Travel Clinic – November 1

Come to Talley Student Union, room 3285 on Wednesday November 1, 2017 from 1:00 – 4:00 PM. The entire OIS office will be there giving students, scholars, interns and their dependents travel signatures…right on the spot, no waiting!

Bring with you:

  • F-visa holders: Most recent, original I-20 (no copies or scans), and a completed “Travel Endorsement form”.
  • J-visa holders: Most recent, original DS-2019 (no copies or scans), a completed “Travel Endorsement form”, and proof of health insurance.

Click here for “TRAVEL ENDORSEMENT FORM”

We will also have some snacks and drinks for you to enjoy!

UPDATE: “Travel Ban” (Executive Order 13780, issued March 6, 2017) – Implementation of Presidential Proclamation

On December 8, 2017, the U.S. Department of State began fully implementing Presidential Proclamation 9645. The Presidential Proclamation, issued by the Trump Administration on September 24, 2017, announced new travel restrictions on certain nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and Venezuela. Sudanese nationals are no longer subject to travel restrictions.  These new restrictions replace a central portion of its earlier travel ban, Executive Order 13780, and vary by country.

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 travel if at all possible.

If you decide to travel, 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 implementation.
  • The Department of Homeland Security, or “DHS” (which governs Customs and Border Protection) has also issued an FAQ regarding implementation.
  • All international travelers 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 eight 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 or the foreign national’s entry is in the national interest and entry would not pose a threat to national security. However, the stringent criteria and lack of a clear application process suggest that waivers may be difficult to obtain.

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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Additional details:

No visas will be revoked as a result of the Presidential Proclamation. Individuals from any of the eight countries who are currently outside the U.S. and need a visa to enter may qualify for an exception or waiver, however, the exception for a bona fide relationship is no longer available. Nationals from any of the eight countries will not be subject to any travel restrictions listed in the Presidential Proclamation if they fall into one of the following categories:

    • U.S. lawful permanent resident (green card holder);
    • Dual national traveling on a passport from a non-restricted country; 
    • Was granted asylum in the United States; or admitted as a refugee;
    • Applicant for adjustment of status with valid advance parole;
    • Was admitted to or paroled into the United States on or after the applicable effective date of the P.P for that national;
    • Was in the United States on the applicable effective date of the P.P. for that national;
    • Had a valid visa on the applicable effective date of the P.P. for that national; or
    • Had a visa which was revoked or marked canceled as a result of Executive Order 13769 who qualifies for a visa.

Places of Interest Near NC State’s Campus

  • Museums – free entry. Open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Rose Garden/Raleigh Little Theater
    • Beautiful gardens. Close to NC State’s campus
  • Lake Raleigh on Centennial Campus
  • Hunt Library on Centennial Campus
    • State of the art library for NC State Students. Located on Centennial Campus.
  • Bell Tower
    • Visit NC State’s iconic Memorial Belltower. Located on NC State’s campus.
  • Pullen Park– free entry. Open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Close to NC State’s campus
  • Hillsborough Street
    • Visit the many restaurants and shops on Hillsborough street. Located on NC State’s campus.

New Timing & Format of OPT Application Reviews – Starting August 21st!

Due to a large number of students applying for the post-completion OPT, OIS is changing the format of the OPT application review process. Starting August 21st, OIS will be conducting OPT application review sessions twice a week: on Monday and Thursday at 1 pm. During the session, an OIS advisor will go through the application checklist and answer your questions pertaining to the application. You may also request an individual review of your application at the end of this session.

 

Starting August 21st, if you would like to attend an OPT application review session, please follow these steps:

1. Assemble your OPT application package.
2. Bring your application package to OIS on Monday or Thursday at 1 pm
3. Select “OPT Final Application Review” as the reason for your visit when you sign in on the computer.

Thank you.

OIS

“Travel Ban” (Executive Order 13780, issued March 6, 2017) Update

Students and Scholars –

On June 26, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court (the Court) issued an opinion which allowed part of Executive Order 13780 (the revised “travel ban”) to go into effect on Thursday, June 29.  

The Court’s decision limited the impact of the ban, which attempts to bar visa issuance and entry to the United States for foreign nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.  In its decision, anyone who has a “bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States” is exempted.  As long as an individual from those six countries can prove a “bona fide relationship” with a person or entity that is “formal, documented, and formed in the ordinary course” [rather than a relationship being formed specifically for the purpose of qualifying for this exemption], the ban will not apply to them.  

In its ruling, the Court specifically stated that students from the designated countries who have been admitted to a University are considered to have this ‘bona fide relationship’ with an American entity. So too would a worker who accepted an offer of employment from an American company (for those of you on J-1 Research Scholar status, Post-Completion OPT, or who are pending a change of status to H-1B).

Remember that even prior to this court decision, a national of one of the six restricted countries was already exempt from the travel ban (per the express terms of the March 6 Executive Order) if he/she falls into one of the following categories: 

  • U.S. lawful permanent resident (green card holder);
  • Dual national traveling on a passport from a non-restricted country; (Canadian permanent residents are not exempt); 
  • Possesses a valid, multiple-entry U.S. visa and is otherwise admissible to the United States;
  • Applicant for adjustment of status with valid advance parole;
  • Granted asylum in the United States; or
  • Admitted as a refugee or is a refugee whose travel was already formally scheduled by the U.S. State Department.

How this Supreme Court Opinion Impacts NC State:

  • There is no change on travel guidance to our international campus community. Due to the continuing uncertainty regarding the travel ban and how these ‘bona fide relationships’ will be reviewed (The Court will hear oral arguments on the full Executive Order in October 2017) we still recommend that impacted individuals refrain from travel if at all possible.
  • Individuals from any of the six countries who are currently outside the U.S. and need a visa to enter should still be granted a visa and admitted, with clear evidence of a bona fide relationship. According to the Court, examples of a bona fide relationship include:
  • Close familial relationships (DHS and DOS have issued FAQs on the definition of a close familial relationship.  The state of Hawaii already challenged this definition in District Court, so this may change);
  • Students at U.S. universities or individuals who have already been admitted or are attending a U.S. university;
  • Employees of U.S. entities or individuals that have already accepted employment or are working with a U.S. entity; or
  • Foreign nationals invited to lecture to an American audience
  • The Department of State has issued an FAQ regarding implementation of the Executive Order.
  • The Department of Homeland Security (which governs Customs and Border Protection) has also issued an FAQ regarding implementation.
  • All international travelers 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 accommodate the Court’s ruling and agency protocol and 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’s possible CBP will decide to re-review the bona fide relationship to the U.S., 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 six countries carry extensive documentation showing their bona fide ties to the United States.  Please work closely with OIS if you must travel to prepare this documentation.
  • The executive order also authorizes the DHS and DOS to grant discretionary waivers of the entry ban where the denial of entry would cause hardship or the foreign national’s entry is in the national interest and entry would not pose a threat to national security. However, the stringent criteria and lack of a clear application process suggest that waivers may be difficult to obtain.

If you decide to travel, 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.

The Office of International Services, International Employment, and the Office of General Counsel are closely monitoring the government’s implementation of the Supreme Court decision and the executive order, and will provide further information as developments occur. 

Summer Travel Reminders

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If you plan to re-enter the U.S. in your F-1 or J-1 status, please make sure your documents are ready for travel! Here’s a quick checklist to review before you go:

When you travel internationally you should carry with you (on your person, not in checked luggage):

  • Valid Passport (valid at least 6 months into the future)
  • Valid F-1 or J-1 visa stamp (may not be required for visits fewer than 30 days to Mexico, Canada or the contiguous islands. Please consult an OIS advisor if you are traveling to those locations with an expired visa.)
  •  *Most recent I-20 or DS-2019 signed for travel within 6 months of your return date.
    • Check for the signature date on the 2nd page of your I-20 or the box in the lower right-hand corner of the DS-2019.
    • I -20s must be in the new format (See Example)
  •  It is also recommended that you carry your funding documentation (bank statement, TA/RA contract, sponsor letter, etc.) and proof of enrollment at NC State.
  • Students on OPT need to carry the EAD card and job offer letter in addition to your passport and visa stamp that meet the requirements listed above.

If you need a new travel signature on your I-20 or DS-2019, please bring your documents to the OIS front desk along with the travel endorsement form. Please note that J-1 and J-2 visa holders will need to provide proof of insurance for themselves and any J-2 dependents, even if the dependents are not traveling.  You can drop the request off at your convenience during regular office hours: Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. It will take up to 5 business days to process your travel signature. We generally cannot do same day signatures, so please plan ahead.

Before traveling internationally, particularly if you are applying for a visa, please view this brief video about what to expect at the consulate and the Port of Entry when you return to the United States.

Please note: It is expected that all students will return to campus by August 16th, the first day of classes for the Fall 2017 semester. If you must arrive late, please review our webpage for additional information on documentation you need to carry and/or provide to OIS.

As always, talk to your OIS advisor if you have specific questions or concerns regarding travel. Have a safe and happy trip!

New Fraud Alert: Department of Homeland Security Hotline

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) Hotline Telephone Number has been used in scam to obtain personally identifiable information. The DHS OIG has issued a fraud alert to warn individuals of reports that the DHS OIG Hotline telephone number has been used recently as part of a telephone spoofing scam targeting individuals throughout the country.The perpetrators of the scam represent themselves as employees with “U.S. Immigration” and can alter caller ID systems to make it appear that the call is coming from the DHS OIG Hotline telephone number (1-800-323-8603). The scammers demand to obtain or verify personally identifiable information from their victims through various tactics, including by telling individuals that they are the victims of identity theft. Many of the scammers reportedly have pronounced accents.

The DHS OIG is taking this matter very seriously and is investigating the situation. As a reminder, DHS OIG never uses its Hotline number to make outgoing calls — the phone line is only used to receive information from the public. Individuals should not answer calls purporting to be from 1-800-323-8603, and should never provide personal information during calls purporting to be from the DHS OIG Hotline. It continues to be perfectly safe to use the DHS OIG Hotline to report fraud, waste, abuse, or mismanagement within DHS components or programs. Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of this telephone spoofing scam is urged to call the Hotline or file a complaint online via the DHS OIG website www.oig.dhs.gov. You may also contact the Federal Trade Commission to file a complaint and/or report identity theft.

For additional information on common scams and tips on what to do if you are contacted by a scammer, please review the Scam Alert information on the OIS website.