IMMIGRATION POLICY UPDATES & FAQs

(Updated: 2/14/2017; 4:30 PM PST)

The UC San Diego International Students (ISPO) & Programs Office and International Faculty & Scholars Office (IFSO) recognize that recent changes in immigration policy may raise questions and concerns in our international community. This page provides information and support resources to the UC San Diego community.

2/13/2017 UPDATE:  Reports of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducting raids on the UC San Diego campus over the last week are unsubstantiated and unconfirmed.  We are closely monitoring the situation and if you witness or hear of any such activity on campus please contact the International Students & Programs Office for student issues or International Faculty & Scholar Office for faculty and scholar issues.

2/9/2017 UPDATE: On February 9, 2017 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the government's emergency motion for a stay on the District Court's temporary restraining order preventing the government from enforcing Executive Order's 90-day entry bar of "immigrants and nonimmigrants" from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen and the 120-day suspension of admission of refugees to the United States. All U.S. land and air ports of entry are prohibited from enforcing the travel ban until further determination.

US Government Agency Updates

  • 2/4/2017 UPDATE: US Department of State (DOS): DOS has confirmed that assuming there are no other issues in the case, provisionally revoked visas have been reversed and are once again valid for travel. Accordingly, U.S. embassies and consulates will resume scheduling visa appointments.
  • 2/4/2017 UPDATE: US Customs & Border Protection (CBP): All CBP Field Offices have been instructed to immediately resume inspection of travelers under standard policies and procedures. All airlines and terminal operators have been notified to permit boarding of all passengers without regard to nationality.
  • 2/3/2017 UPDATE: US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS): USCIS continues to adjudicate applications and petitions filed for or on behalf of individuals in the U.S. regardless of their country of origin, and applications and petitions of lawful permanent residents outside the U.S.

Please be aware that the situation could change rapidly. Please meet with an ISPO or IFSO Advisor if you have any questions and consult legal counsel when needed. Should additional updates be made, ISPO and IFSO will provide information and updates as they are available on this website and through email communication.


Background

UPDATE: 2/3/2017: On February 3, 2017, the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington issued a temporary restraining order, prohibiting the U.S. government from enforcing the 90-day travel ban on “immigrants and nonimmigrants” from designated countries and the 120-day ban on U.S. refugee program of the January 27, 2017 Executive Order on a nationwide basis. All U.S. land and air ports of entry are prohibited from enforcing these portions of the Executive Order until further order from the court.

UPDATE: 1/27/2017: On January 27, 2017, President Trump issued “Executive Order: Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”. It contains provisions that directly affect our student and scholar populations, along with the departments and units who host them. For example, the Executive Order suspends visas, entry, and immigration benefits for individuals from Libya, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen (i.e. nationals of these countries, including those who were born in or are permanent residents of these countries, or are dual nationals). In addition, the increased screening procedures outlined in the Executive Order, will likely have an impact on travel and possibly the adjudication of US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) benefits for individuals with immigrant and non-immigrant status in the USA.

More information

      1. How are laws made in the United States?

      Changes in laws or regulations take time and will have advance warning. However, changes in policy or guidance and executive orders may happen more quickly and may take effect immediately. ISPO and IFSO will continue to monitor any decisions impacting our student and scholar populations, and will provide updated information through this website and via email. 

      NAFSA: International Association of International Educators offers an excellent summary of the U.S. immigration system, government agencies and the process of change on their Practical Immigration Concepts in a Time of Change webpage. More detailed information can also be found in the following sources (from full resource list at NAFSA.org):

      2. What are the current Executive Orders?

      On January 27, 2017, President Trump issued “Executive Order: Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”. It contains provisions that directly affect our student and scholar populations, along with the departments and units who host them. For example, the Executive Order suspends visas, entry, and immigration benefits from Libya, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. In addition, the increased screening procedures outlined in the Executive Order, will likely have an impact on travel and possibly the adjudication of US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) benefits for individuals with immigrant and non-immigrant status in the USA.

      UPDATE: 2/9/2017: On February 9, 2017 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the government's emergency motion for a stay on the District Court's temporary restraining order preventing the government from enforcing Executive Order's 90-day entry bar of "immigrants and nonimmigrants" from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen and the 120-day suspension of admission of refugees to the United States. All U.S. land and air ports of entry are prohibited from enforcing the travel ban until further determination.

      US Government Agency Updates

      • 2/4/2017 UPDATE: US Department of State (DOS): DOS has confirmed that assuming there are no other issues in the case, provisionally revoked visas have been reversed and are once again valid for travel. Accordingly, U.S. embassies and consulates will resume scheduling visa appointments.
      • 2/4/2017 UPDATE: US Customs & Border Protection (CBP): All CBP Field Offices have been instructed to immediately resume inspection of travelers under standard policies and procedures. All airlines and terminal operators have been notified to permit boarding of all passengers without regard to nationality.
      • 2/3/2017 UPDATE: US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS): USCIS continues to adjudicate applications and petitions filed for or on behalf of individuals in the U.S. regardless of their country of origin, and applications and petitions of lawful permanent residents outside the U.S.

      Please be aware that the situation could change rapidly. Please meet with an ISPO or IFSO Advisor if you have any questions and consult legal counsel when needed. Should additional updates be made, ISPO and IFSO will provide information and updates as they are available on this website and through email communication.

      3. Can I travel outside the US? Can I get my visa renewed? I am a citizen of X country- am I allowed to travel?

      On January 27, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order entitled Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Entry into the United States by Foreign Nationals. Under Section 3(c) of that Executive Order, entry into the United States of "immigrants and nonimmigrants" from at least 7 countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen) has been suspended for 90 days from the date the Executive Order was signed, "except for those traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas."

      UPDATE: 2/9/2017: On February 9, 2017 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the government's emergency motion for a stay on the District Court's temporary restraining order preventing the government from enforcing Executive Order's 90-day entry bar of "immigrants and nonimmigrants" from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen and the 120-day suspension of admission of refugees to the United States. All U.S. land and air ports of entry are prohibited from enforcing the travel ban until further determination.

      US Government Agency Updates

      • 2/4/2017 UPDATE: US Department of State (DOS): DOS has confirmed that assuming there are no other issues in the case, provisionally revoked visas have been reversed and are once again valid for travel. Accordingly, U.S. embassies and consulates will resume scheduling visa appointments.
      • 2/4/2017 UPDATE: US Customs & Border Protection (CBP): All CBP Field Offices have been instructed to immediately resume inspection of travelers under standard policies and procedures. All airlines and terminal operators have been notified to permit boarding of all passengers without regard to nationality.
      • 2/3/2017 UPDATE: US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS): USCIS continues to adjudicate applications and petitions filed for or on behalf of individuals in the U.S. regardless of their country of origin, and applications and petitions of lawful permanent residents outside the U.S.

       

      Travel Advisory

      Because changes can happen rapidly, ISPO and IFSO continue to conservatively recommend that UC community members from the designated countries (i.e. nationals of these countries, including those who were born in or are permanent residents of these countries, or are dual nationals) who hold a visa to enter the United States or who are lawful permanent residents postpone travel outside of the United States. If you decide to travel, please plan for possible delays at the port of entry. You may need to include an additional 60-90 minutes to your normal travel time.

      • UPDATE 02/9/2017: DUAL NATIONALS
        Dual passport holders and dual nationals choosing to travel should consult an IFSO/ISPO advisor and an experienced immigration attorney before traveling. US Customs & Border Protection indicates the EO does apply to dual national, but that they will be "treated according to the travel document they present." In light of ongoing disparities in implementation and increased scrutiny at various US ports of entries, we continue to advise dual passport holders and dual nationals to postpone non-essential international travel during this period.
      • UPDATE 02/9/2017: LEGAL PERMANENT RESIDENTS
        Department of Homeland Security released a fact sheet on January 29, 2017 invoking an exception to the entry ban for Lawful Permanent Residents (also known as green card holders) of the United States travelling on a valid I-551 (commonly called green card).  Lawful Permanent Residents will be assessed at arrival ports of entry, and will be permitted entry subject to security checks. In light of ongoing disparities in implementation and increased scrutiny at various US ports of entries, we continue to advise legal permanent residents to postpone non-essential international travel during this period.
      • UPDATE 2/9/2017: VISA RENEWAL
        U.S. embassies and consulates will resume scheduling visa appointments. However, be prepared for possible longer administrative processing times. Allow at least 6-8 weeks to schedule appointment, meet with consular officer, administrative processing time, and visa approval. Plan accordingly by reviewing the US State Department visa appointment and wait times.

      In addition, until we have further information as to how each directive will be implemented, it is more important than ever that each person carry documentation of their valid status (passport, I-20/DS-2019, and I-94 document) at all times and abide by all laws of the United States.

      Please consult with an ISPO or IFSO advisor if you have any questions.

      4. If I am stopped, will immigration officers (CBP or ICE) accept my student ID and/or driver’s license as appropriate documentation?

      The US Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 requires foreign nationals to carry appropriate immigration-related documentation at all times. Appropriate documentation includes a valid passport, I-94 Non-immigrant Arrival/Departure Record, and for those persons in F or J status, the I-20 or DS-2019 form. Be prepared to present these documents especially when going through airports, train stations, checkpoints, border crossings, and other transportation hubs.

      5. Will I still have / OPT/ STEM/J-1 Student Academic Training available when I graduate? Will the H1-B program be cancelled? Will the Fulbright program or the J visa program disappear? Will the J-1 2-Year Home Residency Requirement significantly change?

      Current regulations remain in place, until any changes the new administration chooses to make. ISPO will continue to accept and process applications for OPT, STEM OPT, Change of Status, and Reinstatement. IFSO will continue to process J-1 scholar, H-1B, O-1, and LPR requests. However, changes in policy or guidance and executive orders may happen more quickly and may take effect immediately. ISPO and IFSO will continue to monitor any decisions impacting our student and scholar populations, and will provide updated information as it is available through this website and via email. 

      More Information

      6. Will my country of citizenship be a factor in my admission to UC San Diego?

      7. Can my family members from the affected countries attend my commencement ceremony in June?

      UPDATE: 2/9/2017: On February 9, 2017 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the government's emergency motion for a stay on the District Court's temporary restraining order preventing the government from enforcing Executive Order's 90-day entry bar of "immigrants and nonimmigrants" from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen and the 120-day suspension of admission of refugees to the United States. All U.S. land and air ports of entry are prohibited from enforcing the travel ban until further determination.

      U.S. embassies and consulates will resume scheduling visa appointments. However, be prepared for possible longer administrative processing times. Allow at least 6-8 weeks to schedule appointment, meet with consular officer, administrative processing time, and visa approval. Plan accordingly by reviewing the US State Department visa appointment and wait times.

      Please be aware that the situation could change rapidly. Please consult an ISPO or IFSO advisor.

      Students can request an invitation letter for their immediate family members to attend their commencement ceremony. Please submit to ISPO and allow 5 business days for processing

      8. What things could jeopardize my status? Should I participate in protests or demonstrations? What are my rights?

      At any time, it is important to avoid any violations of your F-1 or J-1 status. In addition to enrollment requirements, address reporting, or employment restrictions individuals in non-immigrant status are expected to refrain from breaking any U.S. state or federal laws.

      Please think carefully before engaging in protest activities, as arrests can seriously impact immigration status or future visa applications.

      Arrests or convictions that involve violence, drugs or alcohol can have serious or long-lasting impact on current or future immigration status. Be aware that while marijuana use is legal in many U.S. states, it remains illegal at the federal level and use constitutes a violation of federal law. Use of marijuana, or alcohol/drug-related DUI arrests or convictions can lead to severe immigration consequences ranging from fines, visa cancellation to deportation.

      If you are arrested or have any legal concerns, please contact ISPO or IFSO immediately. In such cases, we urge you to retain immigration legal counsel to advise you as to next steps and possible consequences.

      Additional tips for interacting with US law enforcement and understanding your rights is available with the American Civil Liberties Union:

      9. Can I extend my program of study?

      If you need additional time to complete your program of study at UC San Diego, you will need to identify an academic or medical reason for the extension.

      • Undergraduate Students: Please meet with your College advisor regarding questions about general requirements. Meet with your department advisor regarding questions about major/minor requirements.
      • Graduate Students: Please meet with your Faculty Advisor and Graduate Coordinator regarding questions about time limits, available funding, and reasons impacting your expected completion date.

      10. What should I do if I am approached by a government officer?

       Some individuals may be contacted by government officers or representatives to meet in a public location so they can discuss your current immigration status. In general, this does not have a negative impact on your status. Please meet with an ISPO or IFSO advisor if you have any questions or concerns about these inquiries.

      Additional tips for interacting with US law enforcement and understanding your rights is available with the American Civil Liberties Union:

      11. How long will the Executive Order remain in effect?

      The executive order was supposed to be in effect for the next 90 days, until Thursday, April 27, 2017. All refugee admissions from the affected countries (with the exception of Syria) were in effect until Saturday, May 27, 2017.

      UPDATE: 2/9/2017: On February 9, 2017 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the government's emergency motion for a stay on the District Court's temporary restraining order preventing the government from enforcing Executive Order's 90-day entry bar of "immigrants and nonimmigrants" from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen and the 120-day suspension of admission of refugees to the United States. All U.S. land and air ports of entry are prohibited from enforcing these portions of the Executive Order until further determination.

      12. Where can Undocumented Students find support?

      13. What is ISPO and IFSO doing to advocate for international students and scholars?

      ISPO and IFSO advocates for our international students and scholars on a campus and community level by continuing to provide education, training, and advising for campus partners and stakeholders regarding the complex issues facing our student and scholar population.

      ISPO and IFSO also work in partnership with the campus administration and the University of California's Office of Federal Governmental Relations to advocate for regulations and policies supportive of our international community. Additionally, ISPO and IFSO work for advocacy through our membership in NAFSA: Association of International Educators, the world's largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education and exchange.

      14. Where can I find support if I have immigration concerns or questions? Where can I find support for stress and anxiety?

      Please visit ISPO or IFSO with any immigration concerns or questions. Our advisers provide a welcoming, safe environment to discuss concerns you may have related to your visa status, as well as explore options and benefits available for your current or future plans. For complex issues beyond our scope, we can assist you in a referral to an immigration attorney.

      Additional Campus Resources

      Enrolled UC San Diego students can access resources through Counseling and Psychological Services, including individual confidential counseling appointments, groups, self-help tools, and more. UC San Diego employees and Visiting Scholars or postdocs can find support through the Faculty & Staff Assistance Program which provides free, confidential counseling and referrals.

      15. What can I do now to make sure my record and documents are valid?

      It is important to review your documents for accuracy and be aware of expiration dates.

      • Make sure the spelling of your first and last name match on your passport, visa, and I-20/DS-2019.
      • Check your passport expiration date. Make sure it is valid during your stay in the U.S. Apply for a new passport with your embassy or consulate when needed.
      • Check your visa expiration date. Make sure that your visa is valid before reentering the U.S. If it is expired, you will need to apply for a new visa. Remember: A visa is an entry permit into the U.S. It does not determine whether you can stay or work.
      • Print your current I-94 from the Customs & Border Protection website.
      • Make sure the major/field of study on your I-20/DS-2019 reflects your current information. If it is different, request a new I-20/DS-2019 as soon as possible.
      • Make sure the program end date on your I-20/DS-2019 has not expired. Request an I-20/DS-2019 extension at least 2-3 weeks before the expiration date.
      • Update/enter your local address, phone number, email address, and emergency contact information.
        • Students: Update your record via TritonLink.
        • Faculty & Researchers: Notify IFSO.
        • Individuals on OPT/STEM OPT/Academic Training should submit their employment verification forms, local address, phone number, and email address to iemployment@ucsd.edu

      If you have any questions, please contact your ISPO or IFSO advisor.

      16. What can I do for a student or scholar who might be affected by an Executive Order?

      • Gather as many facts about the situation as possible, within the scope of your authority as an employee of your institution.
      • Identify what you might be able to do within the scope of your role at your institution, and refer individuals with issues, questions, or concerns that are beyond the scope of your role or ability to appropriate helpers.
      • Consult with an advisor in the International Students & Programs Office regarding international student issues and an advisor in the International Faculty & Scholar Office regarding international faculty and researcher issues.
      • Remember that you cannot dispense legal advice. Know when to encourage someone to seek legal advice from an experienced attorney.
      • Notify stakeholders on your campus about the situation, through your normal supervisory chain

      17. How do I contact the International Students & Programs Office (ISPO) or International Faculty & Scholars Office (IFSO)?

      • ISPO Advisers for students: Walk-In Advising on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 9am-12pm & 1:00-4:00pm. Contact istudents@ucsd.edu or 858-534-3730.
      • IFSO Advisers for faculty and researchers: Monday-Friday from 9am-4pm. Contact ischolars@ucsd.edu or 858-822-246-1448 to schedule an appointment.