July 10, 2017 -- 
Dear WVU International Community,
As you may be aware, the Supreme Court of the United States has reviewed the Trump administration’s ban on travelers from six countries, and has concluded that the ban can be  partially implemented.
At this time, West Virginia University is continuing to examine the court’s ruling to determine its impact for our students, scholars, and their families. The Office of Global Affairs will provide you with more information once it becomes available.
As always, we want to reassure you of the University’s strong support for our international community. If you have questions or concerns, we encourage you to reach out to us and let us know – our team in  International Student & Scholar Services are available to help answer questions you may have.
Office of Global Affairs

Implementation Guidance to Partially Reinstated 90-day Travel Ban

The Department of State (DOS) has issued new guidance (effective June 29, 2017) in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 26, 2017 partial reinstatement of President Trump’s revised Executive Order (EO), dated March 6, 2017.  The revised EO limits travel to the United States by foreign nationals from six designated countries (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen).  

Who Will be Allowed to travel to the United States: 
Per DOS guidance, the ban cannot be enforced against foreign nationals from any of the affected countries “who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” This includes, but is not limited to, admitted students to U.S. universities, workers who accept employment from U.S. employers or lecturers invited to address American audiences. Close family relationship (per guidance) is being a parent (including an in-law), fiancé, spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, or sibling, including a step-sibling and other step-family.

What it Means for WVU:  
Due to the “bona fide relationship” standard, the travel restrictions are not expected to have a significant impact on WVU. Most students, exchange visitors, employment-based nonimmigrants and immigrants, and their dependents, should be able to meet this condition, and should therefore continue to be protected from the 90-day ban.  In practical terms, they have agreements to study, work, or conduct research at WVU. For example, evidence of this relationship includes a student’s I-20 (for F-1 student) or DS-2019 (for J-1 students), WVU ID card, official transcript, assistantship letter, etc.

Who is Exempt from the Revised Executive Order: 

  •  Legal Permanent Residents (“green card holders”), asylees, and refugees already admitted to the U.S.
  •  Individuals with currently valid immigrant and nonimmigrant visas and individuals holding advance parole*       •  Dual nationals traveling on a passport issued by a non-designated country 
  •  Individuals traveling on diplomatic related visas.

Extreme Vetting – Who is Affected: 
Although it appears that the effect of the travel ban impacts a limited number of individuals, more individuals may be subject to extreme vetting when applying for visas for admission into the U.S.  On March 6, 2017, the government released a new Supplemental Questions Form DS-5535 for visa applicants that can be used by any consular officials to assess eligibility for admission into the U.S.  Officers from Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) may also choose to ask for some of this information:
  •  15 years of travel history
  •  15 years of address history
  •  Information on all spouses, partners, siblings, and children
  •  Identification of all websites or applications used to create or share content over 5-year period

Travel Advisory: 
Although we don’t expect entry into the U.S. to pose problems for WVU students (both current and newly admitted), students from the affected countries are urged to exercise caution when deciding whether to travel:

  •  Those inside the U.S.:  are urged not travel outside the U.S.  And, if you must travel,       you should bring with you evidence of your bona fide relationship to WVU.
  •  Those outside the U.S (e.g. newly admitted students: should make sure they carry       with them evidence of their “bona fide relationship” to WVU (e.g. I-20/DS-2019,       admission letter, assistantship letter and passport showing the WVU notation on their       F-1 visa stamp page).

Following are links to additional information posted by the U.S government on partially restored 90-day Travel Ban (instituted on June 29, 2017):

  •  A Department of State cable provides detailed instructions to consular officers on the implementation:       http://www.nafsa.org/Professional_Resources/Browse_by_Interest/International_Students_and_Scholars/DOS_Implementation_Cable_On_Partially_Restored_Travel_Ban/ 
  •  A DOS FAQ: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/news/important-announcement.html
  •  A DHS FAQ: https://www.dhs.gov/news/2017/06/29/frequently-asked-questions-protecting-nation-foreign-terrorist-entry-united-states