On January 27, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order making major changes to U.S. policies on refugees and immigration. This executive order includes procedural changes affecting immigrants and non-immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

An executive order signed by the President instructs U.S. government agencies on how to carry out specific policies and procedures. It will take some time to find out exactly how this order will be interpreted and implemented by agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State, as lawsuits have been filed challenging the provisions of the executive order. Below is a brief summary of the parts of the order that could impact those from the countries listed above:

  • Visa issuance has been suspended for individuals from the countries listed above. The length of the suspension will depend on future decisions to be made by the President and other government officials in the coming weeks.
  • Admission to the U.S. has been suspended for 90 days for individuals from the countries listed above, even for those with valid U.S. visas. This suspension is also subject to possible extension.

Because of the aforementioned points, we offer the following advice:

  1. Students and scholars from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen who are currently in the United States should postpone any international travel. Until the visa and admission provisions of the executive order are lifted, departing the U.S. could make it impossible to return.
  2. Students and scholars intending to enter the U.S. should wait until visa and admission restrictions are lifted. Students who are currently outside of the U.S. should contact their USC advisor to inform them of their situation.
  3. Dual passport holders, U.S. permanent residents and those born in the countries listed above should also consider postponing international travel until the provisions of this executive order are clarified.
  4. If you absolutely must travel outside of the U.S., consult with an immigration attorney first. OIS will provide a list of immigration attorney referrals upon request.

The Office of International Services will keep you informed of any new developments regarding these issues over the coming weeks. OIS advisors are available to speak with students and scholars regarding concerns about the impact of this executive order.