FAQ regarding the recent executive order restricting immigration and travel

On Friday, Jan. 27, 2017, the White House issued an executive order relating to international immigration and visas to the United States. The situation continues to change, and Drake International will provide updates—particularly for F and J visa holders—as they become available via emails in addition to postings on this webpage. Visa holders should contact Drake International (515-271-2084 or carlyn.marron@drake.edu) with questions or concerns.

Drake University is offering this information to the best of our knowledge based on the current situation.

How will the visa application process for international students and scholars be affected?

All visa applicants must now make an appointment for an in-person interview at an appropriate U.S. embassy or consulate to obtain a new visa or renew a visa. International students and scholars should allow plenty of time for visa processing when planning travel back to the United States. The amount of time it takes to get a visa appointment will vary by country, so students or scholars should check the U.S. Department of State’s website for estimated wait times:

https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/general/wait-times.html/

How do the entry restrictions affect citizens of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen?

As of Jan. 27, 2017, citizens of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen are no longer being issued visas and will not be able to enter the United States for at least 90 days, with the Syrian ban being indefinite. Entry will not be permitted even with a current visa, with exceptions for the following visa types: diplomatic visas of foreign nationals, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas. (See the note below for permanent residents). This ban may be extended. Drake University is advising all citizens of these countries not to travel outside the United States until further notice. This advice extends to people with dual citizenship in one of the affected countries.

On February 3, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington in Seattle granted a nationwide temporary restraining order (TRO) that temporarily prohibits the Federal government from enforcing Section 3(c) the provision that established the 90-day ban on entry of "immigrants and nonimmigrants" from the affected countries.  The TRO also prohibits enforcement of Sections 5(a), 5(b), 5(c), and 5(e) of the Executive Order, which established the 120-day suspension of admission of refugees to the United States. The Justice Department appealed the TRO and the appeal was denied. 

While citizens of these countries can resume admission, this is temporary and we continue to recommend that citizens of these countries not travel outside the U.S. as the situation could still change while they are out of the country. 

Will I be affected if I’m a citizen of a different country?

The executive order calls for review of the visa issuance process. However, at this time, details about this screening process have not been made available. Drake will share any updates as soon as possible.

What if I’m a U.S. permanent resident?

While permanent residents were included in the executive order, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security John Kelley has issued a statement that permitting the entry of lawful permanent residents is in the national interest, and their entry will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis:

https://www.dhs.gov/news/2017/01/29/statement-secretary-john-kelly-entry-lawful-permanent-residents-united-states

Due to the uncertainty of this process, we recommend that permanent residents from the seven affected countries contact an immigration attorney before travel outside the United States.

If I’m an international student or scholar, what should I do before I travel outside the United States?

All F and J visa holders should contact Drake International prior to travel outside the United States to make sure that their documents are in order and signed. They should expect that there may be delays going through immigration on re-entry or that visa regulations may change while they are outside the United States.

Am I required to take my passport and I-20/DS-2019 with me while traveling inside the United States?

While it’s not currently required, Drake recommends that F and J visa holders take their passport and I-20/DS-2019 with them on domestic travel outside their state of residence, particularly when traveling by air, as they may be asked to provide proof of legal status in the United States by TSA or Customs and Border Patrol.

How will this executive order affect me if I’m enrolling in Drake from outside the United States for the first time?

Students and scholars who are citizens of one of the seven countries listed above will not be able to apply for an F-1 or J-1 visa during the 90-day period, and those from Syria indefinitely. Students may still have time to apply for a visa after this period, unless the ban is extended. Applicants should also be prepared for the possibility that the visa application could be subject to a background security check. If this happens it could cause delays in obtaining a visa, possibly delaying enrollment in the Fall 2017 semester. In this situation, students should communicate with International Admission at international@drake.edu to defer admission to a future semester.

Students and scholars from all other countries should make an appointment to go in person to the U.S. embassy or consulate and apply for an F-1 or J-1 visa. Again, allow plenty of time to set up an interview and for visa processing. The amount of time it takes to get a visa appointment will vary by country, so students and scholars should check the U.S. Department of State’s website for estimated wait times:

https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/general/wait-times.html/

If I’m an international student, what should I do if I’m transferring from another university in the United States to Drake?

Students from the affected countries should arrange to have their current school transfer their SEVIS record to Drake University when they complete their studies at the current school. Students may choose to stay in the United States between the time their studies at the current school end and the next term begins at Drake University if that period of time is five months or less. We recommend that students from the affected countries not travel outside the United States within this period. Students from these countries who choose to travel outside the United States should be aware that the 90-day ban may be extended, and they may not be able to apply for a new visa or re-enter the United States.

Students from all other countries should arrange to have their current school transfer their SEVIS record to Drake University when they complete their studies. Students may choose to stay in the United States between the time their studies at the current school end and the next term begins at Drake University if that period of time is five months or less. Students who choose to travel outside the United States with an expired F or J visa will be required to apply for a new visa in person at a U.S. embassy or consulate.

What international travel documents do I need while working in OPT status?

Drake University recommends that citizens of the affected countries not travel outside the United States until further notice, as they will not be able to re-enter the United States. Students from non-affected countries should have the following documents with them to show immigration officials upon return to the United States:

  1. Passport with at least six-month validity beyond your entry date
  2. Unexpired F-1 visa (If your visa has expired, you will need to renew it. Contact the International Center at 515-271-2084 or carlyn.marron@drake.edu for more information.)
  3. Unexpired EAD card (OPT card)
  4. A letter from your employer stating that you are working for them
  5. I-20 showing your current employer and signed by a Designated School Official from the International Center less than 12 months before your re-entry to the United States

What should I do if I’m an international student or scholar and I’ve been absent from the United States more than 5 months?

Students and scholars should contact Carlyn Marron in the International Center at carlyn.marron@drake.edu or 515-271-2084 for advice on how to proceed with their visa situation.

If a get a request for access to a student's records, what should I do?

Regardless of this immigration policy, access to a student’s educational record still falls under the purview of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and requests for information pertaining to a student’s record should be directed to the Student Records Office at 515-271-2025 or studentrecords@drake.edu. The Student Records staff is trained in how to respond to such requests.

Will Drake provide access to student or employee information, including immigration status and citizenship information, to federal authorities?

We do all that we can, within the framework of the law, to defend our students’ and employees’ rights. We are empowered by law to protect private information. That means we cannot release private information about any student or employee without proper legal authority to do so.

Where should I direct media inquiries?

If you are contacted by a news reporter or other member of the news media, please forward the inquiry ASAP to Jarad Bernstein, University Communications, at jarad.bernstein@drake.edu or 515-271-3119.

I'm planning to travel abroad. Are there any precautions I should take?

International students preparing to study abroad through Drake this spring or summer should set up an appointment with Drake International (515-271-2084) to verify that all of their documentation is up to date. We recommend that all international students and scholars who will be traveling by air either domestically or internationally carry their passports and their I-20s/DS-2019s with them.

U.S. citizens preparing to study abroad this spring or summer should verify whether a visa is required for entry into the host country. Given the fluid context of the executive order, it is prudent to allow extra processing time for required visas. For assistance with visa support for U.S. citizens traveling abroad, please contact Karen Williams, education abroad advisor, at 515-271-2084.

Where can I go for emotional support?

Confidential counseling services are available at no cost for students via the Counseling Center (515-271-3864), and for faculty and staff through the Employee Assistance Program (800-327-4692).

Where can employees go for more information on immigration-related questions?

Please contact Human Resources (515-271-4804) with any specific questions and for assistance in identifying appropriate resources.

Where can I go for legal advice?

For legal inquiries and immigration law resources, please contact Jerry Foxhoven, executive director at the Neal & Bea Smith Legal Clinic, at 515-271-2073 or jerry.foxhoven@drake.edu. For additional Iowa immigration service providers and other resources, visit the Iowa Department of Human Rights website. The Davis Brown Immigration Law Blog also provides an excellent resource: Executive Order on Visa Issuance, Screening, and Refugee Admissions Policies.

What is Drake’s definition of sanctuary campus?

Drake University is a place of refuge or safety—our chosen definition of “sanctuary”—for all of our students, faculty, and staff. We do all that we can, within the framework of the law, to defend our students’ and employees’ rights. We protect private information. We provide programming and education regarding immigrants’ rights. We advocate for our government’s policies to align with our nation’s best aspirations for equity, opportunity, and inclusion.

Students and scholars should contact Drake International at 515-271-2084 if they have additional questions. Faculty and staff should contact Human Resources at 515-271-2011. Drake also encourages individuals to discuss their particular immigration circumstance with their own attorney, as well.

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