International Student Services

February 16, 2017

Update on Presidential Executive Order; Travel Advisory

The ISS is closely monitoring immigration-related news coming out of the White House and the impact changes may have on our international student community at the UW.

As we learn of any updates or new information, we will post information to this page.

March 17, 2017

The U.S. State Department is the government agency that issues visas. Because the March 6 Executive Order 13780 has been blocked by law courts, the State Department has said they are continuing to issue visas to citizens of the 6 affected countries. Read the State Department announcement.

NAFSA, the Association of International Educators, has provided a brief summary of the U.S. District Court updates affecting Executive Order 13780:

On March 16, 2017, the U.S. District Court in Maryland issued a nationwide preliminary injunction, preventing the Government from enforcing Executive Order 13780’s 90-day entry bar, which had been scheduled to go into effect on March 16, 2017. Also read the court opinion supporting the preliminary injunction order.

On March 15, 2017, the U.S. District Court in Hawaii issued a nationwide temporary restraining order, preventing the Government from enforcing Executive Order 13780’s 90-day entry bar and 120-day refugee entry bar, which had been scheduled to go into effect on March 16, 2017.

Other sections of Executive Order 13780 that are not enjoined by court order became effective at 12:01 a.m. eastern time on March 16, 2017.

March 6, 2017

The White House released a new executive order March 6, 2017.  (UPDATE: This order has been barred from taking effect)

The UW Office of Global Affairs provides updated information and resources for UW community members.

NAFSA, the Association of International Educators, has provided a thorough summary of the March 6 executive order:

The order includes a revised entry ban on nationals of 6 countries (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen). The new order revokes and replaces Executive Order 13769 in its entirety, effective March 16, 2017. The administration hopes that the new order will address the legal challenges that barred enforcement of the prior 90-day entry bar on citizens of the same six countries plus Iraq, that had been instituted by Executive Order 13769 before its enforcement was enjoined by court order in February.

The new Executive Order is effective for 90 days starting on March 16, 2017 at 12:01 a.m. eastern time (10 days after the Executive Order was signed). This calculates until June 13 or 14, 2017, depending on whether you count the first and last days of the 90-day period.

The new Executive Order affects citizens of six of the seven countries that had been selected in the prior 90-day bar. Iraq has been removed from the list of countries in the new executive order.


An Executive Order FAQ states,

“Per the Executive Order, foreign nationals from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen, who are outside the United States and who did not have a valid visa at 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on January 27, 2017, and do not have a valid visa on the effective date of this order are not eligible to enter the United States while the temporary suspension remains in effect. Thus any individual who had a valid visa either on January 27, 2017 (prior to 5:00 PM) or holds a valid visa on the effective date of the Executive Order is not barred from entry.”

Based on a preliminary reading of the new Executive Order and a DHS FAQ and Fact Sheet, the new entry bar will not apply to the following individuals who are citizens or nationals of one of the 6 countries:

  • U.S. lawful permanent residents in possession of a valid Form I-551 (green card) or temporary I-551 stamp
  • Nonimmigrants who are in the United States in lawful status on March 16, 2017
  • Holders of a currently valid immigrant or nonimmigrant visa that was either:
    Approved prior to 5:00 eastern standard time January 27, 2017, or
    Is valid as of March 16, 2017
  • Dual citizens of one of the 6 countries and the United States (such individuals are always considered U.S. citizenz
  • Dual citizens of one of the 6 countries and another country not on the list of 6, who will enter the United States on the basis of a valid passport issued by the country not on the list of 6

Individuals who are citizens of one of the 6 countries who do not fall within one of the above-listed exceptions, would be subject to the new entry bar.

There are still some important unanswered questions, though, including:

  • Will nonimmigrants be able to renew a nonimmigrant visa in the same classification as a nonimmigrant visa that has expired or will soon expire, and thereafter reenter the United States in that same nonimmigrant classification?
  • Will beneficiaries of an approved I-539 change of status application be able to obtain a new nonimmigrant visa in the classification to which their nonimmigrant status has been changed under 8 CFR Part 248, and thereafter reenter the United States in the new nonimmigrant classification?Between March 6, 2017 and March 16, 2017, the status of the prior Executive Order 13769 should continue to control.

The Department of Homeland Security has published a thorough Question & Answer Resource. Questions 24 and 25 specifically address international students in F and J status.

February 19, 2017

Memos published late Saturday night by the Department of Homeland Security clarified procedures for detaining and removing undocumented individuals. The memos are drafts and under review, so there may be changes made. Our reading of the guidelines does not indicate changes for students in F-1 and J-1 status. However, with the increased focus on documented status, we emphasize that it is vital that you carry your passport, visa, I-20 or DS-2019 and I-94 to show you were properly inspected at a border and have permission to study in the U.S. This is especially important if you are traveling internationally or in a U.S. state near the Mexican or Canadian borders. Immigration checkpoints can be as far as 100 miles inside the U.S.

There are also changes to advance parole and asylum, so if you have those, or are applying for either, please consult your attorney as soon as you can.

February 9, 2017

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the U.S. government’s attempt to reinstate the travel ban. This means there is currently no ban on travel, regardless of country of citizenship. The White House has expressed plans to continue fighting this legal decision (the next step would be taking the case to the U.S. Supreme Court), or to issue a revised executive order. But for now, the U.S. government is not allowed to enforce the travel ban/restrictions outlined in the January 27 Executive Order.

We are still advising students to carefully consider their international travel during this uncertain time, to ensure they are carrying all their correct and valid documents, and to prepare for more potential delays than usual at consular posts and with Customs and Border Protection.

February 6, 2017

Read UW President Ana Mari Cauce’s statement, Standing Together. President Cauce addresses recent events in the U.S. and the importance of “critical thinking, evidence-based argument, reasoned dialogue and the free and open exchange of ideas.” She goes on to say “No matter who you are, where you’re from, who you love, where or whether you worship, or any other aspect of your identity, we welcome your contributions to helping the University of Washington maintain it’s commitment to access and excellence, to building a better and more equitable future, and creating a world of good.”

The ISS staff is available as a resource to our international student community. If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to your ISS advisor or come to the ISS during drop-in hours.

February 4, 2017
Temporary Travel Window

The 90-day travel ban that affects citizens of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen has been temporarily lifted (see legal updates below). However, the situation is fluid and travel guidelines could change rapidly. Consult an immigration attorney prior to any travel.

The Trump administration appealed the District Court’s temporary restraining order (TRO) to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and asked the Court of Appeals for an emergency stay of the Circuit Court’s TRO. The administration also asked the appeals court to grant an immediate administrative stay of the Circuit Court’s TRO while the court considers the appeal and emergency stay petition.

The Court of Appeals denied the administration’s request for an immediate administrative stay of the TRO, but will proceed to consider its request for an emergency stay of the order.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has resumed inspection of travelers “in accordance with standard policy and procedure.” CBP updated its Executive Order FAQs. CBP has contacted airlines to inform them that during the validity of the TRO, airlines can board individuals who would otherwise be subject to the Executive Order’s Section 3(c) entry ban. Individual travelers should contact their airline directly to inquire about any adjustment to the airline’s boarding policy as a result of the TRO.

Thanks to NAFSA, the Association of International Educators, for being a resource for updates.

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 that established the 90-day ban on entry of “immigrants and nonimmigrants” from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The TRO “is granted on a nationwide basis,” according to the order. The suit was brought by the State of Washington and was later joined by the State of Minnesota.

The U.S. Department of State has temporarily lifted its suspension of visa processing, and reversed its directive that revoked the visas of individuals subject to the Section 3(c) entry ban. DOS posted an updated notice on the website:

The Department of State had also, under the Executive Order, provisionally revoked all valid visas of nationals of those seven countries. That provisional revocation is now lifted, and those visas are now valid for travel to the United States, if the holder is otherwise eligible. Individuals whose visas are expired, or were physically cancelled, must apply for a new visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate, absent a Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) decision to grant parole or waive the visa requirement at the port of entry.

January 31, 2017: Resources for individuals impacted by the travel ban.

UW Resources:

Office of Global Affairs – International Emergency Assistance (UW students, faculty, staff, and program directors)
UW Counseling Services
Let’s Talk (informal consultation and support with experienced counselors)
UW Campus Safety
Student Legal Services
Tips for Finding a Lawyer
International Scholars Operations (resources for visiting UW faculty and academic personnel)

Regional/National Legal and Information Resources:

American Immigration Lawyers Association
American Civil Liberties Union
Northwest Immigrants Rights Project
UW Division of the Attorney General’s Office
NAFSA: Association of International Educators Resources

January 29, 2017: Update

On Friday afternoon, a Presidential Executive Order 13769 was signed banning individuals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the U.S. for the next 90 days. Although further information about the executive orders and the possible impact they may have is limited, we have notified UW students from these seven countries that we recommend they avoid any international travel. We are unaware of citizens from any other countries being impacted by this ban.

UW President Ana Mari Cauce has posted a statement supporting international scholars and students. The University of Washington is proud of our community of students, staff, and scholars from around the world. Both President Cauce and Provost Jerry Baldasty are “committed to providing a safe, secure, and welcoming environment that protects the privacy and human rights of all members of our community.”

International students are an important part of the UW community. The ISS advising team is committed to providing assistance and support to our international student community. Drop-in advising is available 10 am to 4 pm Monday – Friday, you can call or email your International Student Advisor directly, or you can contact the office at 206-221-7857 or email with any questions or concerns.