Travel Ban Update for June 26, 2018
On June 26, 2018 the US Supreme Court ruling upheld the Travel Ban, determining that it was a lawful exercise of the President's authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act. This ruling codified the amended restrictions that were issued by the President on April 10, 2018 updated the Travel Ban issued on September 24, 2017. The seven countries that remain subject to travel restrictions are Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen. The April 10 amendments removed visa restrictions imposed on nationals of Chad.
Unlike, the September 24, 2017 version of the Travel Ban, exceptions for students on F and J visas have now been removed except for Iranian citizens, or in the case of a waiver. The existence of "The Waiver" was an essential element considered by the Supreme Court contributing to their ruling. For an excellent story about how these waivers work in reality I encourage you to listen to the story of a man from Yemen in the Embedded podcast, "The Waiver".
As this is the summer when new international students are getting ready to enter SCU I wanted to share that we have one new student from Iran; Iranian citizens may receive exceptions as students. SCU has no new international students from the other countries facing the restrictions of the Travel Ban. SCU now has 1,600 international students.
In addition to the Travel Ban, the April 18, 2017 Executive Order 13788 "Buy American and Hire American" has targeted the H-1B employer-sponsored visa program and there is the expectation that the work authorization for H-4 spouses will be eliminated. The US grants 85,000 new H-1B visas to American companies annually to hire foreign workers for specialty occupations. You may have seen this piece in US News in May, Trump H-1B Visa Restrictions Are Illegal, Tech Companies Allege in Lawsuit Against USCIS. As the H visa changes impact Silicon Valley, they impact SCU. SCU students fear the loss of H visas and as a result we have a significant increase in students seeking support from SCU under our F-1 program.
Impact to our SCU community:
- We have four students from Iran, two in Graduate Engineering, one in ECP and on post-graduation employment supported by SCU. There is no change to impacts for these students from the previous version of the ban.
- We have no students or scholars from the three new countries included in the ban: Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela
- Prospective student applicants will need to review their intended visa category closely as, in some cases, the President has limited travel restrictions to certain visa types. Generally, this does not include F or J, the visas sponsored by SCU, but we expect students and scholars will experience enhanced screening in any case.