As always, it is important to maintain your legal nonimmigrant status in the United States and to avoid committing criminal offenses. Please be certain to pay extra attention to communications from the International Center regarding your status. Have questions? Remember you can find status maintenance regulations on page 3 of your I-20. Please contact us via email (UND.internationalstudentadv@UND.edu) or phone (701.777.4231).
The University of North Dakota welcomes applications from all qualified prospective students. Full consideration will be given to all applicants, regardless of nationality. The University of North Dakota does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, ethnicity, religion, national origin, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, sex, marital status, disability, or status as a U.S. veteran.
September 24, 2017 - New Travel Restrictions
New travel restrictions were signed stating a belief that certain countries are unable to sufficiently vet their citizens. The countries with security procedures deemed insufficient are:
- Chad (no immigrant visas or -1/B-2 visas will be issued)
- Iran (no visas will be issued except F, M & J)
- Libya (no immigrant visas or B-1/B-2 visas will be issued)
- North Korea (no visas will be issued at all for North Korean nationals)
- Somalia (no visas will be issued at all for Somali nationals)
- Syria (no visas will be issued at all for Syrian nationals)
- Venezuela (no B-1/B2 visas and certain govt. official visas will be issued)
- Yemen (no immigrant visas or B-1/B-2 visas will be issued)
This means that students from all countries except North Korea, Somalia, and Syria are still eligible for F, M, and J visas. Students should consult travel.state.gov for more information.
June 29, 2017 - Officials clarify international students are not subject to the travel ban
Ties to a U.S. entity such as a college or university is considered to be a bona fide relationship to the United States, so long as the relationship is documented. Students applying for visas should not be affected. Students who currently hold valid visas should not be denied entry based on their nationality. Students should note that a visa is permission to apply to enter the United States. Customs and border officials still have the discretion to determine who may enter the United States.
June 26, 2017 - Supreme Court allows parts of travel ban to go into effect
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the travel ban may go into effect, except for those who have bona fide relationships in the United States.
May 25, 2017 - U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that President Trump’s travel ban should remain on hold
Courts have decided to continue suspension of the travel ban. This means it cannot be enforced at this time. Other courts have yet to rule on the ban.
May 8, 2017 Executive order goes before judges in Virginia
The Federal Appeals Court in Virginia will hear the case of the executive order, signed on March 6, 2017. The order has not been enforced pending the outcome of the court decision. Attorneys for the government and those opposed to the order will argue the case before a panel of judges. The case has been given priority, but it is unlikely that court will rule on May 8, 2017. A similar case will go before another Federal Appeals Court on May 15, 2017. The courts may choose to rule on the case, or they could choose to send the case to the Supreme Court.
March 15, 2017 Federal Judge in Hawaii issues restraining order for latest executive order
Like the restraining order issued on February 1, this order blocks the latest executive action until a court hearing determines whether or not it is legal. As of 6:42pm on March 15, the State Department has not yet issued a statement, however it is expected to comply with this restraining order is it did the previous one.
March 6, 2017 New Executive Order Signed to Take Effect March 16, 2017. January 27, 2017 Order to be Revoked
A new Executive Order was signed on March 6, 2017, that revokes the January 27, 2017 order and puts in place new provisions effective March 16, 2017. Read the text of the new Executive Order here: March 6, 2017 Executive Order The new order applies to citizens and nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen (note that Iraq has been removed) and temporarily suspends visa issuance for a period of 90 days from the effective date of March 16, 2017. Note also that those who have valid visas as of March 16, 2017, may continue to use them until they expire or the number of entries has been met. Permanent residents of the U.S. are not subject to the ban nor are dual nationals traveling on a passport from a country other than Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Some court cases have been filed against the newest order, but their effect is uncertain at this time. For additional information, please refer to the Q&A posted on the Department of Homeland Security Website here: Executive Order Q&A
Background information on Executive Order regarding immigration:
- On January 27, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order prohibiting for 90 days the issuance of visas or entry to the United States of persons from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The order also restricts the entry of refugees. The stated purpose for this action is to allow the U.S. government time to evaluate its current visa processes. At the end of the evaluation period, the government will make a decision to continue or lift the provisions of this Order. At this time, there have been no changes or restrictions made to immigration benefits such as CPT, OPT, H1B, or permanent resident (green card) applications filed by anyone from any country. Read the text of the Executive Order here: Executive Order January 27, 2017
- On February 4th, USCIS Acting Director Lori Scialabba issued a memo stating that President Trump's January 27, 2017 order does not affect USCIS adjudication of applications and petitions filed for or on behalf of individuals within the United States. The memo specifically notes that it will continue to "adjudicate applications and petitions filed for or on behalf of individuals in the United States regardless of their country of origin." Applications and petitions filed with USCIS include change of status, OPT, H-1B, Immigrant Petitions, and Adjustment of Status (green card) applications. Read the USCIS memo here: USCIS Statement
- Also on February 4, 2017 a federal court in Seattle entered a nationwide injunction banning the enforcement of the executive order on immigration. It is widely reported that US Customs and Border Protection officials have notified airlines to allow travel in the same manner as before the order was issued. The White House indicates that the injunction will be appealed. However, for the time being the travel ban will temporarily, at least, not be enforced.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a statement as follows: "In accordance with the judge's ruling, DHS has suspended any and all actions implementing the affected sections of the Executive Order entitled, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States." This includes actions to suspend passenger system rules that flag travelers for operational action subject to the Executive Order. DHS personnel will resume inspection of travelers in accordance with standard policy and procedure. At the earliest possible time, the Department of Justice intends to file an emergency stay of this order and defend the President's Executive Order, which is lawful and appropriate. The Order is intended to protect the homeland and the American people, and the President has no higher duty and responsibility than to do so." DHS Statement
- On March 6, 2017 The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied the government's request to restore the 90-day travel ban contained in the January 27, 2017 Executive Order. The District Court's temporary restraining order (TRO) remains in place and prevents the government from enforcing the 90-day ban on entry to the United States of refugees and persons from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. However, challenges to the TRO continue in court and the situation could change suddenly and without warning. Persons from the 7 affected countries are advised to carefully consider international travel plans accordingly.
There are no changes in immigration law or regulations affecting those maintaining legal nonimmigrant status at this time. If you are waiting for the government to decide on an application or petition that you have already submitted such as OPT, OPT STEM Extension, H-1B, or a green card, nothing has changed. Please see the message from USCIS below:
November 21, 2016 Message from USCIS to the Public:
Many USCIS customers have been contacting us with questions regarding current immigration programs and possible future immigration policies. We continue to process all applications, petitions, and requests consistent with current statutory laws, regulations, and policies. USCIS cannot comment on what sort of policies the incoming Administration may choose to prioritize or pursue. We remain focused on our mission to administer U.S. immigration laws and to provide a high level of service to our customers.
We encourage the public to be extra vigilant about immigration scams. Scammers take advantage of times of uncertainty. For information on protecting yourself and your loved ones, visit uscis.gov/avoidscams. Remember, the wrong help can hurt!
To check the status of a pending application, petition, or request, go to Case Status Online. You will need a receipt number. You can also call us at 1-800-375-5283 (TDD for deaf and hard of hearing: 1-800-767-1833) or make an appointment at a local field office at infopass.uscis.gov.
If you need general information about immigration benefits or current policies, you can “Ask Emma” at uscis.gov.
POTENTIAL CHANGES TO IMMIGRATION LAWS
Although you may be hearing that some immigration rules may change, nothing has changed at this time. Nothing can change before January 20, 2017, and even then any changes that could affect those who are maintaining legal nonimmigrant status in the U.S. will take time and must go through many processes. Pennsylvania State University Law School published the following six points that we want to share with you:
POINT ONE: The main statutory framework for immigration law remains the same today. Congress passed the Immigration and Nationality Act (The Act) in 1952 and this remains the framework for immigration law. The Act includes temporary (i.e., students, visitors) and permanent (i.e., family, employment) categories through which people may be admitted and specific grounds for removing (deporting) a person. The Act also describes various procedures for how a person is removed. Finally, the Act contains several forms of relief and protection for qualifying individuals, such as for those who fear persecution in their home country, who are victims of crime or who have lived in the United States for a long period of time with family ties. Inherent and contained in the Act is the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) authority to exercise prosecutorial discretion (i.e., decision to refrain from bringing immigration charges).
POINT TWO: Even if Congress has the authority to change the statute or fund certain enforcement actions (i.e., deportation, border wall), implementation may take years. To change or repeal a section of the Act would require an act of Congress. Employees of DHS and Department of Justice will continue to process and adjudicate applications and are required to follow these laws unless and until Congress passes new laws. If these laws are not followed, violations may be the subject of litigation in the courts.
POINT THREE: All current regulations for immigration remain the same today. A change or repeal to regulations published during President Obama’s Administration may require new regulations and a time period with written notice and comment from the public. This will take time. If a regulatory change does not require “notice and comment” the timeline could be quicker.
POINT FOUR: A new Administration has the authority to “revoke” or change immigration policies that were originally crafted by the Executive Branch without legislation or a regulation. These can happen more quickly than a change to the statute or regulation and may include DACA 2012 and related work authorization. (DACA 2012 is the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals special program for certain young people who entered the United States as children without documentation. It does not pertain to those in legal nonimmigrant status such as F-1, J-1, H-1B, etc.)
POINT FIVE: Though policy documents by a new Administration can be “revoked” the current Administration’s policies are still in effect and may be used by noncitizens until and unless a new President has modified or repealed these memos.
POINT SIX: Every noncitizen in the United States has rights and responsibilities. For more information, see: http://hrlibrary.umn.edu/edumat/studyguides/noncitizens.html
Remember that you are a welcome and valued member of the University of North Dakota community. If you have questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact us in the International Center. Please also be aware of the Student Support Resources available through the link in the left-hand menu.
PROCESS OF RULEMAKING AND U.S. IMMIGRATION LAWS
For a brief summary of how laws and regulations are made in the United States, please visit this site: http://www.berardiimmigrationlaw.com/immigration-blog/u-s-election-aftermath-review-u-s-political-system-laws-change/