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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 January 2020
Q. Are non-immigrant U.S. visas currently being processed and issued as normal?
A: Executive Order #13780 was held up by the Supreme Court on June 26, 2018. Most non-immigrant visas are currently being processed and issued as normal. Iranian nationals are still permitted to apply for and travel with F, M, or J category visas. B-1 (business), B-2 (tourism), and B-1/B-2 (business and tourism visas are currently suspended for the following countries: Iran, Libya, Venezuela, and Yemen. Entry for all North Korean and Syrian nationals is suspended. Non-immigrant visas for Somalian nationals may be granted after screening.
More information about these restrictions can be found on the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs website
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.
When applicants interview for a non-immigrant visa, they meet with a consular officer who is looking for answers to the following:
1. Who are you?
2. What do you want to do in the United States?
3. How are you going to fund it?
4. What are your plans for after your program ends?
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 the IIE’s Open Doors Report for 2019 (https://www.iie.org/Research-and-Insights/Open-Doors
), the total number of international students enrolled in graduate, undergraduate, and non-degree academic programs in the United States has declined each year since 2016/17. While the number of international students from countries like China, India, and Brazil increased over the past year, the number of international students from Iran, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Venezuela, and the United Kingdom decreased. More information on current trends in international education can be found here: https://www.insidehighered.com/admissions/article/2019/11/18/international-enrollments-declined-undergraduate-graduate-and
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 resource from the NAFSA Association of International Educators, offers tips for international travel and stay and may be particularly helpful at this time and can be found here: https://www.nafsa.org/blog/tips-surviving-time-immigration-uncertainty
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