Supreme Court Decision to Uphold Presidential Proclamation Travel Ban

The following is an update to a previous post about the Travel Ban.

Students and Scholars –

On June 26, 2018 the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Presidential Proclamation 9645, issued by the Trump Administration on September 24, 2017. That proclamation (amended on April 10, 2018 to remove Chad) announced travel restrictions on certain nationals of Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and Venezuela. These restrictions replace a central portion of its earlier travel ban, Executive Order 13780, and vary by country. The State Department has been processing visa requests in accordance with the Presidential Proclamation since December 8, 2017.

How this Presidential Proclamation Impacts NC State:

There is no change on travel guidance to our international campus community. Due to the continuing uncertainty regarding the travel ban we still recommend that impacted individuals refrain from international travel if at all possible.

If you need to travel internationally, please make an appointment with an advisor at OIS so that we can advise you on what documentation to travel with and what to do should you encounter difficulty in getting a visa in time to return for classes or if you encounter difficulty at the Port of Entry.

Please also note:

  • The Department of State has issued guidance and an FAQ regarding the visa processing under the Presidential Proclamation, including information and statistics related to possible waivers.
  • The Department of Homeland Security, or “DHS” (which governs Customs and Border Protection) has also issued an FAQ regarding implementation.
  • All international travelers who are citizens of the impacted countries of Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen should continue to expect delays during visa appointments and at ports of entry. Consular officers abroad and CBP at all ports of entry will now have to make additional decisions regarding who to admit into the U.S., which will undoubtedly cause additional delays.   
  • As always, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will continue to determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether the individual is admissible to the U.S.  It is possible that CBP will decide to re-review the grounds on which an individual qualified for an exception or waiver, even if the person already met this burden and obtained an entry visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy overseas. If travel is necessary, we strongly recommend that individuals from any of the affected countries carry extensive documentation showing their eligibility for the relevant waiver or exception.  Please work closely with OIS if you must travel to prepare this documentation.
  • The Presidential Proclamation also authorizes the DHS and DOS to grant discretionary waivers of the entry ban where the denial of entry would cause hardship and the foreign national’s entry is in the national interest and entry would not pose a threat to national security. There is no separate application for a waiver. You should disclose during your visa interview any information that might demonstrate that you may be eligible for a waiver.  Note that waiver criteria are stringent and the review process may add significantly to visa processing time.

The Office of International Services, International Employment, and the Office of General Counsel are closely monitoring the government’s implementation of the Executive Order, Presidential Proclamation and related court decision(s), and will provide further information as developments occur. 

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No visas will be revoked as a result of the Presidential Proclamation (P.P.). Individuals from any of the affected countries who are currently outside the U.S. and need a visa to enter may qualify for an exception or waiver and should disclose that information during the visa interview. Nationals from any of the affected countries will not be subject to any travel restrictions listed in the Presidential Proclamation if they fall into one of the following categories:

    • Was in the United States on the applicable effective date of the P.P. for that national:
      • September 24, 2017:  for nationals of Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia who were subject to the prior 90-day entry ban of Executive Order 13780, because they “lack credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”
      • October 18, 2017 for:
        • 1) nationals of Chad (until April 13, 2018, when Chad was removed from the list), North Korea and Venezuela, and
        • 2) nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen who have a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”
    • Had a valid visa on the applicable effective date of the P.P. for that national;
    • Had a visa which was revoked or marked canceled as a result of Executive Order 13769 (the first ‘travel ban’ order);
    • U.S. lawful permanent resident (green card holder);
    • Was admitted to or paroled into the United States on or after the applicable effective date of the P.P for that national;
    • Applicant for adjustment of status with valid advance parole;
    • Dual national traveling on a passport from a non-restricted country; 
    • Holder of certain diplomatic or diplomatic-type visas;
    • Was granted asylum in the United States; or admitted as a refugee.

SEVIS Introduces New Student-Facing Portal for F-1 Students on OPT

On March 23, 2018, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) launched the SEVP Portal. The portal is a tool that F-1 students on OPT/STEM OPT can use to report changes to their home/mailing address, telephone number and employer information.  The portal is accessible from both mobile devices and computers. Use of the portal is voluntary but highly encouraged by SEVP and OIS.

When and How Do OPT Students Gain Access to the Portal?

The SEVP Portal is only be accessible to students whose OPT has been approved and is active.  If a student’s OPT is already approved and active (meaning the student has been issued an employment authorization document (EAD) card and the start date of the EAD has passed), the student should have received an email from SEVP with instructions on creating a portal account. This email came from do-not-reply.sevp@ice.dhs.gov to the student’s email address associated with the student’s SEVIS record (which will be the email address they have checked as “preferred” in their MyPack account). If students are unsure which email address is associated with their SEVIS account, students should monitor all email accounts they have registered in MyPack. Students should check their spam or junk mail folder also to ensure they didn’t miss the email. If a student’s OPT is approved and active, but the student hasn’t received an email from SEVP, the student can contact OIS to request a resend of the email. If a student’s OPT status in SEVIS is still “requested” or pending”, the student will not receive an email until the OPT status has been changed to “approved” which happens when the EAD is issued.

How Do Students Use the Portal?

The SEVP Portal allows students to:

  • View details about their post-completion OPT or STEM OPT;
  • Report changes to their residential address, telephone number and employer information;
  • View and update data on all of their employers in one place.

The SEVP Portal and Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) regularly share data. Data entered into the Portal is sent immediately to SEVIS to update the student’s record. Information comes from SEVIS to the Portal only once a day. Therefore, any updates of a student’s information in SEVIS appear in the Portal the next day. The SEVP Portal User Guide provides detailed instructions for using the portal.

  • For Students on Post-Completion OPT: Students on OPT are able to add, edit, and delete employer information. Students on OPT should create a Portal account as soon as they receive an email from SEVP and begin reporting employment information using the SEVP Portal. When your employment ends, make sure to update the information in the SEVP Portal by editing the end date of the employment. When you start to work with a new employer, make sure to add a new employer record. OPT regulations require that you report the start and end of your employment within 10 days of occurrence.
  • For Students on STEM OPT: Students on STEM OPT cannot add or delete any employers in the SEVP Portal. To add an employer, the student must submit a completed Form I-983 and a New Employer Form to OIS using the STEM OPT Upload Center. To delete an employer from the student’s SEVIS record, the student must contact OIS. Students on STEM OPT can edit some of their employer’s information in the SEVP Portal, but if the student needs to edit any of the read-only fields, the student must contact OIS. IMPORTANT: STEM OPT Students must continue using OIS’s online OPT Validation form to submit their 6-month validation reports. STEM OPT Students should review all STEM OPT reporting requirements listed on our STEM OPT web page.

What Should Students on OPT/STEM OPT Do Now?

Students should familiarize themselves with the information available about the Portal. Please review the following resources provided by SEVP:

At this time, OIS does not possess any additional information about the Portal other than the information and links provided in this email. Students should not contact OIS to confirm that they created a portal account. If students have any questions about the portal or need assistance, they can call the SEVP Response Center at 703-603-3400.