Update on March 6th Executive Order

March 7, 2017

In follow up to last week’s message, we wanted to reach out to ensure you are aware of the latest developments on the travel-related executive order. The White House rescinded the original executive order yesterday and issued a new version that restricts entry to the U.S. for nationals of six countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for a 90-day period (Iraq has been removed from the list). The new executive order will be in effect for 90 days beginning March 16 at 12:01 AM eastern standard time. The executive order restraints could be extended and additional countries could be subject to restrictions.

The new executive order does not include foreign nationals who are U.S. lawful permanent residents (green card holders), holders of a valid U.S. visa, or dual nationals traveling on a valid passport from a non-restricted country, as well as those holding certain types of diplomatic visas and those who have been granted asylum or refugees already admitted to the U.S.

According to the order, new visas will not be issued for nationals of the six restricted countries during the 90-day period beginning March 16. The State Department indicates that it will continue to process visa applications from nationals of these countries until March 16. However, applicants should be prepared for lengthy security screening and the possibility that they may not be issued a visa before the executive order takes effect.

A Question & Answer session in response to the new executive order will be held on Wednesday, March 8th, from 11:00AM to 12:00PM at Sever Hall 214.

The new version of the executive order also requires that all applicants for visas undergo an in-person interview. This may mean delays in getting appointments for visa interviews as well as delays in processing of visas. Anyone needing to apply for a new visa stamp should plan accordingly.

If you travel abroad, we strongly advise you to enter your itinerary and contact information in the Harvard Travel Registry, which is managed by Harvard Global Support Services. Doing so expedites access to Harvard Travel Assist, their 24/7 global emergency response program. If you do travel abroad and are not permitted to return to the U.S., you should contact Harvard Travel Assist at +1-617-998-0000 or travelassist@harvard.edu to immediately notify the University.

The HIO is working with offices and key stakeholders throughout the University to offer resources and support and to advocate for the international students and scholars across the University who are important members of our community and who play a critical role in Harvard’s academic mission.

As we learn more, we will keep you informed and offer our guidance. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.