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.

Resources for Student Success: A Letter from an International Student

I am an International Graduate Student who came to NC State with a lot of dreams. I graduated from the best University in my home country; studies were never an issue for me until now. A couple of months before my arrival I came to know that I have a severe health issue. I decided not to give up because I was very confident may be over confident that I can easily manage and I really wanted to peruse my higher education. I use to have severe headaches unable to concentrate over that I started doing on campus work for the living. I was willing to work hard but I was unable to do that, as a result, I got very low GPA. I should visit health Centre in every 45 days to do my blood work for adjusting the dose.

As the days passed my health got improved so as my GPA, by the end of the second semester I was in Academic Probation. I decided to graduate in three semesters, in order to do that I need straight A’s in my final semester. There comes the worst days of my life, the immense pressure and constant question of what if I fail to graduate. My entire struggle for a year and a half will be wasted, I should return with empty hands. My parents will understand but I was not prepared to be a loser so I worked hard but I missed to graduate by 0.03 GPA. This time, it is not my health impacted the grades it’s the pressure of what if, I was in short of a couple of marks, which made me apply for reinstatement and stay for an entire semester.

A lot of people helped me to get through this among which my Advisor, DGP, professors, my doctor, student Ombuds and finally OIS advisor Kelia. From my experience, I made some mistakes so I would like to share some useful information, first if you have any health issue please keep in touch with the doctor, try to reduce the course load, take some easy course to maintain GPA and do not work more than 20 hours. Keep in touch with you advisor and department let them your situation all the time. If you are facing any psychological issues please use the counseling center and the student Ombud services. And finally, always I insist keep in touch with an OIS advisor, stick to one person so that it becomes easy for them and you to understand the situation. I had a great time in NC State and a lifetime lesson of “ NEVER TAKE ANYTHING GRANTED”.

 

Anonymous

 

CLARIFICATION FROM OIS:  OIS wants to clarify the role of Student Ombuds Services.  Although Student Ombuds Services may assist students who are experiencing psychological distress with other related academic and interpersonal issues, the counseling or treatment of mental health issues is not their primary purpose.  That remains the work of the Counseling Center.

Student Ombuds Services can assist students with any number of concerns including: Interpersonal conflicts with faculty, advisors/major professors or peers, Graduate committee function, Groups/team functioning, Housing issues, exam procedures, ethical concerns, and verification of absences.  OIS has found them to be very useful in helping international students navigate any number of academic concerns on campus and we encourage students to learn more about their office.

From the Director’s Desk:  Professionalism in the United States

The start of a new school year is always exciting.  Whether it is your first semester and you are getting your first job in the United States somewhere on-campus, or you are returning from a rewarding internship experience that you did while on Curricular Practical Training, the start of a new year is a perfect time to think about what it means to be “professional” in the United States.

Being “professional” or “professionalism” isn’t a term that is limited to professions that require extensive education or that require a suit and tie.  While professionalism may look somewhat different depending on whether your job is as a food service worker, a research assistant, a software engineer or Accountant at a Fortune 500 company, there are some expected traits that exhibit good professionalism here that employers will expect you to have if you are going to succeed in your career in the United States.  Here are some traits of professionalism that are common across all careers in the United States:

Arrive on time:

Punctuality is incredibly important in the United States, when you are meeting a classmate or professor, and especially if you have a job.  In the United States, people expect you to show up on time to start work or for meetings – to arrive late gives an impression that you don’t care about your job.

Dress appropriately for the workplace:

What you will wear to work will depend on the job- whether it is a uniform, lab, or office environment, there will be different expectations.  It is perfectly okay to ask what the dress code is at any new job.  Regardless of the dress code however, a universal rule is that you should arrive neat and clean.  All scents should be neutral and devoid of body odor, strong cologne, or incense.  Keep in mind that how you dress after you start a job and the way you dress for an interview are very different.  Even in places where employees dress more casually for work, it is usually expected for someone to dress professionally for an interview.

Be a Team Player:

In order to succeed in the U.S. workforce, you should be able to work well in a team.  Offer to assist other co-workers if they are overburdened.   Something that will also help you build respect among your co-workers is to avoid gossiping about your co-workers, and not over-sharing your personal problems.

Take responsibility for mistakes:

Making mistakes is a part of learning, and because we are human, even the most competent person will occasionally make a mistake.  In the US work environment, it is a valued trait when employees admit an error.  You should learn from that mistake, and get assistance in training or technique to ensure it doesn’t happen again, but admitting a mistake instead of blaming others will also make you a respected and valued member of the team.

Be honest:

This isn’t just about telling the truth- it is also about omitting relevant information or misrepresenting yourself or your skill set.  Honesty about not being trained or equipped to do something is the best policy- it will avoid mistakes, and potentially even injury, if you disclose your lack of training or experience.  It will not be a liability as long as you can also explain how you are a quick learner and already learned to do something similar – something we refer to as “transferrable skills”.

Only leave a job with appropriate notice:

The minimum expected amount of notice that any employee should give before leaving a job is two-weeks.  Some jobs and professions require additional notice – for many jobs requiring an advanced degree one month is a minimum, maybe more in order to smoothly transition your work duties.  There are of course some instances in which it is okay to leave a job without notice- if you aren’t being paid as promised, if your safety is threatened, if you are being asked to do something illegal are some examples.   However, absent those types of circumstances, how you leave a job is just as important as how you performed when you were in the job.  Every former employer is a potential source of feedback on your performance in the United States, regardless of whether or not you listed them as a reference.

Practice good ethics in accepting job offers:

A job search process is an arduous one for any employer.  Not only are considerable time and resources being used for the search itself, but the planning of projects is being done before you even arrive on-site, based on your acceptance of the offer.  It is important to understand that when you begin your work life in the United States, whether it is in food service at Campus Enterprises or at an employer that recruits at NC State, the job offer, even one that is verbally accepted, creates a contractual relationship between you and that employer.  To reneg on that job offer has consequences, and in small industries where portions of companies are bought and sold, you may find yourself needing to work with that company again.  You could even lose the new offer, because employers who discover that an individual reneged on an offer with a competitor may see you as untrustworthy and unethical.  These are not terms you want associated with you before you even begin your career!

 

Your career in the U.S. begins at NC State!

Please remember that as an international student, your career and professional reputation are beginning right here, right now, while you are a student at NC State.  On-campus employment is a wonderful opportunity that assists students financially, and some will get invaluable experience in their field of study.  Sometimes however, students who are working outside of their fields in areas requiring more manual labor, such as in food service, or service related jobs such as Campus Recreation or the Library, develop a mindset that this job or their supervisor will not help them in their chosen careers, and therefore perhaps don’t treat the job as seriously.  These students couldn’t be more wrong!

Hiring managers are of course looking for relevant experience, however they are also evaluating professionalism.  What will their former employer say about them?  Would they rehire the student?  Were they punctual? Did they perform tasks correctly and on time? Were they good team players?  Did they ever complain when asked to do something?   Hiring managers know that they can train an employee to do the task at hand, but these other traits? They display professionalism, and are much harder to train.

Amongst on-campus employers at NC State, recent instances of international students quitting a job without notice or reneging an offer before starting has created a climate where on-campus employers are now hesitant to hire international students.  This has negative consequences for all international students, many of whom depend on on-campus work.  It is also extremely short-sighted on behalf of the students, who at this point could have a solid job on-campus, where they can build their professional reputation and references for that summer internship they are hoping for off-campus.

Over the summer, several graduates from NC State (also all international students) reneged post-completion job offers at one company.  That employer is now questioning whether they should recruit from NC State at all going forward, because they question the professional ethics being taught to NC State students.   This is an impact that not only affects the other students that might have been hired in place of these individuals, and the reputation of NC State students in general, but also threatens the very reason many of you chose NC State as your school- the ability to get a job with a reputable employer after graduation.

It should also be noted that departments on campus are taking notice.  Depending on the circumstance, reneging on an off-campus offer for either internships or post-completion work will find the student unable to use the Career Development Center or ePack as a resource, will not be able to participate in on-campus interviews, and departments have created ‘black lists’ where students will not receive any future support regarding references or letters documenting acquired skills.  This can ultimately impact a future green card application, where documenting skills is a critical part of the Labor Certification process.

OIS and the Career Development Center will be offering a number of workshops this year regarding professionalism, resumes, job searching and interviewing, as well as the visa processes for off-campus employment.  Please keep an eye out for those sessions and if you are in doubt about how to handle a tricky employment issue in the U.S. please ask!  If we can’t assist you we will refer you to the best resource to assist.  We look forward to working with you all to facilitate your employment experiences and to make the hiring of NC State International Students a pleasant and rewarding experience for all involved!

 

Elizabeth James, Director

Resources for Student Success

Hello Students!

Now that we are a few weeks into your semester you likely have identified some of the challenges of studying at NC State and in the U.S.  We hope you have also identified some of the wonderful resources on campus available to YOU!  Below is a list of some of the resources that may be key to you being a successful student here at NC State.  Make it a personal goal to utilize or learn about at least two of them before midterms!

University Tutorial Center (UTC)

The UTC offers academic tutoring for many undergraduate subjects.  You may hear your academic advisor say, “All of my ‘A’ students have tutors.”  There is a reason they are making A’s!  Please check their website to learn about how to get connected with a tutor and attend an orientation session before Oct 7th.

Writing and Speaking Tutorial Services (WSTS)

The WSTS is for graduate and undergraduate students and is part of UTC. It can help you with the writing process and review your papers & speeches.  Academic writing style varies greatly from country to country.  The style of writing you are used to in your home country may not be the style that your professors in the U.S. are looking for. Visit WSTS for assistance.

English Language Resources

If you need extra practice with the English language use some of the resources listed on our webpage. Please speak with OIS if you are struggling with English and need resources beyond those listed on the webpage. There may be other options for you.

Counseling Center

Counseling Center staff meet with students facing personal, academic, or other challenges.  Their services are strictly confidential and are a great benefit for students.  They also host an International Student Success Group and many “drop-in groups” such as stress management and strategies for improving your sleep.  The Counseling Center is located inside the Student Health Center.

Learn about Academic Expectations in the U.S

How we teach, learn and do research is very much defined along cultural lines, so you may have noticed that the way you’re accustomed to learning can be very different from the way things are done at this university. Make sure that you familiarize yourself with the academic expectations at NC State University, so that you don’t inadvertently get into trouble. OIS has designed a web page especially for you on this topic to help you understand and point you to the resources you may need.

The Office of International Services (OIS)

We want you to succeed!  As you know, you are required to maintain full time enrollment in order to maintain your F-1 or J-1 status. You are also required to make normal academic progress and maintain good academic standing.  If you fall out of “good academic standing” it can affect your immigration status.  We want to help you avoid that!  If you feel you will not be as academically successful as you had expected this semester due to medical or academic hardships, please know that you may be eligible for a Reduced Course Load (RCL) authorization.  Check the eligibility requirements on our RCL webpage and let us know if you have questions or want to talk about options.  RCL are especially flexible for first semester students.  If you are new to NC State this fall and are struggling, come see us soon.

If you need additional assistance we are here to help.  Also, do not allow there to be boundaries between you and the  Academic Advisors in your Department or College. Communicate with them early and often about your challenges and ask for their advice and support for improvement. Students sometimes struggle alone either for cultural or personal reasons.  Often if a student who is struggling does not get the help they need early in the semester, they regret it later. If you feel yourself struggling, please seek assistance early! Communication is key.