On Sunday, September 24, the President issued a Proclamation restricting entry for certain individuals from eight countries: Iran, Libya, Yemen, Chad, Somalia, Syria, North Korea and Venezuela. This replaces the previous 90-day ban on travel for citizens from six countries.
While it will take some time to see how this new Presidential action is implemented, the Proclamation includes some similarities to the previous Executive Order, along with some key differences. Here are a few of the most important details
- The list of countries has changed to include the eight listed above.
- The restrictions now vary by country, so it is essential to read through the specific text for each country to understand the new restrictions in place.
- International students (F visas) and exchange visitor students and scholars (J visas) are not subject to the restrictions described in the document. However, there is language referring to “enhanced screening and vetting requirements” for such individuals. This indicates F and J visa applicants should anticipate potentially longer wait times for visa applications, and possibly extra questioning at U.S. ports of entry upon arrival to the U.S.
- In the case of most of the listed countries, visas and entry for other immigrant and non-immigrant categories are restricted or limited. This restriction includes commonly used business (B-1) and tourist (B-2) visas.
- The Proclamation makes exceptions for several categories of individuals, including lawful permanent residents of the U.S., and dual nationals of one of the listed countries when the individual is traveling on a passport issued by a non-designated country. Persons already granted asylum by the U.S. or who has been admitted as a refugee are also exempt from the travel restrictions.
- Existing visas, already approved by September 24, will not be revoked as a result of this Proclamation.
The above highlights are not a complete description of the new visa/travel restrictions. For further information about the new Proclamation, the following official White House resources may be helpful.
What happens next? After the previous Executive Orders, several legal challenges impacted the implementation of the visa and travel restrictions. While it is possible there will again be court actions that could alter the Proclamation’s implementation, it is impossible to predict the outcome of such efforts in advance. Also, the Proclamation outlines a process by which the visa and travel restrictions could be reduced or expanded in the future, including the possible removal or addition of countries from the designated list.
Along with USC’s leadership, OIS continues to support the ability for ALL of our international students and scholars to make the most of your experience at USC and in the United States. We recognize that continued uncertainty about immigration matters is an added burden for many in our international community, and we strongly advocate for policies that support the ideals and many benefits of international education.
For assistance with questions related to this new set of travel restrictions, F and J students and scholars may contact the Office of International Services. Call 213-740-2666 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an advising appointment.