These FAQs are intended to address questions that international students, scholars or faculty may have. If you are a DACA or undocumented student, please see the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Undocumented Student FAQs. If you are interested in more information on what an executive order or proclamation is and the structure of the United States government as it relates to laws, proclamations and executive orders, please see an explanation provided by NAFSA: The Association of International Educators.
These FAQs are informational and do not constitute legal advice. Each individual’s situation is different, and the best course of action for each individual may vary depending on that person’s particular situation. Be aware that as federal developments related to immigration occur, the information provided below may change.
Resources listed on this page are also provided for informational purposes only. Linking to a website or document does not indicate endorsement of the content, or the organization hosting the content.
If you have questions regarding these FAQs, please contact the Office of International Services @ (541) 737-6310 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your questions are beyond the scope of our office, we may recommend you speak with an immigration attorney. Anyone with legal questions is strongly encouraged to seek qualified legal advice for their specific personal and family circumstances. For information about what to expect when working with a lawyer, please read the information from the Oregon State Bar. Resources to find an immigration attorney include:
On Jan. 20, 2021, the U.S. president signed a Proclamation revoking the previous administration’s Executive Orders and Presidential Proclamations that prohibited immigrants and non-immigrants from certain countries entering the United States. The Jan. 20, 2021 Proclamation revokes the following prior administration’s actions:
On June 22, 2020, a presidential proclamation was issued suspending the entry of foreign nationals who according to the administration “present a risk to the U.S. labor market following the coronavirus outbreak.” The proclamation went into effect on June 24, 2020, at 12:01 a.m. EDT.
The proclamation suspends H-1B, H-2B, L-1 and certain J-1 exchange visitors (and their dependent family members) from entering the United States starting June 24, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2020. The J-1 exchange visitors affected include those “participating in an intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair or summer work travel program.”
The proclamation will be implemented by the Department of State as it relates to visa issuance. The Department of Homeland Security will implement the proclamation as it relates to entry into the U.S. The proclamation will be enforced by consular officers at the time a covered individual applies for a visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad, and by immigration officials at U.S. ports of entry.
The proclamation is effective as of 12:01 a.m. EDT on June 24, 2020. It will expire on Dec. 31, 2020.
The proclamation also extends until Dec. 31, 2020, the April 22, 2020 proclamation, which suspended entry into the U.S. of certain immigrants.
Current and prospective students with a J immigration status should contact the Office of International Services at email@example.com. If you are a current or prospective J-1 scholar or H1-B employee, please contact OIS at firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone with legal questions is strongly encouraged to seek qualified legal advice for their specific personal and family circumstances; please see the top of this page for appropriate resources.
On May 29, 2020, the President Trump issued a Proclamation Suspending Entry of Certain Students and Researchers from the Peoples Republic of China. The Proclamation indicates that the restriction is designed to prevent "China's acquisition of sensitive U.S. technologies and intellectual property to modernize its military..." The proclamation became effective on Monday, June 1, 2020 at 12:00 PM EDT and will remain in effect until the president terminates it.
Source: Association of International Educators (NAFSA)
The proclamation suspends the entry of Chinese citizens into the United States pursuant to F-1 and J-1 graduate students seeking to study in the U.S. and J-1 exchange visitors seeking to conduct research in the U.S. if the individual either currently or in the past receives funding from, is employed by, studies at or conducts research for an entity that implements or supports the PRC’s “military-civil fusion” strategy.
“Military-civil fusion" strategy is defined as "actions by or at the behest of the PRC to acquire and divert foreign technologies, specifically critical and emerging technologies, to incorporate into and advance the PRC's military capabilities." Undergraduate students are exempt from the proclamation. Graduate students and researchers are also exempt from the proclamation if they do not have any of the specific current or past funding, employment, study, or research ties with "an entity in the PRC that implements or supports the PRC’s 'military-civil fusion strategy'."
The proclamation does NOT apply to:
This proclamation does not limit the ability for individuals to seek asylum, refugee status, withholding of removal or protection under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
No, the proclamation specifically exempts F or J visa holders seeking to pursue undergraduate study in the U.S., including English language learning programs and pathway programs.
No, as currently written, the proclamation only affects individuals seeking entry into the U.S. However, there is a provision that directs the U.S. secretary of state to consider whether nationals of China currently in the U.S. pursuant to F or J visas and who otherwise meet the criteria should have their visas revoked. Visa validity and immigration status are separate. Visa revocation typically affects entry or re-entry into the U.S. Therefore, in most cases, the revocation of a visa while in the U.S. has no direct bearing on immigration status as long as the affected individual continues to maintain all the terms of their immigration status during their stay in the U.S.
The U.S. secretary of state will implement the proclamation as it applies to visa procedures, in consultation with the U.S. secretary of homeland security. The secretary of homeland security will implement the proclamation "as it applies to the entry of aliens pursuant to such procedures” as the secretary of homeland security, in consultation with the secretary of state, may establish.
The proclamation does not affect petitions filed for or by Chinese nationals with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
For students and prospective students in F and J immigration status, please contact the Office of International Services (OIS) at email@example.com. If you are a current or prospective J-1 scholar, please contact OIS at firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone with legal questions is strongly encouraged to seek qualified legal advice for their specific personal and family circumstances; please see the top of this page for appropriate resources.
On April 22, 2020, a Presidential Proclamation was issued, suspending entry into the U.S. for 60 days for certain new immigrants who do not already have an approved immigrant visa. The proclamation does not impact applicants for adjustment of status to permanent residence or nonimmigrants such as students, exchange visitors, H-1B workers or visitors for business or pleasure. The proclamation is effective April 23, 2020, at 11:59pm.
The suspension of entry into the United States applies to immigrants who:
The suspension of entry into the U.S. does not apply to:
The proclamation will be enforced by consular officers at the time a covered individual applies for an immigrant visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad, and by immigration inspectors at U.S. ports of entry.
The proclamation is effective at 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on April 23, 2020. It will expire 60 days from its effective date but may be continued as necessary, as determined by the president.
Disclaimer: This document does not contain legal advice. Individuals who are concerned about whether and how receipt of public benefits might affect their immigration status should ask for help from an immigration attorney.
Updated August 4, 2020
On July 29, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) issued an injunction prohibiting the Department of Homeland Security from enforcing, applying, implementing, or treating as effective the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds Final Rule for any period during which there is a declared national health emergency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
As long as the July 29, 2020, SDNY decision is in effect, USCIS will apply the 1999 public charge guidance that was in place before the Public Charge Rule was implemented on Feb. 24, 2020
Updated February 2020
On Jan. 27, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court lifted – except in the state of Illinois – a 2019 preliminary injunction prohibiting the enforcement of a rule relating to immigration cases.
As a result, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Department of State will enforce the final rule on inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds effective Feb 24, 2020. The rule will not be retroactive, so the rule will not be applied to anyone until after February 24.
"Public charge" or the "public charge test" is used by immigration officials to decide if a person can get admission into the United States, change or extend their immigration status or get lawful permanent resident status, such as receipt of a green card.
Immigration officials consider an applicant’s age, health, family status, assets, resources, financial status, education and skills to determine if they are likely to depend on the U.S. government for aid in the future.
Applicants have to demonstrate that they have not received one or more of the listed public benefits, for more than an aggregate of 12 months over any 36-month period of time. Each benefit used counts toward the 12-month calculation. For instance, if an applicant receives two different benefits in one month that counts as two months of public benefits.
The public charge rule takes into consideration public benefits received directly by the applicant for the applicant’s own benefit, or if the applicant is a listed beneficiary of the public benefit. Public benefits received on behalf of family members, such as eligible children, are not considered a public charge.
The rule applies to:
The rule does not apply* to:
*This is not an exhaustive list
Any federal, state, local, or tribal cash assistance for income maintenance
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Federal, state or local cash benefit programs for income maintenance (often called “General Assistance” in the state context, but which may exist under other names)
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or formerly called “Food Stamps”)
Public Housing Assistance including Section 8 subsidized housing
Federally funded Medicaid (with some exclusions)
Any benefits* not included in the rule are excluded from consideration. In the state of Oregon, these include:
*This is not an exhaustive list
Call the Oregon Public Benefits Hotline at 1-800-520-5292 for free assistance. See the USCIS press release for additional Information.
Anyone with legal questions is strongly encouraged to seek qualified legal advice for their specific personal and family circumstances; please see the top of this page for appropriate resources.
Updated August 4, 2020
On July 31, 2020 DHS filed a motion to dismiss its own appeal of the lower court's decision. That means, USCIS has returned to applying prior policy guidance based on its unlawful presence memo issued on May 6, 2009. Under that prior policy which is now back in effect, individuals admitted for duration of status do not begin accruing unlawful presence until an immigration judge finds a status violation in the course of an immigration proceeding, or an immigration officer finds a violation of status in the course of an application for an immigration benefit.
Effective August 9, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) made fundamental changes to its policy on how an immigration status violation might lead to accrual of unlawful presence.
International students, exchange visitors, and family members over the age of 18 in F, J, or M visa status may start accruing unlawful presence if they are in violation of their immigration status. Accumulation of unlawful presence may have severe consequences such as a 3-year, 10-year or permanent ban from entering the U.S.
Failure to maintain status may include but is not limited to:
Being admitted for a date certain period on your Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) and remaining in the United States beyond that date.
USCIS officers consider information relating to your immigration history, including but not limited to:
If you failed to maintain status before August 9, 2018, you start accruing unlawful presence based on that failure on August 9, 2018, unless you already started accruing unlawful presence on the earliest of the following:
Your family’s immigration status is tied directly to your status. When your authorized period of stay ends, so does that of your dependent family members. In some cases, family members’ period of stay may end earlier, depending on their conduct or other circumstances.
Family members in F or J status under 18 years of age generally do not accrue unlawful presence.
On April 18, 2017, a new executive order, Executive Order 13788, titled "Buy American and Hire American" was signed. In the "Hire American" portion of the executive order, the U.S. Departments of Labor, Justice, Homeland Security and State are directed to review current laws governing the H-1B program and suggest changes to prioritize the most skilled and highest paid positions. The federal agencies are also directed to review all visa programs and take action to prevent fraud and abuse in order to protect the interests of U.S. workers. The executive order does not specify dates by which these reviews or actions must take place. Read about Executive Order 13788 on whitehouse.gov.
The executive order will have no immediate impact on H-1B visas. Most changes to the H-1B program would require legislative action by Congress. However, measures to prevent fraud and abuse could be implemented much faster by the federal agencies via policy changes.