On Wednesday, January 20, 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order entitled, “Ending Discriminatory Bans on Entry to The United States," which revoked previous Executive Orders that prevented certain individuals from entering the United States.
CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: Effective Monday, March 2nd at 5 p.m. eastern standard time, the U.S. government will deny the entry into the U.S. of any foreign national (except immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents) who were physically present within the Islamic Republic of Iran within the last 14 days. This proclamation does not apply to persons aboard a flight scheduled to arrive in the United States that departed prior to 5:00 p.m. eastern standard time on March 2, 2020.
CORONAVIRUS UPDATE:Effective Sunday, February 2nd at 5 p.m. eastern standard time, the U.S. government will deny the entry into the U.S. of any foreign national (except immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents) who has traveled in China within the last 14 days (excluding the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau).
On January 31, 2020 President Trump issued a Presidential Proclamation entitled Proclamation on Improving Enhanced Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry to take effect on February 21, 2020. This Presidential Proclamation restricts entry on immigrant visas for citizens and nationals of Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria and entry as Diversity Immigrants for citizens and nationals of Sudan and Tanzania. Note that this DOES NOT include F or J student or scholar visa categories.
On May 3, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina issued a nationwide preliminary injunction that temporarily prevents the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from enforcing the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) August 8, 2018 policy memo that changed how days of unlawful presence are counted following F or J non-immigrant status violations. Due to the prelimiary injunction, DHS is temporaily restricted from enforcing the new unlawful presence policy while the case is being resolved. The Court has set an expedited briefing schedule to file briefs and cross-motions for summary judgment by the end of May 2019.
For more detailed information, see NAFSA's summary of the Unlawful Presence policy and ongoing litigation
A Presidential Proclamation on April 10, 2018 , has removed Chad from the Travel Ban list effective April 13, 2018 due to a Department of Homeland Security review which found that "that Chad has made marked improvements in its identity-management and information-sharing practices."
Preliminary injunctions from U.S. District Courts in Hawaii and Maryland continue to block enforcement of travel bans for nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia, but leaves in place the Proclamation's bars on Venezuela and North Korea. The U.S. government is expected to continue appeals. See NAFSA's Entry Ban Litigation Updates for more information.
On September 24, 2017, President Trump issued a Presidential Proclamation entitled Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats (click here for BIO's detailed summary) . This Proclamation partially or fully restricts entry into the United States for nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen and Somalia. The proclamation contains specific provisions for each impacted country, as summarized below. The new restrictions established by the proclamation take effect October 18, 2017.
A June 28 U.S. Department of State cable provides guidance for consular officers regarding implementation of Executive Order 13780 (E.O.) in visa issuance and exemptions from the suspension of entry. Notably, the cable seems to indicate that F-1, J-1, H1-B, TN, O-1, and Permanent Residents would appear to be exempt from the travel ban.
On June 26, 2017 The Supreme Court of the United States granted the U.S. government’s request for a stay of the previous lower court preliminary injunctions to the Executive Order 13780 “Travel Ban.” The Supreme Court will hear the final case in October 2017. The current Supreme Court decision upholds the travel ban for nationals or citizens of the 6 designated countries of Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen- but creates an important exception for “foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States” which appears to include UC Berkeley students, scholars, and employees.
On March 29, 2017, the U.S. District Court in Hawai'i converted its March 15, 2017 temporary restraining order (valid for a maximum of 14 days), into a preliminary injunction, which continues to block enforcement of all of Sections 2 and 6.
On March 17, 2017, the U.S. Dept. of State issued cables to all diplomatic and consular posts providing instructions for increased scrutiny for visa applicants. Individuals subject to these security clearances can expect extremely long visa processing times ranging from 2-6 months or more.
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 for 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.
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.