Berkeley International Office recognizes that the change in administration may raise many questions and concerns for our students, scholars, and employees. The transition to a new administration brings with it changes in leadership within government departments and agencies, and the possibility for changes in policy or regulations. BIO has developed this FAQ to provide information and support resources to UC Berkeley students and scholars. Please feel free to contact your BIO Advisers with questions or concerns, or to be redirected to resources that best support your needs.
JANUARY 27, 2017 Executive Order: Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States
On January 27, 2017 President Trump issued an Executive Order entitled Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States. This Executive Order contains provisions that directly affect our student and scholar populations, along with the departments who host them. In particular, the Order suspends visas, entry and immigration benefits to individuals on both Immigrant* or Non-Immigrant Visas from Libya, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen (ie. Nationals of these countries, or including those who were born in or are permanent residents of these countries, or are dual nationals**.) Additionally, effects of the Executive Order's increased screening procedures will likely have an impact on travel and possibly adjudication of USCIS benefits for many immigrant or non-immigrant visa holders.
UPDATE 02/09/2017 TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER ON EXECUTIVE ORDER
EMERGENCY STAY OF TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER DENIED (BAN REMAINS LIFTED) On Feb 9, 2017 the Ninth Court of Appeals DENIED the Federal Government's request for an emergency stay of the Temporary Restraining Order- meaning the travel ban remains lifted until a new decision, possibly by the Supreme Court. The decision and other documents regarding the litigation are available on the Ninth Court of Appeals website.
TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER- On February 3, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington in Seattle granted a temporary restraining order (TRO) that temporarily prohibits the Federal government from enforcing Section 3(c) of Executive Order 13769, the provision establishing the 90-day ban on entry of "immigrants and nonimmigrants" from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The TRO also temporarily reverses the decision to revoke visas of individuals subject to the ban.
GOVERNMENT APPEAL- On Feb 4, 2017 the Trump Adminstration appealed the TRO, requesting an immediate administrative stay to maintain the TRO while the appeal decision was pending. The immediate stay was denied by the Ninth Court of Appeals, but they will continue considering an emergency stay. The Ninth Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on the government's request for an emergency stay on Feb 7, 2017.
Customs & Border Protection has updated their Executive Order FAQ to reflect new language regarding the TRO.
Because the current situation is changing moment-to-moment, BIO urges extreme caution for individuals from the 7 countries choosing to travel. Read NAFSA's updated Travel Advisory for more detail. Travelers should check with airports to ensure boarding will be allowed. Keep in mind the restaining order is a temporary measure, and subject to change. The. U.S. government continuesto work quickly to challenge the restraining order.
UPDATES 02/03/2017: 1) VISA REVOCATIONS & 2) USCIS PROCESSING CONTINUING
Visa Revocations- On January 27, 2017 DHS also issued a provisional revocation of all valid nonimmigrant and immigrant visas for individuals of the affected countries, without notifcation to impacted individuals. The general impact of a provisional visa revocation is that the individual can no longer use the revoked visa to enter the US. Those currently in the US when the visa is revoked should continue to maintain all terms and conditions of the current immigration status. See NAFSA's Updated Travel Advisory and their thorough Visa Revocation Basics to understand the implications of visa revocation in more detail.
USCIS Processing Continues- USCIS issued a statement on 02/03/2017 that they will continue "to adjudicate applications and petitions filed for or on behalf of individuals inn the United States regardless of their country of origin, and applications and petitions of lawful permanent residents outside the U.S. USCIS also continues to adjudicate applications and petitions for individuals outside the U.S. whose approval does not directly confer travel authorization. Applications to adjust status also continue to be adjudicated, according to existing policies and procedures, for applicants who are nationals of countries designated in the Jan. 27, 2017, Executive Order..."
UPDATE 02/01/2017: **DUAL NATIONALS
Dual passport holders and dual nationals choosing to travel should consult a BIO advisor an experienced immigration attorney before traveling. Customs & Border Protection indicates the EO does apply to dual national, but that they will be "treated according to the travel document they present."
UPDATE 01/29/2017: *IMMIGRANTS
Department of Homeland Security released a fact sheet on January 29, 2017 invoking an exception to the entry ban for Lawful Permanent Residents (AKA: 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.
1. How will the results of the election affect my F-1/J-1 status?
The change in administration has no immediate impact on the immigration status of those currently in the United States. Current regulations remain in place, until any changes the new administration chooses to make. Be aware that 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. BIO 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.
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):
- How Laws are Made and Presidential Executive Orders available on the USA.gov website
- The Legislative Process available on the Congress.gov website
- Series of videos describing the legislative process available on the Congress.gov website
- Guide to the Rulemaking Process by the Office of the Federal Register
2. Can I travel outside the US? Can I get my visa renewed? I am a citizen of X country- am I allowed to travel?
For the near future, Berkeley International Office recommends minimizing international travel due to the changing nature of the new administration's policies on visas and U.S. entry. Should you have concerns about immediate or essential international travel or visa renewal, contact BIO to consult an advisor.
See above for current updates and travel information regarding the January 27, 2017 Executive Order entitled Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.
See Customs and Border Protection's Executive Order webpage & FAQ, which addresses traveler questions specific to the rule. Individuals who may be affected by this Executive Order may visit the CBP INFO Center website for additional information. On the webpage, travelers may also request additional guidance by clicking on the ‘Email us your Question' button.
3. How will the results of the election impact students from certain affected areas of the world or student/scholars in particular religious groups?
4. 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?
At this time, there is no information regarding what actual changes we will see in the future for any particular visa category. Current regulations remain in place, until any changes the new administration chooses to make. Be aware that changes in laws or regulations take time and will have advance warning.
Changes in policy or guidance and executive orders may happen more quickly and may take effect immediately. BIO 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.
5. What is Berkeley International Office doing to advocate for international students?
BIO 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.
On a national level, BIO works in partnership with the UC Berkeley Government and Community Relations team and the University of California's Office of Federal Governmental Relations to advocate for regulations and policies supportive of our international community. Additionally, BIO works for advocacy through our membership in NAFSA: Association of International Educators, the world's largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education and exchange.
6. Where can I find support if I have immigration or concerns? Support for anxiety or stress?
Please visit BIO with any F-1/J-1 immigration concerns or questions. Our Advisers provide a welcoming, safe environment to explore any worries you may have related to your visa status, as well as explore options and benefits available your current or future plans. For complex issues beyond our scope, we can assist you in finding a referral for an immigration attorney.
Enrolled UC Berkeley and EAP students can access resources through Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS), including individual confidential counseling appointments, groups, self-help tools, and more. Here are some options for accessing support from CPS:
- Drop-in is crisis counseling is available 10am – 5pm Mon – Friday. No cost and no need for an appointment
- Make an appointment with a counselor by calling 642-9494. Let us know if you would like to meet with a specific counselor or counselor from a particular background
- Drop-in consultation is available at satellite locations, For a schedule visit https://uhs.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/letstalk.pdf
- Support during weekends and evenings (when CPS is closed) – Call 855-817-5667
UC Berkeley employees and Visiting Scholars or postdocs can find support through the Employee Assistance Program which provides free, confidential counseling and referrals. You can also contact Employee Assistance at 643-7754 with questions or to make an appointment.
CPS has published this list of resources for Psychological Support Regarding Federal Executive Orders.
7. Where can Undocumented Students find support? What advocacy efforts are being made in support of DACA?
The Undocumented Students Program provides a wealth of information, legal support and resources and has been updated with FAQs and planning for post-election issues, inclduing summaries of all current Executive Orders. University of California President Janet Napolitano joined California State University Chancellor Timothy White and Eloy Ortiz Oakley, chancellor-designate of the California Community College System, in calling upon President Trump to continue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and allow California Dreamers to continue to pursue their education in the United States.
NAFSA's Deferred Action for Chilhood Arrivals resource page provides detailed tracking the current state of issues for DACA.
8. What can I do if I or someone I know is target of, or witness to, a hate crime or hate-motivated act? Where can I report an incident of harassment or violence?
9. What are my rights and how can I protect myself? How can I help other students, scholars, or employees?
The American Civil Liberties Union has a series of Know Your Rights resources available on topics of immigration status, being stopped by police, attending demonstrations/protests, and anti-Muslim discrimination. The Know Your Rights When Encountering Law Enforcement pamphet offers specific advice about airports and ports of entry.
Counseling and Psychological Services Look for the Signs website can help you to support students or scholars in distress. Violence Prevention & Bystander Intervention Initiatives in the Dean of Student's Office offers a range of opportunities to educate and empower members of the Cal community to prevent harm and violence in all of its forms
10. What things could currently jeopardize my status?
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. (The American Civil Liberties Union has a series of Know Your Rights resources available including being stopped by police, and attending demonstrations/protests.) 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.
Also 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 due can lead to severe immigration consequences ranging from fines, visa cancellation to deportation.
If you are arrested or have any legal concerns, please contact Berkeley International Office immediately. In such cases, we urge you to retain immigration legal counsel to advise you as to next steps and possible consequences. UC Berkeley Student Legal Services provides legal resources related to California law for enrolled students, but cannot advise on immigration issues. BIO can provide you with immigration legal referrals.
BIO Student Advisers are available for Drop-In Advising hours Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 10am-12pm & 1:00-4:00pm. Advising for J-1 Visiting Scholars, Professors, Researchers and Student Researchers is available by appointment only, by calling (510) 642-2818.