Last updated: Feb. 10, 2017

This page is designed to provide the Virginia Tech community with the latest information and guidance regarding the impact of the recent executive orders on US immigration.  Virginia Tech will continue to monitor the impact of the immigration-related executive orders on the Virginia Tech community and will update this page regularly as more information becomes available.  

Information related to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals  (DACA) program

A. Virginia Tech will cooperate with government agencies enforcing the recent executive order to the extent it is required to by law. The Virginia Tech police department does not have a policy or practice of requesting the immigration status of individuals it encounters and absent a change in the law compelling it to do so will not engage in such practices.

A. Most Virginia Tech student education records are covered by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) which prohibits the release of these records without a court order. Virginia Tech will strictly adhere to the requirements of FERPA. The education records of students who are beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the education records of any undocumented students are covered by FERPA.  However, there are certain members of the Virginia Tech community on non-immigrant visas that have been sponsored by the university (e.g., F-1s and H-1Bs). By participating in these programs, Virginia Tech may be required to release some information regarding sponsored individuals if it is requested by an appropriate federal authority such as Homeland Security.

A. Those with general questions about DACA, or questions related to Virginia Tech policies regarding DACA may contact Dr. Patty Perillo, vice president for student affairs (540-231-6272). Students with legal questions about DACA may contact Student Legal Services (540-231-4720) or an independent legal advisor of their choosing. Employees or other members of the community with legal questions about DACA should consult an independent legal advisor of their choosing.

What is the current state of the travel ban?

On Friday, February 3, 2017, a federal judge in Seattle, Washington, issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) with nationwide effect that restrained the federal government from enforcing the portions of the Executive Order related to the travel ban and refugee programs. The Trump Administration appealed the TRO to the Ninth Court of Appeals. On Thursday, February 9, 2017, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the Trump Administration's emergency motion for a stay on the District Court's TRO preventing the government from enforcing the Executive Order's 90-day travel ban.

January 27, 2017 Executive Order - Summary

On January 27, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.”

  1. The order suspends the issuance of visas and other immigration benefits including “entry into the United States” for all individuals from seven designated countries:  Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, for at least 90 days.
    1. Individuals who hold passports from the designated countries are considered “from” the designated country.  This includes individuals who hold dual citizenship, i.e., those who hold passports from a designated country and from a non-designated country.  The suspension impacts individuals who are nonimmigrant visa holders, refugees, derivative asylees, Special Immigrant Visa holders, etc.
    2. The order does not apply to persons from the seven designated countries who are diplomats, and on NATO visas, C-2s (United Nationals related visas), and G visas (international organization officials and employees and their immediate family members)
    3. On Jan. 29, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security issued a statement confirming that it is in the national interest to allow US permanent residents (green card holders) from the seven affected countries to enter the United States.  The statement goes on to note that “absent the receipt of significant derogatory information indicating a serious threat to public safety and welfare, lawful permanent resident status will be a dispositive factor in our case-by-case determinations.”  It is likely that US permanent residents from the affected countries will be required to go through secondary inspection at the US port of entry to ensure that they do not pose a risk.
    4. The order does not apply to people who have merely traveled to the seven designated countries
  2. The order suspends (with some exceptions) the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program as a whole for 120 days, and halts Syrian refugee admissions indefinitely.
  3. The order suspends the Visa Interview Waiver Program (VIWP).  Effective immediately, ALL nonimmigrant visa applicants (regardless of country of birth or citizenship) must attend an interview unless an interview is not required by statute.  Previously, the VIWP allowed consular officers to waive the interview requirement for applicants seeking to renew nonimmigrant visas within 12 months of expiration of the initial visa in the same classification.
    1. The suspension of the VIWP will likely cause delays in visa issuance at many US consulates abroad, particularly those in countries that already process a high volume of visa applications.  
  1. American Immigration Lawyers Association
  2. Virginia Lawyer Referral Service
  3. Students in the Northern Virginia area may contact a network of immigration attorneys who are available to answer questions (at no charge) at: legalquestion@dullesjustice.org

Citizens of other countries are not impacted by the ban on entry, unless you are a dual citizen of one of the seven listed countries, you were born in one of those countries, or you have traveled to one of those countries.

If you are already in the United States, your current status is not affected by the Executive Order.  You can remain in the US for as long as your status allows.  Please note that the Department of State has released a cable that purports to cancel existing visas in passports from the seven named countries, so you should not travel expecting to use the visa to return.  You should not depart the US without consulting an immigration attorney or your foreign student advisor.

The administration has stated that dual citizens are permitted to travel using passports of a country OTHER than one of the list of seven countries.  You should expect additional screening upon your return to the US.  If your nonimmigrant visa is in the passport of one of the listed countries, you should not travel outside the US.

The Executive Order does not restrict travel by citizens of countries other than those on the list of seven countries.  However, if you have traveled to one of the seven listed countries in the past, you should expect additional screening.

You can travel outside the US and reenter, but you should expect additional screening upon reentry to the US.

You can travel outside the US and reenter, but you should expect additional screening upon reentry to the US.

You can travel outside the US and reenter, but you should expect additional screening upon reentry to the US.  You should travel only using your US passport.

You can travel outside the US and reenter.

You can travel outside the US and reenter, but you should expect additional screening upon reentry to the US.

You can travel outside the US and reenter.  You should expect additional screening upon reentry to the US.

You can travel outside the US and reenter.

Yes.  The executive order eliminated the ability for certain people renewing a nonimmigrant visa to skip the interview process.  In the past, some applicants for nonimmigrant visas were able to skip an in-person interview at the Consulate if they were applying to extend an existing visa.  Under the Executive Order, the circumstances under which a waiver of the interview may be granted are now more limited.  However, the State Department has confirmed that the interview waiver program still applies to applicants aged 14 and under and 79 and older.  They have also confirmed that it still applies to applicants who were issued visas that expired less than 12 months ago in the same category as they are currently seeking.  Individual consulates always reserve the ability to require an interview, even for individuals otherwise eligible for a waiver of the interview.  Travel plans should be made accordingly.

Your employer can apply for H1B on your behalf.  However, there have been reports that the US Citizenship & Immigration Services (US CIS) has suspended adjudication of petitions for immigration benefits filed nationals or citizens of the seven listed countries.  Accordingly, it is possible that processing of the petition could be delayed.  We will circulate more information as it becomes available.

Your employer can apply for H1B on your behalf. However, there have been reports that the US Citizenship & Immigration Services (US CIS) has suspended adjudication of petitions for immigration benefits filed nationals or citizens of the seven listed countries.  Accordingly, it is possible that processing of the petition could be delayed.  We will circulate more information as it becomes available.

Your employer can apply for H1B on your behalf.

You can apply for CPT.  This is authorized by the school.  We are not aware of reports of CPT being impacted. Graduate students should contact International Graduate Student Services for assistance; undergraduate students should contact the Cranwell International Center.

You can apply for OPT.  Applications for the OPT employment authorization document (EAD) are filed with the US CIS.  There have been reports that the US CIS has suspended adjudication of applications for immigration benefits filed by nationals or citizens of the 7 listed countries.  Accordingly, it is possible that processing of the application could be delayed.  We will circulate more information as it becomes available. Graduate students should contact International Graduate Student Services for assistance; undergraduate students should contact the Cranwell International Center.

STEM extensions of OPT are still available and were not part of any signed Executive Orders.  If you do not have any ties to the seven listed countries, your STEM OPT extension should continue to be processed as they have been before the order.  If you are from one of the listed countries, the adjudication of your application for the STEM extension could be delayed, as explained above.

The information contained on this page is intended as general information and should not be considered legal advice. Individuals should consider consulting the legal advisor of their choosing for an assessment of their individual situation.

Virginia Tech Resources

  • Students who may be struggling with the impact of the executive orders may contact the Cook Counseling Center
  • Benefitted employees who may be struggling with the impact of the executive orders may wish to make use of the Employee Assistance Program
  •  Non-benefitted employees who may be struggling with the impact of the executive orders may contact HokieWellness for available resources.