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.
Berkeley International Office is currently awaiting more specific guidance on the implementation of this new phase of the Executive Order, and will provide additional information as it becomes available.
Who is directly impacted?
The Supreme Court opinion indicates the main impact will be to foreign nationals and refugees from the 6 countries applying for entry to the U.S. who DO NOT have a "bona fide relationship with a U.S person or entity." The Supreme Court specifies that for personal relationships to qualify, “a close familial relationship is required”. For entities, the Supreme Court states that the relationship must be “formal, documented, and formed in the ordinary course, rather than for the purpose of evading EO-2 [Executive Order 13780].”
Are students, scholars and employees exempt from the new suspension of entry?
The Supreme Court specifically lists examples of "qualifying relationships", including students admitted to a U.S. University for study, workers with an offer of employment from an U.S. company, and lecturers invited to address an U.S. audience. We continue to wait for additional information regarding implementation of new travel rules. For now, BIO continues to advise individuals to minimize non-essential travel due to the rapidly shifting immigration policy.
For further details about the decision and the university system's response, please see the University of California's Updated guidance on executive order restricting travel and entry into the United States by individuals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen (‘Designated Countries’)