, Syria, Yeman, and Somalia. Sudan is no longer on the list of countries with visa restrictions.

Specific restrictions vary from country to country and are outlined in a September 24, 2017 White House press release.

Note on U.S. Embassies and Consulates in Russia

Due to the Russian government's restrictions on U.S. diplomatic presence, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow is currently the only embassy/consulate in Russia conducting non-immigrant visa interviews. Applicants are encouraged to interview in neighboring countries if possible, as Moscow appointments may be backlogged for some time.

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 the June 26, 2017 Supreme Court Ruling
The United States Supreme Court ruled to uphold parts of Executive Order 13780 on Monday, June 26, 2017.
Visiting students or temporary workers from the six countries outlined in the executive order are still permitted to travel to the United States, given that the institution or employer qualifies as a "bona fide relationship."

For more clarification on how the Supreme Court's ruling will impact travel, the IVO encourages prospective non-immigrant visa applicants to view NAFSA's comprehensive Travel Advisory, updated July 1, 2017.

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 June 2017

Q. Are non-immigrant U.S. visas currently being processed and issued as normal?
A: Yes, all non-immigrant visas are currently being processed and issued as normal. Executive Order 13780 (signed on March 6, 2017) is currently being challenged in the courts, and the U.S. Department of State is notably processing and issuing visa cases of nationals from Syria, Iran, Yeman, Libya, Somalia, and Sudan as normal.
The IVO continues to report cases from nationals of these six countries. Several Iranian visa cases from Iranian nationals reported to the IVO were processed to completion in April and May.
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 six 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 six listed in the executive order, the IVO recommends applying with this passport.

Q. How are American colleges and universities being affected by Executive Order 13780 and its predecessor, Executive Order 13769?
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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