For complete and updated information about the Presidential Executive Order, please visit the Northeastern Executive Order site. You can also visit the Department of State website to find our more about the specifics of the travel ban.
Executive order timeline
Jan. 29 – Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rules against third travel ban
During the first week in December, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on President Trump’s third travel ban. On Dec. 22, 2017, the Ninth Circuit issued a decision that partially blocked the third travel ban. The Ninth Circuit ruled that the travel ban will not be enforced against “foreign nationals who have a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in December, however, supersedes the Ninth Circuit’s decision. The U.S. Supreme Court held that the Trump administration could fully implement and enforce the third travel ban on all eight countries. On Jan. 6, 2018, the Trump administration petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Ninth Circuit’s decision, which the U.S. Supreme Court granted on Jan. 19. The U.S. Supreme Court will consider 4 questions:
- Whether courts can review a challenge to the travel ban executive order at all;
- Whether the executive order falls within the president’s authority over immigration;
- Whether the Hawaii district court’s order applies too broadly; and
- Whether the executive order violates the Constitution’s establishment clause
At this time, the Fourth Circuit has not issued a decision. Northeastern will continue to follow the situation closely and will provide updates as additional information becomes available. Please contact the Office of Global Services at OGS@northeastern.edu if you have any questions.
Dec. 8 – USA Supreme Court allows Trump to enforce travel ban until lower courts rule on challenges
The U.S. Supreme Court issued an order on Dec. 4, 2017, allowing the Trump administration to implement fully and enforce its newest travel ban while lower courts continue to consider challenges to it.
Travel restrictions, which vary by country, will affect certain nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen, unless exempt or granted a waiver pursuant to a presidential proclamation that was issued on Sept. 24.
The Trump administration had previously been barred from implementing the ban on its intended effective date of Oct. 18, 2017, after two lower federal courts issued injunctions that temporarily enjoined enforcement of most of the ban’s restrictions. Following the Trump administration’s appeal of those rulings and request for temporary permission to implement the proclamation, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the ban to take effect partially, but exempted travelers with a bona fide relationship to a person or entity in the United States. The Dec. 4 order by the Supreme Court removes the relationship exemption and allows the Trump administration to implement the ban fully while challenges continue in the Courts of Appeals for the Fourth and the Ninth Circuits.
Specific travel restrictions
Effective Dec. 8, 2017, the Trump administration will fully implement the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dec. 4, 2017, order, and nationals of the eight countries will be subject to the following U.S. travel limitations, unless otherwise exempt:
• Chad: No B-1, B-2, or B-1/B-2 visitor visas; no immigrant or diversity lottery visas
• Iran: No nonimmigrant visas except F and M student visas and J exchange visitor visas; no immigrant or diversity lottery visas
• Libya: No B-1, B-2, or B-1/B-2 visitor visas; no immigrant or diversity lottery visas
• North Korea: No nonimmigrant, immigrant, or diversity lottery visas
• Somalia: Nonimmigrant visa applicants subject to heightened scrutiny; no immigrant or diversity visas
• Syria: No nonimmigrant, immigrant, or diversity lottery visas
• Venezuela: No B-1, B-2, or B-1/B-2 visas for officials of designated Venezuelan government agencies; other visa holders are subject to verification of traveler information; no restrictions on immigrant or diversity lottery visas
• Yemen: No B-1, B-2, or B-1/B-2 visitor visas; no immigrant or diversity lottery visas
Exemptions and waivers
Several classes of foreign nationals are exempt from the restrictions, including U.S. lawful permanent residents, dual nationals traveling on a passport from a non-restricted country, foreign nationals who hold a valid U.S. visa or advance parole, and those who were physically in the United States on the applicable original effective date of the travel restrictions.
Those who are not exempt may request a waiver when applying for a visa. To be eligible for a waiver, a foreign national must demonstrate that he or she would suffer undue hardship if denied entry, and that his or her entry would not pose a threat to U.S. national security or public safety and would be in U.S. national interest. Waivers are discretionary and may be difficult to obtain.
What this means for travelers
Foreign nationals who are currently in the United States, hold a passport from a restricted country (other than exempt dual nationals), and would need to apply for a visa to reenter the United States should carefully consider the risks of international travel and the potential for significant delays.
As a reminder, all foreign nationals—including those exempt from the travel restrictions—are subject to national security screening and the potential for additional vetting when applying for a U.S. visa or admission to the United States.
The travel restrictions will be implemented while the Fourth and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeal continue to hear challenges to the presidential proclamation. The Ninth Circuit is scheduled to hear oral arguments on Dec. 6, 2017, while the Fourth Circuit is scheduled to hear oral arguments on Dec. 8, 2017.
Northeastern will continue to follow the situation closely and will provide updates as additional information becomes available. Please contact the university’s Office of Global Services at OGS@northeastern.edu if you have any questions.
Oct. 26 – The Department of Homeland Security began requiring airlines to implement enhanced security measures for flights destined to the USA
These enhanced security measures include enhanced screening of passengers and their electronic devices as well as an increase in security standards for aircrafts and airports. More information on the new security standards can be found in the DHS Fact Sheet: Aviation Enhanced Security Measures for All Commercial Flights to the United States.
Sep. 27 – Country-specific travel ban issued
President Trump issued a proclamation that imposes new travel restrictions on eight countries. Five of the eight countries—Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen—were included in the previous travel ban, while three countries—Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela—were added to the revised list.
The new restrictions were issued on Sept. 24, 2017, just as the old 90-day travel ban expired, and will go into effect on Oct. 18. Until then, by virtue of the proclamation, the “old” travel ban will continue for individuals from those countries still on the list who do not have a bona fide relationship with a U.S. person or entity.
The new restrictions will not be applied to:
- Current lawful permanent residents
- Current visa holders
- Dual nationals traveling on a passport from an unaffected country
- Refugees already admitted to the U.S.
- Individuals granted protection under the Convention Against Torture
Restrictions by country:
Chad, Libya, and Yemen:
Entry as immigrants and non immigrants in business and tourist status is suspended.
Entry as immigrants and nonimmigrants is suspended, except for those in valid student (F and M) or exchange visitor (J) status.
Syria and North Korea:
Entry as immigrants or nonimmigrants is suspended.
Entry in tourist or business visitor status is suspended for officials of certain government agencies involved in screening and vetting practices and their immediate family members.
Entry as immigrants is suspended and decisions regarding entry as non immigrants will be subject to additional scrutiny.
Although Iraq is not technically covered by the new restrictions, the proclamation notes that Iraqi nationals will be subject to additional scrutiny.
How long these restrictions will last is uncertain. Countries may be removed or added to the list based upon further review of the effectiveness of their security practices.
Waivers will be available on “undue hardship” grounds if a consulate determines the entry would not pose a threat to national security and the admission would be in the national interest. This could include individuals who have already been admitted to the U.S. for extended periods of time.
The Supreme Court was set to hear the travel ban case on Oct. 10. The justices canceled that hearing and asked the parties to submit new briefs by Oct. 5.
Northeastern will continue to follow the situation closely and will provide updates as additional information becomes available. Please contact the university’s Office of Global Services at OGS@northeastern.edu if you have any questions.
President Trump has signed a revised executive order that will suspend the entry of nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for a period of 90 days beginning March 16 at 12:01 a.m. ET. The new order rescinds the president’s Jan. 27 travel ban, which a federal court suspended last month. The new travel restrictions will be in effect through June 14, 2017. However, the order indicates that ban could be extended and additional countries could be subject to restrictions.
Who is subject to the revised executive order?
The executive order prohibits nationals of the six restricted countries from entering the United States unless they qualify for an exemption or are granted a waiver. Iraqi nationals are no longer included in the ban. The order also suspends the admission of refugees from any country, including Syria, for 120 days as of March 16.
The following classes of foreign nationals will be exempt from the ban:
- U.S. lawful permanent residents (green card holders)
- Holders of a valid U.S. visa, even if they have not yet used it (Visas that were provisionally revoked under the Jan. 27 executive order should be valid for travel. Foreign nationals with a visa that was physically cancelled under the Jan. 27 executive order may be entitled to a new travel document for entry to the U.S.)
- Dual nationals traveling on a valid passport from a non-restricted country (Dual nationals must hold a valid U.S. visa or be visa-exempt.)
- Foreign nationals holding a valid advance parole document
- Foreign nationals holding a valid A, C-2, G, or NATO visa
- Foreign nationals granted asylum
- Refugees already admitted to the U.S. and those with travel formally scheduled by the State Department
Once the order is in effect, non-exempt nationals of the restricted countries will be prohibited from entering the U.S. for the duration of the ban unless they are granted a waiver.
Until the new executive order takes effect, the Department of State indicates that it will continue to process visa applications from nationals of the six restricted countries. However, applicants should be prepared for lengthy security screening and the possibility that they may not be issued a visa before the entry ban takes effect.
Waivers of the entry ban
The executive order permits the Departments of Homeland Security and State to grant discretionary waivers of the entry ban. Waiver applicants must show that a denial of entry would cause undue hardship and that their entry is in the national interest and would not pose a threat to national security.
The executive order suggests that a waiver may be appropriate for several classes of foreign nationals, including: (1) individuals previously admitted to the U.S. for a continuous period of work, study, or another long-term activity who are seeking to resume that activity; (2) individuals with previously established significant contacts with the U.S.; (3) individuals with significant business or professional obligations in the U.S.; (4) individuals seeking to visit or reside with a close family member; (5) individuals who are infants, young children or adoptees, or needing urgent medical care, or otherwise justified by the special circumstances; (6) individuals employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government; (7) individuals who are permanent Canadian residents applying for a visa in Canada; and (8) individuals traveling as a U.S. government-sponsored exchange visitor. Given the stringent criteria, however, waivers may be difficult to obtain.
Processing of immigration applications and petitions
The executive order limits the Department of State interview waiver program for nonimmigrant visa applicants. Though foreign nationals from non-restricted countries may still qualify for an exemption from an in-person visa interview, visa applicants should check the website of the relevant U.S. consulate for specific information, which is subject to frequent change.
In addition to the entry ban, the president has issued a memorandum directing the Departments of Homeland Security, State, and Justice to implement more stringent vetting of applications and petitions for immigration benefits. Enhanced security screening could take effect quickly, and may delay processing at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and at U.S. consulates.
March.17 – Federal courts in Hawaii, Maryland temporarily block revised travel ban.
On March 15, one day before President Trump’s revised executive order was slated to go into effect, the U.S. District Court in Hawaii issued a nationwide temporary block preventing the government from enforcing or implementing Section 2 (90-day travel ban) and Section 6 (120-day U.S. refugee program suspension) of the revised order.
Also, early on March 16, the U.S. District Court in Maryland issued a separate ruling barring enforcement nationwide of the 90-day travel ban.
Other sections of the revised executive order not included in the court’s decision became effective at 12:01 a.m. ET on March 16, including Section 5 (uniform screening and vetting standards for all immigration programs), Section 7 (rescission of exercise of authority relating to terrorism grounds of inadmissibility), Section 8 (expedited completion of biometric entry-exit tracking system), Section 9 (visa interview security), and Section 10 (visa validity reciprocity).
The U.S. Department of State announced that due to the litigation, U.S. embassies and consulates will continue to process visas for nationals of the six targeted countries. Nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Yemen may continue to travel into the U.S. for the immediate future, if otherwise admissible.
The university continues to follow the situation closely and will update this page as further information becomes available. Please contact the Office of Global Services atOGS@northeastern.edu if you have any questions.
August. 8- State Department updates policy guidance on F-1 student visa applications
On Aug. 8, the Department of State revised its guidance to consular officers when considering F-1 student visas. The modification provides assistance to consular officers in determining whether an F-1 visa applicant plans to leave the United States after graduation. Due to these changes, students applying for F-1 visas may be asked additional questions regarding their long-term plans and their ties to their home country. The revised policy guidelines can be found here: https://fam.state.gov/fam/
August. 28- In-person interviews for employment-based green card applicants to begin Oct. 1
Beginning on Oct. 1, in-person interviews will be required for all applicants seeking an employment-based green card. In the past, in-person interviews could be waived if no additional information was needed. Citizenship and Immigration Services stated that the in-person interviews will allow officers to verify information in applications, discover new relevant information, and assist with evaluating the credibility of applicants. More information about the in-person interviews can be found here: https://www.uscis.gov/news/
September. 1- State Department replaces “30/60 Day Rule”
On Sept. 1, the Department of State eliminated the “30/60 Day Rule” regarding adjustment of status applications. This rule assisted officials in determining whether an individual would be inadmissible due to inconsistent conduct. The “90 Day Rule” replaced the prior rule and applies to both immigrant and non-immigrant visa applicants. The new rule provides individuals seeking an adjustment of status less flexibility to postpone filings. The “90 Day Rule” can be found here: https://fam.state.gov/fam/
Sep. 13 – Trump Administration imposes visa sanctions on four countries
On Sept. 13, the Trump administration imposed visa sanctions on Cambodia, Eritrea, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. According to officials, these four countries have refused to accept or have unreasonably delayed accepting deportees who have been convicted of crimes in the United States. Not all visas have been discontinued. The Department of Homeland Security’s announcement regarding the specific visa sanctions can be found here: https://www.dhs.gov/news/2017/
Feb. 27 – Immigration Executive Orders: Your Rights & the Current Climate
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 27 AT 3:00 PM
ISEC, 102 COLUMBUS AVENUE
Megan Kludt, Esq. of Curran & Berger LLP will be the featured speaker. She will share the latest information about immigration Executive Orders, legal and community liaison efforts and actions, your constitutional rights, key things you need to know now, and changes in agency implementation and processing trends.
All Northeastern students are welcome. Registration is requested for the event. To register, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Feb. 9 –USA 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled to continue blocking President Trump’s travel ban
The unanimous decision temporarily keeps in place a stay preventing a ban on immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries.
The Department of Homeland Security has directed its agency to adjudicate applications and petitions filed for or on behalf of individuals in the U.S., regardless of their country of origin. Also, all U.S. ports of entry will resume admission of non-immigrant and immigrant visa holders, including refugees, according to policies and procedures existing prior to the Executive Order.
The Court of Appeals instructed attorneys for each party to file briefs by 11 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16, arguing whether the government’s motion for a stay should be considered again by the entire appeals court. To hold a rehearing, a majority of the 29 active judges on the court would need to vote in favor of that motion.
Feb. 5 –President Aoun’s Statement
“To all members of the Northeastern University community:
For the past decade, we have joined together to make Northeastern a truly global university. In doing so, we have set forth a series of core values such as the value of inclusivity and a bedrock belief that diversity makes our community stronger.
I find the president’s executive order restricting international travel to be antithetical to our core values and completely unacceptable. I say this as an educator and as an American who came to this country as an international student.
Throughout the past week, I have had the opportunity to speak to many in our community who are directly affected by this new reality. I have listened to their stories and seen the anxiety etched in their faces.
To the 250 Northeastern students and 31 faculty and staff impacted by this executive order: Your story is my story. You have my unwavering pledge that your university will stand by you, safeguard you, and be your home away from home. To my faculty and staff colleagues: Ensuring that all in our community can achieve their dreams without disruption is our highest priority. It is an honor to work with you on this charge.
As we all know, Northeastern never stands idly by, observing from the sidelines. On Friday, we joined seven other leading universities in filing an amicus brief in federal court. Our brief makes clear that the executive order imperils our ability to have students and scholars collaborate and advance knowledge across borders. The order represents a threat to the mission of global higher education.
In the aftermath of this executive order, it has become abundantly clear that the integration of diverse people, ideas, and cultures—which universities like Northeastern make possible—is more important than ever before.
Let us turn this challenge into opportunity. Together, we will seize this moment to reaffirm our core values and strengthen our commitment to being a diverse, inclusive, and truly global university.
I look forward to achieving this important work together.
Joseph E. Aoun
Feb. 5 – Events planned for Community Members Affected by the Executive Order
Lunch Invite: Invitation to Students, Scholars, and Faculty for Community Members Affected by the Executive Order
Tuesday, Feb. 7, 1-3 p.m., Curry Student Center Ballroom
It has been a stressful week and we would like to invite everyone to come together. The Office of Global Services invites you to join us for an informal catered lunch where we will provide informal updates about campus support services and information on upcoming events. Click here to register
Understanding the Executive Order and Implications for Our Community
Wednesday, Feb. 8, 10-11:30 a.m., Curry Student Center Ballroom
Faculty and staff from Northeastern’s School of Law, Office of General Counsel, Office of Global Services, as well as local immigration attorneys will provide an overview of what the Executive Order is, the implications behind the stay, the appeal process, and what this all means for Northeastern community members. The panel will discuss the differences between status adjustments (such as program extension or CPT) at the university level versus adjudications that need to be done by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Feb. 4 – USA Citizenship and Immigration Services Update
For students concerned about applying for Optional Practical Training (OPT), the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services continues to adjudicate applications and petitions filed on behalf of individuals in the United States regardless of their country of origin, and applications and petitions of lawful permanent residents outside the U.S. Applications to adjust status also continue to be adjudicated, according to existing policies and procedures, for applicants who are nationals of countries designated in the Jan. 27, 2017, “Executive Order: Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.”
Feb. 4 – No Current Plans to Expand Travel Ban Beyond Current Countries
The Department of State confirmed that there is no addendum, annex, or amendment now being worked on to expand visa revocations or the travel ban to countries other than those currently implicated in the Executive Order.
Feb. 4 – Clarification from DHS and DOS re: Implementation of Executive Order on Immigration
On Friday, Feb. 3, and effective immediately, a federal judge in Seattle issued a ruling that temporarily blocks President Trump’s week-old immigration order from being enforced nationwide.
Following the decision, the Department of Homeland Security said it has suspended all actions to implement the president’s immigration order. The department will resume inspections of travelers as it did prior to the signing of the executive order, according to a DHS statement.
Meanwhile, the State Department said it has reversed the cancellation of visas that were provisionally revoked following the travel ban—so long as those visas were not stamped or marked as canceled.
According to Customs and Border Protection, individuals who had their visas physically canceled as a result of the executive order will not need to reapply for a new visa. Absent any other admissibility issues, those individuals will receive an I-193 waiver (Application for Waiver of Passport and/or Visa) upon arrival to the U.S. For those traveling by air, airlines have been instructed to contact Customs and Border Protection to receive authorization to permit boarding.
On Sunday, Feb. 5, a federal appeals court rejected a request by the Justice Department to immediately restore the executive order.
We continue to monitor all legal and implementation decisions related to the executive order and will provide information as it becomes available.
Feb. 1 – Travel Alert Under President Trump’s Immigration Executive Order
On January 27, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order suspending immigrant and non-immigrant admissions to the U.S. for at least 90 days for individuals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The Executive Order did not specifically categorize what categories of “individuals” (i.e., the definition of “individuals from”) are subject to the ban. This broad generalization has led to widespread confusion at ports of entry across the U.S., but since then the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has stated that travelers will be treated according to the travel document (passport) they present at the border. See https://www.dhs.gov/news/2017/01/29/protecting-nation-foreign-terrorist-entry-united-states
Federal judges in several jurisdictions issued court rulings to stay the terms of the Executive Order that would have led to the removal of foreign nationals who arrived in the U.S. with a valid visa or status as a lawful permanent resident (green card holder). These stays remain in effect but may be temporary. These court orders also do not apply to airports with pre-clearance facilities (Dublin & Shannon, Ireland; Aruba; Freeport & Nassau, The Bahamas; Bermuda; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; and Calgary, Toronto, Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, and Winnipeg, Canada). Nationals of the seven affected countries should avoid flying into the U.S. from these airports. These court orders do not mean that anyone arriving with a visa is guaranteed entry. People with a non-immigrant (temporary) visa from those 7 countries will be denied entry unless they can show that their admission is in the national interest and they do not pose a security threat.
Citizens of the affected countries who hold dual citizenship with the U.S. should not be directly affected. Non-U.S. citizens who hold dual citizenship with the affected countries and one other foreign country may be subject to the ban. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reserves the right to deny admission to any applicant deemed a threat to national security or public safety.
This ban may include individuals who have traveled to one or more of the designated countries as well, even if they do not hold a nationality of one of the designated countries. Additional screening for those who have been in these countries should be expected, including the search and examination of luggage, mobile phones, computers, and electronics, including social media pages for any anti-American communications or posts.
Green card holders returning to the U.S. after a short time abroad have the legal right to return to the U.S., barring exceptional circumstances. On January 29, 2017, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security released a statement that “the entry of lawful permanent residents” is in the national interest.
Further, U.S. Embassies and Consulates across the world have been instructed not to issue any non-immigrant or immigrant visas to persons from the affected countries, consistent with the Executive Order. Also, individuals from one of the affected countries who have a pending immigration petition or application with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may experience delays in the adjudication of their cases.
The Executive Order also contemplates that additional countries could be added to the banned list. Accordingly, until more information becomes available, and given the possibility of a change in government policy that could go into effect immediately, all foreign nationals should carefully assess whether it is worth the risk to travel outside the United States. We recommend that international students and scholars should not travel outside of the U.S. without speaking with an advisor at the Office of Global Services (OGS) and/or seeking advice from personal legal counsel who can review individual circumstances for potential available options or possible relief from the consequences of the Executive Order. The OGS can provide you with a list of personal immigration attorneys and a list of pro bono service providers.
The OGS is working with offices and key stakeholders throughout the university to offer resources and support for international students and scholars.
Joseph Aoun, President of Northeastern University, sent a message to the entire Northeastern community on January 28, 2017, stating: “Let us strengthen our resolve to be a welcoming community that embraces the immeasurable benefits of diversity and inclusion. All in our community—especially those who feel vulnerable as a result of this new paradigm—should feel safe and secure at Northeastern. We, the leadership of the university, stand with you and will pursue every means available to safeguard each of you—students, faculty, and staff.”
This alert is not legal advice. We will continue to provide updated information and guidance as it becomes available.
The Office of Global Services
405 Ell Hall
Immigration attorneys and pro-bono legal services