One week into her senior year, Natasha Reifenberg headed to an academic health conference in El Salvador, presenting a policy brief based in research she had been involved in for the last two years. An opportunity usually reserved for distinguished academics, the trip was just one of many highlights in an outstanding undergraduate career that includes internships at the Global Fund for Women and United Nations Development Program and independent research opportunities centered around women’s issues and rights. Reifenberg attributes her accomplishments to her education in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters — particularly her philosophy major.
Executive Orders and Impact
International Student and Scholar Affairs (ISSA) will use this page to share updates with students and scholars in F-1, F-2, J-1 and J-2 status whose I-20 or DS-2019 were issued by Notre Dame. Though drafts of future executive orders may circulate, we will not address their content here until a finalized document is available. If you have questions, please contact us at email@example.com or +1-574-631-1138.
Updated December 5, 2017, 9:15am
UPDATE: On December 5, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the an earlier travel ban could be fully implemented until further ruling in lower courts. This does not affect those students and scholars currently within the U.S. Students and scholars sponsored by the University of Notre Dame have a bona fide relationship as required by the proclamation. More information can be found here. If you have any questions about traveling over the break, please contact as firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us during walk-in hours.
Note that decisions as to entry or re-entry may be up to the discretion of consular officers and Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry so there are no guarantees regarding visa issuance or entry into the U.S.
On September 24, 2017, the Presidential Proclamation: ENHANCING VETTING CAPABILITIES AND PROCESSES FOR DETECTING ATTEMPTED ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES BY TERRORISTS OR OTHER PUBLIC-SAFETY THREATS was released. It suspends visa issuance and entry for citizens/nationals of countries of identified concern, including Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. Citizens/nationals of Sudan are no longer subject to travel restrictions. This proclamation does not affect students and scholars already in the U.S. It also does not affect the travel and reentry plans for most students or scholars applying for or entering F-1 or J-1 visas. Three exceptions are Syrian, North Korean, and Iranian citizens. The entry of all nationals from Syria and North Korea, both immigrant and non-immigrant, has been suspended at this time. We do not advise travel outside the U.S. for those students. Also affected are Iranian student and scholars, who will be subjected to enhanced screening. Again, this proclamation does not affect students currently in the U.S.
On June 26, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed certain provisions of the government’s 90-day travel ban for citizens of six countries (Iran, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen) to be enforced while the Court prepares for a full review of the Travel Ban this Fall.
However, the Court's order states that entry to the U.S. cannot be blocked to those individuals from the affected countries "who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” This bona fide relationship is said to include students admitted to a U.S. school and workers who accept an offer of employment from a U.S. employer, among others.
Based on examples provided in the Court's order, students and scholars who are nationals of the affected countries and are admitted or officially invited to Notre Dame can apply for a visa and if granted a visa, should be able to travel to the US. Additionally, an international student, scholar, or employee from one of the affected countries should be able to leave the U.S. during the summer and return with a valid visa to continue their studies, official visits, or employment at Notre Dame.
On May 25, 2017, a U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ruling maintained the freeze of the revised entry ban. This ruling means the government is still prevented from enforcing travel restrictions announced earlier this year. Please contact ISSA with any questions.
On April 18, 2017, the Presidential Executive Order on Buy American and Hire American was signed. The full text of this EO can be found at the Press Office site. As it affects international F-1 and J- visa holders who may want to pursue a work visa, this EO currently requires only a review of the existing rules around H-1B visas; there are no proposed changes at this time. We will update this page as proposed changes are announced.
On March 15, 2017, the U.S. District Court in Hawaii issued a nationwide temporary restraining order on the revised entry ban, preventing the government from enforcing the travel restrictions. This means the ban which was to go into effect on March 16, 2017, is currently stayed. Please contact ISSA with any questions you may have in relation to any of the Executive Orders.
Executive Order: Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States signed March 6, 2017
On March 6, 2017, an updated version of the Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States Executive Order was signed, which revokes Executive Order 13769. The full text of this updated EO can be found on the whitehouse.gov site at Press Office: Executive Order Protecting Nation. A fact sheet of the order can be found on the Department of Homeland Security site and a summary can be found at AILA’s site. Answers to frequently asked questions can be found here.
This EO affects foreign nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen who are outside the U.S. on the effective date of order, do not currently have a valid visa on the effective date of this order and did not have a valid visa at 5:00 p.m. EST on January 27, 2017. They are not eligible to travel to the United States during the 90-day period. It is important to note that current F and J visa holders are eligible to travel in and out of the U.S., as long as the visa is valid.
This order does not apply to U.S. permanent residents, those with advance parole documents, dual nationals of the designated countries if they are traveling on a passport issued by a non-designated country, those with diplomatic visas, those already granted asylum or those refugees already admitted to the U.S. There are other exceptions, which can be reviewed in the "Waivers" section of the E.O.
This new order maintains the suspension of the visa interview waiver program, as noted below. It is highly likely that visa applicants will have to go in to the consulate for an interview, so be sure to give yourself time when applying for the visa and planning for travel to the U.S.
Federal Judge Blocks Parts of Executive Order
On February 9, 2017, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the federal government's motion for an emergency stay, which means that the determination on February 2 that the restrictions on travel were illegal is still being upheld.
On February 2, 2017, a judge in western Washington ruled that the restrictions on travel into the U.S. by citizens from the 7 countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen) was illegal. Despite this court order, ISSA still continues to advise extreme caution and no travel from the U.S. for those from the 7 countries as the situation could change again. The Executive Order and its implications are described in more detail below.
Executive Order: Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States signed January 27, 2017
The full text of this executive order can be found on the whitehouse.gov site at U.S. Presidential Executive Order: Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States. A summary by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) can be found at Summary of Executive Order.
This Executive Order addresses a number of issues that have an impact on international students and scholars.
Visa Application - Interview Waiver
All visa applicants will now go to the consulate for an in-person appointment to apply for a new visa or renew a visa. This applies to all international students and scholars, regardless of country of origin. Though a court order was issued on February 3, its contents did not pertain to this section of the Executive Order. As of February 6, the suspension of the visa interview waiver program is still in effect. If you are planning a trip outside of the U.S. and will need to renew your visa, check with your local U.S. consulate as processes may have changed and wait times may be longer.
Entry Restrictions for Citizens of 7 Countries
Individuals from the following countries are impacted by the executive order, even if the traveler possesses a valid visa: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen. Individuals from these countries cannot enter the U.S. for a period of 90 days from day of signing. Despite the court challenge of February 2, which suspends this section of the order, ISSA strongly continues to advise that individuals from the 7 listed countries not travel out of the U.S. during this time, as the ban could be reinstated and affect reentry to the U.S.
Clarifications of the Executive Order: Permanent Residents, Dual Nationals, and Applications/Petitions from Citizens of 7 Affected Countries
- On February 1, 2017, a memo was released confirming that the entry of legal U.S. permanent residents (green card holders) from the 7 listed countries was deemed to be of national interest.
- On February 1, another memo was released confirming that the executive order "does not restrict the travel of dual nationals from any country with a valid U.S. visa in a passport of an unrestricted country."
- On February 3, a clarification was issued by USCIS in their Implementation of Executive Order that they would continue to adjudicate applications and process petitions for nationals of the 7 affected countries whose "approval does not directly confer travel authorization."
Statement regarding Executive Order from Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., President
Statement from Dr. Michael E. Pippenger, Vice President and Associate Provost for Internationalization
Notre Dame Observer Editorial Board: "Rescind this Order"
Notre Dame Observer Staff Report: "University and College respond to executive order"
"South Bend protestors march in solidarity" - South Bend Tribune
When Francesco Tassi arrived at Notre Dame, he was sure he would major in finance. But a lecture on refugees set him on a different path — one that led him to travel through Italy for three months to study refugee integration firsthand. Tassi, who was born in Italy and moved to the United States in third grade, traveled widely in high school and spent time living with host families in several countries. Those experiences sparked a passion for learning about and understanding cultures.