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Immigrant and Refugee Students

**Update: On March 17, 2017, the US Department of Justice filed an appeal to U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson of Hawaii, asking him to change his decision regarding the nationwide block of the March 6 executive order that would temporarily block individuals from certain countries from receiving travel visas. The DOJ filing requested that Watson revise his decision and say it did not apply to the refugee ban or the government studies regarding this issue. On Sunday, March 19, Watson denied the request, stating that there is "nothing unclear" about his ruling, and the nationwide block will stay.

Please check back for updates as NACAC continues to monitor the status of this executive order.**

On March 6, 2017, President Trump signed a new executive order titled "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States." In addition, the White House issued a related fact sheet. This replaces a similar executive order signed in January. The executive order directs the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State to temporarily suspend visa issuance for the United States for 90 days for individuals from Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and Libya. The order as written does not apply to F, M, or J visa holders whose visas were valid and effective prior to the order issuance. NACAC issued a statement opposing this executive order.

 On Wednesday, March 15, 2017 a federal judge in Hawaii placed a nationwide block on the executive order. Shortly thereafter, a second federal judge in Maryland issued an injunction blocking enforcement of part of the executive order. The Trump Administration has appealed the Hawaii judge's ruling, as summarized above. These rulings mean that individuals are allowed to travel freely. However, because it is unclear if the court rulings will be upheld on appeal, students  from the countries included in the executive order planning to study at US institutions should review their legal options.

NACAC encourages you to speak with an immigration attorney or a Board of Immigration Appeals–accredited representative if you are working with immigrant or refugee students who are worried about their future.

The following organizations and affiliates may be useful resources for any questions you may have regarding this executive order, finding immigration lawyers, or navigating the international college admission process:


Counseling and Admission Professionals

Individuals Applying to US Institutions

  • International ACAC, for a list of higher education institutions that have said that they are still accepting applications from those students impacted by the order.
  • IIEPEER, a database of universities, scholarships, and organizations with resources for students attempting to study outside of Syria

Individuals and Families Seeking Legal Resources

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