IMMIGRATION UPDATES

Focus on Immigration

UCF’s immigration attorneys, Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, have published the following information regarding USCIS’s new policy memorandum:

USCIS Revises Unlawful Presence Rules for Students and Exchange Visitors

Executive Summary

  • F, J and M nonimmigrants who fail to maintain nonimmigrant status before August 9, 2018 will generally start accruing unlawful presence on that day.
  • F, J and M nonimmigrants who fail to maintain nonimmigrant status on or after August 9, 2018, will generally start accruing unlawful presence the day after they stop pursuing their authorized course of study, engage in unauthorized activity, or complete their program and authorized grace period.
  • The new unlawful presence triggers will create complications for students and exchange visitors who wish to apply for a visa, admission or adjustment of status after falling out of status.

The situation

USCIS will radically revise how it calculates the accrual of unlawful presence for students and exchange visitors who fail to maintain their F, J or M nonimmigrant status in the United States, according a policy memorandum issued late Friday. Starting August 9, 2018, F, J and M nonimmigrants and their dependents will automatically accrue unlawful presence upon certain triggering events, such as failure to complete the authorized course of study or engaging in unauthorized activities.

The change in policy is intended to comply with President Trump’s Executive Order: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States. The memorandum is open to public comment through June 11. Individuals and employers interested in commenting may contact their Fragomen professional.

A closer look

The new policy establishes different guidelines for calculating unlawful presence based on when the failure to maintain status occurred.

F, J, or M nonimmigrants who fail to maintain nonimmigrant status before August 9, 2018 will begin accruing unlawful presence on August 9 unless they had already started accruing unlawful presence based on the earliest of any of the following:

  • The day after the Department of Homeland Security denied the request for an immigration benefit, if DHS made a formal finding that the foreign national violated their nonimmigrant status while adjudicating a request for another immigration benefit;
  • The day after the Form I-94 expired, if the foreign national was admitted until a specific date; or
  • The day after an immigration judge or, in certain cases, the Board of Immigration Appeals, ordered the foreign national excluded, deported, or removed (whether or not the decision is appealed).

F, J, or M nonimmigrants who fail to maintain nonimmigrant status on or after August 9, 2018 will begin accruing unlawful presence on the earliest of the following:

  • The day after the F, J, or M nonimmigrant no longer pursues the course of study or the authorized activity, or the day after they engage in an unauthorized activity;
  • The day after completing the course of study or program plus any authorized grace period;
  • The day after the Form I-94 expires, if the foreign national was admitted until a specific date; or
  • The day after an immigration judge or, in certain cases, the BIA orders the foreign national excluded, deported, or removed (whether or not the decision is appealed).

Background

The memorandum will supersede current guidance related to unlawful presence, which indicates that students and exchange visitors who are admitted for, or present in the United States in duration of status (D/S) only accrue unlawful presence after USCIS formally finds a nonimmigrant status violation or an immigration judge orders the applicant excluded, deported or removed, whichever came first.

What this means

Because the accrual of unlawful presence is what leads to the three and ten year bars to admission, the new policy can create hurdles for students and exchange visitors who fall out of status and wish to apply for a visa or admission, or to adjust status to U.S. permanent resident.

Individuals who have accrued more than 180 days of unlawful presence and then depart are subject to a three-year bar to admission, while those who have accrued more than 365 days of unlawful presence and then depart are subject to a ten-year bar to admission. Such individuals are generally not eligible to apply for a visa, admission, or adjustment of status to permanent resident unless they are eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility or another form of relief.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen.

Last Updated: 5/16/2018 – 11:50AM

UCF’s immigration attorneys, Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, have published the following information regarding the revised entry ban.

Trump Administration to Implement Travel Ban Beginning December 8

 

Executive Summary

  • The restrictions will affect certain nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, unless they are exempt or granted a waiver. Restrictions against nationals of North Korea and Venezuela are already in effect.
  • Implementation comes days after the Supreme Court gave the Administration permission to implement the ban while lower courts consider challenges to it.

The situation

The State Department has announced that the Trump Administration will begin to fully implement the third travel ban on December 8, 2017 at the start of business local time.

The announcement comes days after the Supreme Court issued orders that allow the Administration to enforce the travel ban while the Fourth and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeals consider lower court rulings that blocked implementation of the ban.

Beginning Friday, nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen will be subject to country-specific travel restrictions unless they are exempt or obtain a waiver. Restrictions against nationals of North Korea and Venezuela were unaffected by the ongoing litigation and have been in place since October 18, 2017.

The travel restrictions

Beginning December 8, nationals of the following countries will be subject to the following U.S. travel limitations, unless exempt or granted a waiver:

  • Chad: No B-1, B-2 or B-1/B-2 visitor visas; no immigrant or diversity lottery visas.
  • Iran: No nonimmigrant visas except F and M student visas and J exchange visitor visas; no immigrant or diversity lottery visas.
  • Libya: No B-1, B-2 or B-1/B-2 visitor visas; no immigrant or diversity lottery visas.
  • North Korea: No nonimmigrant, immigrant or diversity lottery visas.
  • Somalia: Nonimmigrant visa applicants subject to heightened scrutiny; no immigrant or diversity visas.
  • Syria: No nonimmigrant, immigrant or diversity lottery visas.
  • Venezuela: No B-1, B-2 or B-1/B-2 visas for officials of designated Venezuelan government agencies. Other visa holders are subject to verification of traveler information. No restrictions on immigrant or diversity lottery visas.
  • Yemen: No B-1, B-2 or B-1/B-2 visitor visas; no immigrant or diversity lottery visas.

Previously scheduled visa appointments will not be canceled for restricted foreign nationals. During interviews, consular officers will determine whether restricted applicants qualify for an exemption or waiver.

Visas already issued will not be revoked pursuant to the proclamation, regardless of the date of issuance. Foreign nationals from restricted countries should still be able to travel to the United States using a previously-issued valid visa, but may face increased scrutiny on entry.

Exemptions and waivers

Several classes of foreign nationals are exempt from the restrictions, including U.S. lawful permanent residents, dual nationals traveling on a passport from a non-restricted country, foreign nationals who hold a valid U.S. visa or advance parole and those who were physically in the United States on the applicable original effective date of the travel restrictions.

Those who are not exempt may request a waiver when applying for a visa. To be eligible for a waiver, a foreign national must demonstrate that he or she would suffer undue hardship if denied entry, and that his or her entry would not pose a threat to U.S. national security or public safety and would be in U.S. national interest. Waivers are discretionary and may be difficult to obtain.

What this means for travelers

Foreign nationals who are currently in the United States, hold a passport from a restricted country (other than exempt dual nationals) and would need to apply for a visa to reenter the United States should carefully consider the risks of international travel and the potential for significant delays.

As a reminder, all foreign nationals – including those exempt from the travel restrictions – are subject to national security screening and the potential for additional vetting when applying for a U.S. visa or admission to the United States.

Looking ahead

The travel restrictions will be implemented while the Fourth and Ninth Circuits consider appeals of two lower court rulings that blocked most of the travel ban. Decisions from the appeals courts are expected soon and could potentially impact the travel ban implementation.

Fragomen is closely following the ongoing litigation and will issue further client alerts as developments occur

 

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen.

Last Updated: 12/7/2017 – 8:25PM

UCF’s immigration attorneys, Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, have published the following information regarding the revised entry ban.

Supreme Court Allows Trump to Enforce Travel Ban Until Lower Courts Rule on Challenges

 

Executive Summary

  • The Supreme Court issued an order allowing the Trump Administration to implement its newest travel ban while lower courts continue to consider challenges to it.
  • Restrictions, which vary by country, will affect certain nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen, unless exempt or granted a waiver.

The situation

The Supreme Court today issued an order that will allow the Trump Administration to fully enforce its travel restrictions on certain nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen, pursuant to a presidential proclamation that was issued on September 24, 2017.

The Trump Administration had previously been barred from implementing the ban on its intended effective date of October 18, 2017, after two lower federal courts issued injunctions that temporarily enjoined enforcement of most of the ban’s restrictions. Following the Trump Administration’s appeal of those rulings and request for temporary permission to implement the proclamation, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals allowed it to partially take effect, but exempted travelers with a bona fide relationship to a person or entity in the United States.

Today’s order by the Supreme Court removes the relationship exemption and allows the Administration to fully implement the ban while challenges continue in the Courts of Appeals for the Fourth and the Ninth Circuits.

The travel restrictions

The Administration is soon expected to announce when it will begin to impose the travel restrictions pursuant to the Supreme Court’s order. When implemented, nationals of the eight countries are expected to be subject to the following U.S. travel limitations, unless otherwise exempt:

  • Chad: No B-1, B-2 or B-1/B-2 visitor visas; no immigrant or diversity lottery visas.
  • Iran: No nonimmigrant visas except F and M student visas and J exchange visitor visas; no immigrant or diversity lottery visas.
  • Libya: No B-1, B-2 or B-1/B-2 visitor visas; no immigrant or diversity lottery visas.
  • North Korea: No nonimmigrant, immigrant or diversity lottery visas.
  • Somalia: Nonimmigrant visa applicants subject to heightened scrutiny; no immigrant or diversity visas.
  • Syria: No nonimmigrant, immigrant or diversity lottery visas.
  • Venezuela: No B-1, B-2 or B-1/B-2 visas for officials of designated Venezuelan government agencies. Other visa holders are subject to verification of traveler information. No restrictions on immigrant or diversity lottery visas.
  • Yemen: No B-1, B-2 or B-1/B-2 visitor visas; no immigrant or diversity lottery visas.

Exemptions and waivers

Several classes of foreign nationals are exempt from the restrictions, including U.S. lawful permanent residents, dual nationals traveling on a passport from a non-restricted country, foreign nationals who hold a valid U.S. visa or advance parole and those who were physically in the United States on the applicable original effective date of the travel restrictions.

Those who are not exempt may request a waiver when applying for a visa. To be eligible for a waiver, a foreign national must demonstrate that he or she would suffer undue hardship if denied entry, and that his or her entry would not pose a threat to U.S. national security or public safety and would be in U.S. national interest. Waivers are discretionary and may be difficult to obtain.

What this means for travelers

Foreign nationals who are currently in the United States, hold a passport from a restricted country (other than exempt dual nationals) and would need to apply for a visa to reenter the United States should carefully consider the risks of international travel and the potential for significant delays.

As a reminder, all foreign nationals – including those exempt from the travel restrictions – are subject to national security screening and the potential for additional vetting when applying for a U.S. visa or admission to the United States.

Looking ahead

The travel restrictions will be implemented while the Fourth and Ninth Circuits continue to hear challenges to the presidential proclamation. The Ninth Circuit is scheduled to hear oral arguments on December 6, while the Fourth Circuit is scheduled to hear oral arguments on December 8.

Fragomen is closely following the implementation of the court order and will issue additional client alerts as the Administration puts the restrictions in place.

 

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen.

Last Updated: 12/4/2017 – 9:15PM

UCF’s immigration attorneys, Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, have published the following information regarding the revised entry ban.

Executive Summary

  • The Ninth Circuit will allow the Trump administration to temporarily enforce travel restrictions against certain nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen while the Administration appeals lower court rulings against the restrictions.
  • Nationals of the six countries will be exempt from the restrictions if they have a bona fide relationship with a U.S. person or entity.

The situation

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has issued an order that will allow the Trump Administration to temporarily enforce travel restrictions against certain nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen, but will exempt travelers with a bona fide relationship to a person or entity in the United States.

The travel restrictions, which were announced in a September 24, 2017 presidential proclamation, were blocked by two lower courts in October. The Trump Administration appealed those rulings and made an emergency request for temporary permission to enforce the travel restrictions while the appeals were underway. Today’s court order is the result of that request.

The travel restrictions

The Administration is soon expected to announce when it will begin to impose the travel restrictions pursuant to the Ninth Circuit order. When implemented, nationals of the six countries are expected to be subject to the following U.S. travel limitations, unless otherwise exempt:

  • Chad: No B-1, B-2 or B-1/B-2 visitor visas; no immigrant or diversity lottery visas.
  • Iran: No nonimmigrant visas except F and M student visas and J exchange visitor visas; no immigrant or diversity lottery visas.
  • Libya: No B-1, B-2 or B-1/B-2 visitor visas; no immigrant or diversity lottery visas.
  • Somalia: Nonimmigrant visa applicants subject to heightened scrutiny; no immigrant or diversity visas.
  • Syria: No nonimmigrant, immigrant or diversity lottery visas.
  • Yemen: No B-1, B-2 or B-1/B-2 visitor visas; no immigrant or diversity lottery visas.

Travel restrictions against North Koreans and certain Venezuelan government officials were not affected by the rulings and remain in place.

Exemptions for certain travelers

The Ninth Circuit’s order prohibits the Administration from enforcing restrictions against travelers who have a bona fide relationship with:

  • A close family member in the United States, which includes immediate family as well as grandparents, grandchildren, brothers/sisters-in law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins; or
  • A U.S. entity, such as a sponsoring employer, where the relationship is documented, formal, and not formed for the purposes of evading the ban.

In addition, U.S. lawful permanent residents, dual nationals, holders of valid visas and certain other classes of foreign national are exempt from the travel limits by the terms of the original presidential proclamation.

Looking ahead

Fragomen is closely following the implementation of the court order and will issue additional client alerts when the Administration puts the restrictions in place.

In early December, the Fourth and Ninth Circuits will hear oral arguments in challenges to the travel restrictions.

 

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen.

Last Updated: 11/17/2017 – 5:15PM

UCF’s immigration attorneys, Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, have published the following information regarding the revised entry ban.

Executive Summary
The travel ban will be enforced against certain nationals of six restricted countries and against refugees, but there are broad exemptions for U.S. visa holders, lawful permanent residents, persons with valid advance parole and those with a bona fide relationship to a person or entity in the United States.

As of 8pm EDT, 6/29/17, President Trump’s travel ban executive order is in force against certain nationals of six restricted countries and refugees.

The ban is being put in place in the wake of a Supreme Court decision Monday to allow the Trump Administration to partially enforce the ban, but to exempt foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship to an entity or person in the United States. Most employer-sponsored foreign nationals should be exempt.

The following are Fragomen’s answers to frequently asked questions about the travel ban.  The information below is based on the latest guidance from the Departments of State and Homeland Security.

  1. Who is subject to entry restrictions?

Unless exempt or granted a waiver, nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and refugees from any country are subject to the travel ban and will be prohibited from entering the United States for the duration of the ban.  Nationality is determined by the passport a traveler presents to enter the United States.

  1. How long will the entry ban be in effect? Could it be expanded to other countries?

Unless exempt or granted a waiver, nationals of the six restricted countries will be barred for 90 days and refugees will be barred for 120 days. The entry ban could be extended beyond these timeframes.

The Trump Administration is in the process of conducting a worldwide visa security review and could impose travel restrictions on other countries depending on the results of the review.

  1. Who is exempt from the travel ban?

According to the Department of Homeland Security, the travel ban does not apply to foreign nationals who were inside the United States as of June 26, 2017, who had a valid U.S. visa as of 8pm EDT on June 29, 2017 or who had a valid U.S. visa as of 5pm EST on January 27, 2017.  No visas will be revoked solely on the basis of the travel ban.  After their visa expires or they leave the United States, these foreign nationals will not be subject to the ban when they apply for a new visa or reentry, though they must still meet all admissibility requirements as usual.

The following groups of foreign nationals are also exempt:

  • U.S. lawful permanent residents (green card holders); if you are applying for an immigrant visa to come to the United States as a permanent resident, see Question 6.
  • Dual nationals traveling on a valid passport from a non-restricted country and a valid U.S. visa (unless visa-exempt);
  • Applicants for adjustment of status with a valid advance parole document;
  • Foreign nationals with a valid A, C-2, G or NATO visa;
  • Foreign nationals granted asylum;
  • Refugees already admitted to the United States and those with travel formally scheduled by the State Department;
  • Persons who have been granted withholding of removal, parole or protection under the Convention Against Torture; and
  • Foreign nationals with a bona fide relationship to a person or entity in the United States (see Questions 4-8).
  1. I am a national of a restricted country.  I have an approved USCIS nonimmigrant petition sponsored by a company in the United States.  Will I be subject to the ban? What about my dependents?

If your employer has obtained an H-1B, L-1, O-1 or other nonimmigrant visa petition approval on your behalf or is sponsoring your blanket L-1 visa application, you should qualify for the exemption and be able to obtain a U.S. visa based on your bona fide relationship with your employing entity, provided you are otherwise eligible for the visa and the relationship was not established for purposes of evading the travel ban.  If you qualify, your spouse and children under the age of 21 should be able to obtain dependent visas to accompany or join you.
Though you may qualify for an exemption from the ban, you should expect close questioning by U.S. consular officials.  Enhanced security screening is likely, and the wait time for your visa could be lengthy.

  1. Are foreign students subject to the travel restrictions?

If you are a national of a restricted country and have been admitted to study at a U.S. school, you should qualify for an exemption and be able to obtain an F-1 or J-1 visa based on your bona fide relationship with the school, provided you are otherwise eligible.  Your spouse and children under the age of 21 should be able to obtain dependent visas to accompany or join you.

Even if you qualify for an exemption from the ban, you should expect close questioning by U.S. consular officials.  Enhanced security screening is likely, and the wait time for your visa could be lengthy.

  1. I am a national of a restricted country and am applying for an immigrant visa to come to the United States as a permanent resident.  Will I be subject to the travel ban?

If you have an approved family-based or employment-based immigrant visa petition and you are otherwise eligible, you should be exempt from the ban and be able to obtain a U.S. immigrant visa based on your ties to your sponsor, provided your relationship is bona fide, can be documented and was not established to evade the travel ban.  If you are a self-sponsored foreign national – such as a person who has self-petitioned for permanent residence as a person of extraordinary ability (EB-1) without a job offer from a U.S. entity – you are subject to the travel restrictions unless you demonstrate a bona fide relationship with a U.S. entity or qualify for a waiver.

Even if you qualify for an exemption from the ban, you should expect close questioning by U.S. consular officials.  Enhanced security screening is likely, and the wait time for your immigrant visa could be lengthy.

  1. I am planning business travel to the United States and am a national of a restricted country.  Will I be able to obtain a B-1 visa to the United States?

You may be exempt from the travel restrictions if you can demonstrate a bona fide relationship with a U.S. entity that can be documented, is in the ordinary course of business and was not established to evade the travel restrictions.  The U.S. government has not specified how it will interpret this requirement with respect to business travelers.  You might qualify for an exemption if you have an invitation letter from a U.S. entity, but that is not yet clear.  When you apply for a B-1 visitor visa, you should expect close questioning about the purpose of your travel and the duration and nature of your relationship with the U.S. entity that has invited you.  You should also expect lengthy security screening.  If you do not qualify for an exemption, you may be eligible for a waiver; see Question 9.

If you already hold a valid U.S. B-1 visa, you should be able to use it to enter the United States for legitimate business travel, but should expect enhanced inspection at the U.S. border.

  1. I want to travel to the United States to visit or live with a family member and am a national of a restricted country.  Am I subject to travel restrictions?

If you are a spouse or minor child of an employer-sponsored foreign national, see Questions 4 and 6.

Otherwise, if you have a close family relationship with a person in the United States, you may be exempt from the travel ban.  Close family is defined as a parent (including a parent-in-law), a spouse, a child, an adult son or daughter, a son-in-law or daughter-in-law, or a sibling (whole or half), including step relationships.

For purposes of the travel ban, close family does not include grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, fiancés, or any other extended family members, even though longstanding State Department policy has authorized U.S. consulates to grant visitor visas to extended family members in ordinary circumstances.

If you do not have a qualifying relationship for purposes of the travel ban, you may be eligible for a waiver, discussed below.

  1. I am subject to the travel ban.  How can I qualify for a waiver?

The travel ban executive order authorizes the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security to grant waivers of the travel ban on a case-by-case basis in limited circumstances.  To qualify for a waiver, you must show that it is in the U.S. national interest to admit you, you pose no national security threat and the denial of your entry would cause extreme hardship.  The waiver must be requested in your consular visa interview.

The executive order suggests that a waiver may be appropriate for several classes of foreign nationals, including:

  • Canadian landed immigrants applying for a visa in Canada;
  • Persons with significant business or professional obligations in the United States or with significant contacts;
  • Nonimmigrants previously admitted to the United States for a continuous period of work, study or another long-term activity who are seeking to resume that activity;
  • U.S. government-sponsored J-1 exchange visitors;
  • Infants, young children (including adoptees), individuals needing urgent medical care and others with special circumstances justifying a waiver;
  • Persons traveling for purposes related to a qualifying international organization or for meetings or business with the U.S. government; and
  • Persons who are or have been employed by the U.S. government and can document “faithful and valuable service.”

Waivers are highly discretionary and subject to strict eligibility criteria.  As such, they may be difficult to obtain.

  1. How does the executive order affect members of U.S. trusted traveler programs?

According to the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. lawful permanent residents who are citizens of a restricted country will not have their membership revoked solely on the basis of the executive order.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen.

Last Updated: 06/30/2017 – 2:30PM

UCF’s immigration attorneys, Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, have published the following information regarding the revised entry ban.

Executive Summary
Nationals of six restricted countries and refugees from all countries are subject to the ban, but there are broad exemptions for U.S. visa holders, U.S. lawful permanent residents, foreign nationals with valid advance parole and those with a bona fide relationship to a person or entity in the United States.

Beginning at 8pm EDT on Thursday, June 29, President Trump’s travel ban will be enforced against certain nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and against all refugees.  TheDepartment of Homeland Security is expected to issue implementation guidance soon.

The announcement comes in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision Monday to partially lift injunctions against the ban, but to exempt foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship to an entity or person in the United States.  Foreignnationals may qualify for an exemption because of a close family relationship, a job, or acceptance to study at a U.S. school.  Business visitors with an invitation from a U.S. entity may be exempt, though the Court’s decision does not make that clear.

Most employer-sponsored foreign nationals will be exempt from the travel ban.  Also exempt are U.S. lawful permanent residents, holders of valid visas, dual nationals with a valid visa or visa exemption, and applicants for adjustment of status with valid advanceparole, among others.  Foreign nationals who do not qualify for an exemption may be eligible for a waiver of the travel restrictions if they can show that the denial of their entry would cause extreme hardship, their entry is in the national interest or theypose no national security threat.

The ban will be in force for 90 days against nationals of the six restricted countries and for 120 days against refugees, unless they are exempt or granted a waiver.

Fragomen is closely monitoring implementation of the travel ban and will issue updates as developments occur.  This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions,please contact the immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen.

Last Updated: 06/29/2017 – 11:30AM

UCF’s immigration attorneys, Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, have published the following information regarding the revised entry ban.

Executive Summary
Nationals of six restricted countries should not be subject to the travel ban if they have a credible and documented work, educational or family connection to a US person or entity, the Court ruled today.  Those who do not have bona fide ties to the United States may be restricted from entering for the duration of the travel ban.  The Court will consider the travel ban executive order in full in its next term.

The U.S. Supreme Court today decided to partially lift two injunctions against President Trump’s March 6 travel ban executive order against certain nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and refugees from all countries.

The Court will permit the Trump Administration to enforce the ban against restricted nationals and refugees with no bona fide ties to the United States; those who can show a connection to a person or entity in the United States may still be able to obtain a visa and enter the country.  The ban will be in force for 90 days against nationals of the six restricted countries who do not qualify for an exemption and for 120 days against non-exempt refugees.  The Administration could implement the ban as soon as Thursday, 72 hours after the Court’s decision.

The Court reiterated that the Administration could proceed with a planned worldwide review of the visa security policies of foreign countries, in line with a recent Ninth Circuit decision.  The Court will take up the President’s March 6 executive order in full during its next term, which begins on October 1, 2017.

Today’s decision narrows the class of individuals who will be subject to travel restrictions.  The March 6 executive order had already exempted many foreign nationals from the ban, including US lawful permanent residents, dual nationals and holders of valid visas.  However, nationals of a restricted country who are not already exempt – including Canadian permanent residents – must be prepared to show their US ties when applying for a visa or entry to the United States.

Who Is Subject to Travel Restrictions?

If you are a national of one of the six restricted countries, you are alreadyexempt from travel restrictions by the terms of the March 6 executive order if you fall into one of the following categories:

  • You are a US lawful permanent resident (green card holder);
  • You are a dual national traveling on a passport from a non-restricted country; Canadian permanent residents arenot exempt, however;
  • You hold a valid, multiple-entry US visa and you are otherwise admissible to the United States;
  • You are an applicant for adjustment of status with valid advance parole;
  • You have been granted asylum in the United States; or
  • You have been admitted as a refugee or you are a refugee whose travel has been formally scheduled by the US State Department.

If you do not fall within one of these groups, you may still be exempt from the ban under the terms of the Supreme Court decision if you are entering the United States to visit or live with a close family member; you have been admitted to study at a US school; or you have accepted an employment offer from a US entity.  An invitation from a US entity for purposes of business travel may qualify, but that is not yet clear.  If your qualifying relationship is to a US entity, you must show that the relationship is formal and was formed in the ordinary course of the entity’s business, rather than simply to evade the travel ban.  You must be able to document your bona fide ties to the United States and should expect to be closely questioned about your US ties by US consular and border officials.

The executive order also authorizes the Departments of Homeland Security and State to grant discretionary waivers of the entry ban where the denial of entry would cause hardship, the foreign national’s entry is in the national interest and entry would not pose a threat to national security. However, the stringent criteria and lack of a clear application process suggest that waivers may be difficult to obtain.

Fragomen is closely monitoring the Administration’s implementation of the Supreme Court decision and the executive order, and will provide further information as developments occur.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen.


The article covers the following topics:

  • What This Means for Foreign Nationals and Employers

You can find the full article here: http://bit.ly/2mIRHNh

UCF Global will continue to closely monitor immigration actions and will this webpage as new information becomes available.

We would like to reiterate that we stand with you. The UCF community is a stronger because of the presence and many contributions of our international students, scholars, and professionals.

UCF students are reminded that free and confidential counseling services are available through UCF Counseling and Physiological Services (CAPS): http://caps.sdes.ucf.edu

Other members of the international community are welcome to contact the UCF Psychology Clinic at 407-823-4348 for counseling services.

Last Updated: 06/27/2017 – 1:30PM

Today the Supreme Court partially granted the government’s request to administer the President’s entry ban on following countries: Iran, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen.

What this means for UCF’s international community:

The entry ban will not be enforced on students, scholars and individuals “who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States”. Students, workers and lecturers were specifically mentioned in the Supreme Court decision and should not be affected.

We continue to recommend that individuals from affected countries do not travel outside of the US for the time being.

Individuals may be contacting their departments as we are recommending the following documentation for entry/re-entry to the US.

For Students:

  • Valid I-20/DS-2019 with travel signature
  • A valid US Visa
  • A valid passport
  • Copy of your transcripts
  • Copy of your enrollment for the upcoming semester
  • Enrollment verification letter
  • Letter from your academic advisor showing progress towards degree
  • If you have an assistantship, a letter confirming your position

For scholars and employees:

  • Valid DS-2019 with travel signature if applicable
  • Valid US Visa
  • A valid passport
  • Employment verification letter if applicable
  • Letter from your department confirming your position

We are encouraging those travelling abroad to contact UCF Global so that we may assist with them entry/re-entry and questions as they arise – 407.823.2337

UCF Global will continue to closely monitor immigration actions and we will be updating our Focus on Immigration http://global.ucf.edu/immigrationupdates/ website with up-to-date information as it becomes available.

#GlobalKnights #youarewelcomehere

Last Updated: 06/26/2017 – 5:01PM

UCF’s immigration attorneys, Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, have published the following information regarding the revised entry ban.

Executive Summary
Visa applicants will face closer questioning and more security checks under new State Department procedures. Longer waits for visa appointments and issuance are likely.


The article covers the following topics:

  • What This Means for Foreign Nationals and Employers

You can find the full article here: http://bit.ly/2mIRHNh

UCF Global will continue to closely monitor immigration actions and will this webpage as new information becomes available.

We would like to reiterate that we stand with you. The UCF community is a stronger because of the presence and many contributions of our international students, scholars, and professionals.

UCF students are reminded that free and confidential counseling services are available through UCF Counseling and Physiological Services (CAPS): http://caps.sdes.ucf.edu

Other members of the international community are welcome to contact the UCF Psychology Clinic at 407-823-4348 for counseling services.

Last Updated: 03/27/2017 – 11:35AM

UCF’s immigration attorneys, Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, have published the following information regarding the revised entry ban.

Executive Summary
A federal judge in Hawaii has issued a nationwide temporary restraining order that prohibits the U.S. government from enforcing an executive order that sought to suspend the entry of nationals of six restricted countries and all refugees.


The article covers the following topics:

  • What This Means for Foreign Nationals

You can find the full article here: http://bit.ly/2ndt76L

UCF Global will continue to closely monitor immigration actions and will this webpage as new information becomes available.

We would like to reiterate that we stand with you. The UCF community is a stronger because of the presence and many contributions of our international students, scholars, and professionals.

UCF students are reminded that free and confidential counseling services are available through UCF Counseling and Physiological Services (CAPS): http://caps.sdes.ucf.edu

Other members of the international community are welcome to contact the UCF Psychology Clinic at 407-823-4348 for counseling services.

Last Updated: 03/16/2017 – 8:25AM

The White House issued a new executive order this morning which bans entry of individuals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen to the United States for 90 days. The revised entry ban is effective on March 16 at 12:01am Eastern Time. There are several exceptions to this entry ban including exceptions for individuals outside the U.S. who have a valid visa, lawful permanent residents, and dual nationals who travel on a passport issued by a country other than the six countries subject to the entry ban

UCF’s immigration attorneys, Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, have published the following information regarding the revised entry ban.

Executive Summary
The new executive order imposes an entry ban on foreign nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, effective 12:01am ET on March 16. Nationals of Iraq are not subject to the ban. The ban does not apply to U.S. lawful permanent residents, dual nationals holding a passport from a non-restricted country and foreign nationals who hold a valid U.S. visa.


The article covers the following topics:

  • Who Is Subject to the Revised Entry Ban?
  • Waivers of the Entry Ban
  • Processing of Immigration Applications and Petitions
  • Travel Guidance for Nationals of Restricted Countries
  • Impact of Ongoing and Future Litigation
  • What the Revised Entry Ban Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

You can find the full article here: http://bit.ly/2mfGgeg

UCF Global will continue to closely monitor immigration actions and will this webpage as new information becomes available.

We would like to reiterate that we stand with you. The UCF community is a stronger because of the presence and many contributions of our international students, scholars, and professionals.

UCF students are reminded that free and confidential counseling services are available through UCF Counseling and Physiological Services (CAPS): http://caps.sdes.ucf.edu

Other members of the international community are welcome to contact the UCF Psychology Clinic at 407-823-4348 for counseling services.

Last Updated: 03/06/2017 – 6:10PM

Q&A with Immigration Attorneys

UCF Global hosted two question-and-answer sessions with our immigration attorneys.

Opening remarks from UCF’s immigration attorney, Enrique Gonzalez, from Fragomen Worldwide which addressed questions about President Trump’s executive order that suspends entry to the United States to foreign nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen

We continue to closely monitor immigration actions and have some preliminary information to share, as it relates to F, J, and H-1b visa holders.

UCF’s immigration attorneys, Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, have published the following information regarding the Executive Order that Suspends Entry to Foreign Nationals from Seven Countries:

Executive Summary
A temporary restraining order against President Trump’s entry ban executive order remains in place after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the Administration’s request to stay the TRO. Foreign nationals from the seven restricted countries should nevertheless continue to exercise caution. Though travel to the United States is possible at the present time, future court rulings could reinstate the ban while a federal district court challenge to the executive order continues.


You can find the full article here: http://bit.ly/2kskIHV

Q&A with Immigration Attorneys

We have scheduled two question-and-answer sessions with our immigration attorneys:

  • Session 1: Friday, February 10 from 10:00AM – 11:30AM in CB2 106
  • Session 2: Friday, February 10 from 12:00AM – 1:30PM in HPA1 119

If you have a question that you would like addressed at the upcoming session, please submit it here: http://bit.ly/2kbdYkv

Last Updated: 02/09/2017 – 8:25PM

We continue to closely monitor immigration actions and have some preliminary information to share, as it relates to F, J, and H-1b visa holders.

UCF’s immigration attorneys, Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, have published the following information regarding the Executive Order that Suspends Entry to Foreign Nationals from Seven Countries:

Executive Summary
A temporary restraining order against President Trump’s entry ban remains in place after a federal appeals court denied the Administration’s request for an emergency hold on the TRO. Foreign nationals from seven restricted countries should continue to exercise caution. Travel to the United States is possible at the present time, but the situation remains extremely fluid and could change at short notice.


You can find the full article here: http://bit.ly/2ldcBiz

Q&A with Immigration Attorneys

We have scheduled two question-and-answer sessions with our immigration attorneys:

  • Session 1: Friday, February 10 from 10:00AM – 11:30AM in CB2 106
  • Session 2: Friday, February 10 from 12:00AM – 1:30PM in HPA1 119

If you have a question that you would like addressed at the upcoming session, please submit it here: http://bit.ly/2kbdYkv

Last Updated: 02/05/2017 – 7:35PM

We continue to closely monitor immigration actions and have some preliminary information to share, as it relates to F, J, and H-1b visa holders.

UCF’s immigration attorneys, Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, have published the following information regarding the Executive Order that Suspends Entry to Foreign Nationals from Seven Countries:

Executive Summary
An entry ban remains in place for certain foreign nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen. The U.S. government has provided further updated guidance on implementation of the order, but the current travel situation remains fluid.


The article covers the following topics:

  • Who is Subject to the Ban?
  • Lawful Permanent Residents Who Are Nationals of a Country of Concern
  • Nonimmigrants Who Are Nationals of a Country of Concern
  • Other Lawful Permanent Residents and Nonimmigrants
  • Visa Waiver Program Travelers
  • Global Entry Members
  • U.S. Citizens
  • Impact of Entry Ban on USCIS Adjudications
  • Duration and Scope of the Entry Ban

You can find the full article here: http://bit.ly/2kYPzwh

Q&A with Immigration Attorneys

We have scheduled two question-and-answer sessions with our immigration attorneys:

  • Session 1: Friday, February 10 from 10:00AM – 11:30AM in CB2 106
  • Session 2: Friday, February 10 from 12:00AM – 1:30PM in HPA1 119

If you have a question that you would like addressed at the upcoming session, please submit it here: http://bit.ly/2kbdYkv

Last Updated: 02/02/2017 – 2:10PM

We continue to closely monitor immigration actions and have some preliminary information to share, as it relates to F, J, and H-1b visa holders.

UCF’s immigration attorneys, Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, have published the following information regarding the Executive Order that Suspends Entry to Foreign Nationals from Seven Countries:

Executive Summary
An entry ban remains in place for certain foreign nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen. The U.S. government has provided further guidance on implementation of the order, but the current travel situation remains fluid.


The article covers the following topics:

  • Who is Subject to the Ban?
  • Lawful Permanent Residents Who Are Nationals of a Country of Concern
  • Nonimmigrants Who Are Nationals of a Country of Concern
  • Other Lawful Permanent Residents and Nonimmigrants
  • U.S. Citizens
  • Impact of Entry Ban on USCIS Adjudications
  • Duration and Scope of the Entry Ban

You can find the full article here: http://bit.ly/2kqlCI5

Q&A with Immigration Attorneys

We have scheduled two question-and-answer sessions with our immigration attorneys:

  • Session 1: Friday, February 10 from 10:00AM – 11:30AM in CB2 106
  • Session 2: Friday, February 10 from 12:00AM – 1:30PM in HPA1 119

If you have a question that you would like addressed at the upcoming session, please submit it here: http://bit.ly/2kbdYkv

Last Updated: 02/01/2017 – 8:15AM

We continue to closely monitor immigration actions and have some preliminary information to share, as it relates to F, J, and H-1b visa holders.

UCF’s immigration attorneys, Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, have published the following information regarding the Executive Order that Suspends Entry to Foreign Nationals from Seven Countries:

Executive Summary
An entry ban remains in place for certain foreign nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen.  The U.S. government has provided some limited guidance on implementation of the order, but the current travel situation remains fluid.


The article covers the following topics:

  • Who is Subject to the Ban?
  • Lawful Permanent Residents Who Are Nationals of a Country of Concern
  • Nonimmigrants Who Are Nationals of a Country of Concern
  • Other Lawful Permanent Residents and Nonimmigrants
  • U.S. Citizens
  • Impact of Entry Ban on USCIS Adjudications
  • Duration and Scope of the Entry Ban

You can find the full article here: http://bit.ly/2kLTnEv

Q&A with Immigration Attorneys

We have scheduled two question-and-answer sessions with our immigration attorneys:

  • Session 1: Friday, February 10 from 10:00AM – 11:30AM in CB2 106
  • Session 2: Friday, February 10 from 12:00AM – 1:30PM in HPA1 119

If you have a question that you would like addressed at the upcoming session, please submit it here: http://bit.ly/2kbdYkv

UCF’s Position on White House Executive Order

President John C. Hitt has sent the following message to the campus community today:
https://today.ucf.edu/ucfs-position-white-house-executive-order/

Last Updated: 1/30/2017 – 8:00PM

We continue to closely monitor immigration actions and have some preliminary information to share, as it relates to F, J, and H-1b visa holders.

UCF’s immigration attorneys, Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, have published the following information regarding the Executive Order that Suspends Entry to Foreign Nationals from Seven Countries:

Executive Summary
Non-immigrants, immigrant visa holders and U.S. lawful permanent residents from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – including dual nationals in one of these countries and another foreign country – will not be permitted to enter the United States until at least April 27, 2017 and possibly longer, under an executive order that was signed today.


The article covers the following topics:

  • Who Is Subject to the Entry Ban?
  • Widespread Government Processing Delays Expected
  • What The Entry Ban Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals
  • Important Travel Considerations for Foreign Nationals

You can find the full article here: http://bit.ly/2kc8x4T

During times of uncertainty, it is important to know that you are not alone or isolated in your concern. Know that we stand with you. We value, respect, and appreciate the many contributions that our international students, scholars, and professionals bring to our UCF community. We are a stronger community because of you, and we believe in the values of diversity, inclusion, and community that make UCF a place where everyone can thrive.

UCF students are reminded that free and confidential counseling services are available through UCF Counseling and Physiological Services (CAPS): http://caps.sdes.ucf.edu
Other members of the international community can refer to the Community Provider Database to locate counseling services: https://cpd.sdes.ucf.edu

Additionally, we have scheduled two question-and-answer sessions with our immigration attorneys:

  • Session 1: Friday, February 10 from 10:00AM – 11:30AM in CB2 106
  • Session 2: Friday, February 10 from 12:00AM – 1:30PM in HPA1 119

If you have a question that you would like addressed at the upcoming session, please submit it here: http://bit.ly/2kbdYkv
UCF Global is here to support you, and we will continue to update you as further information becomes available.

Last Updated: 1/30/2017 – 3:25PM