Important Immigration Updates

Page last updated July 20, 2017 2:53 p.m. EST.

President Trump signed an executive order (EO) on March 6 that sought to impose a 90-day suspension of entry to the U.S. of nationals of certain designated countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. It also eliminated the visa interview waiver program.

Elimination of the Visa Interview Waiver Program

The visa waiver program remains suspended for many applicants. As a result, we expect visa processing times for all applicants to slow considerably. Appointment and processing times are available at the Department of State’s website.

Note: this is the visa interview waiver program. The visa waiver program is still in place as it has been.

For citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen

On June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a ruling on the travel ban orders issued on January 27 and March 6, 2017. While there are far-reaching aspects of this decision, an important distinction is that the US will allow individuals from these six countries who have a relationship with a person or entity in the US to seek entry.

Important implications of this ruling for students, scholars and their family members seeking to enter the U.S. from abroad from the six countries, means that visa processing should not change. You will need to be able to prove a relationship with a person or entity in the United States. Until further clarification becomes available, we suggest for example:

  • New students can use their admission letter and immigration documents;
  • New scholars or employees can use their offer of employment or appointment letter, along with immigration documents;
  • "Close" family members will need to provide written proof of a relationship with someone in the United States;
    • A "close" family member is defined as a parent, parent-in-law, step parent, spouse, fiancé, son, daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, step son, step daughter, sibling, step sibling, grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces and first cousins.
  • Returning students and scholars can use their regular travel documents.
  • Please note, visa issuance and admission to the U.S. is always at the discretion of the U.S. Departments of State and Homeland Security. This remains unchanged.

Further developments and details will be provided as they become available. We still recommend an abundance of caution, and urge you to check with IU international offices prior to travel.

We provided the following guidance for individuals before all of the legal actions.

  • If you are currently outside the United States

    Such individuals who had a valid visa either on January 27, 2017 (prior to 5:00 p.m. EST) or hold a valid visa on the effective date of the EO are not barred from entering the U.S. Individuals without a valid visa are barred from applying for one until the temporary ban is lifted. However, no visas will be revoked solely based on this EO.

  • If you are currently in the U.S. and maintaining valid nonimmigrant status (F-1/F-2, J-1/J-2, H-1B, etc.):

    The EO does not apply to individuals who are lawfully present in the U.S. on the effective date of the EO (March 16, 2017). Thus, the EO permits these individuals to depart the U.S. and reenter if they have a valid visa to return to their current status.

    We continue to advise an abundance of caution for individuals from the six countries included in the ban before traveling to any country outside of the U.S. without a valid visa to return.

  • U.S. permanent residents and dual citizens

    The EO clarifies that U.S. permanent residents are not banned from obtaining a visa or entering the country. The EO also clarifies that any dual national of one of the six countries, when traveling on a passport issued by a different non-designated country, is not banned from obtaining a visa or entering the U.S.

Implications for summer and fall 2017

We will continue to process applications for admission from all students, irrespective of citizenship. Immigration documents Form I-20 and DS-2019 will continue to be issued for admitted students from the six countries directly impacted by the new EO. Admitted students will receive regular updates concerning the EO and detailed information to prepare them for the visa application process as soon as the ban is lifted. This communication will reiterate Indiana University’s commitment to all students, and provide instructions relevant to individual circumstances.

Invitations to visiting scholars and offers of employment to foreign nationals outside of the U.S. will likely require additional advising and processing time prior to employment eligibility.

Additional Information for All Students

  • Your Rights in the U.S.

    As an international student or scholar, you have specific rights in the U.S.

    Know your rights » 

  • Hiring an attorney

    If you'd like to speak with an experienced immigration attorney on how the order may apply to your specific situation, contact us. We'll work with the IU Office of General Counsel to refer you to an attorney.