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Partially Reinstated Travel Ban to Take Effect on June 29, 2017: Beginning on Thursday, June 29, 2017, President Trump's partially reinstated travel ban will be instituted with respect to certain nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, and all refugees.  A Department of State cable provides detailed instructions to consular officers on the implementation. This follows the June 26 U.S. Supreme Court decision to partially lift injunctions against the ban, but to exempt foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship to an entity or person in the United States. Most students and exchange visitors should be able to meet this condition and therefore continue to be protected from the 90-day ban. For up-to-date information on the travel ban, please visit NAFSA’s Travel Advisory for Nationals of Certain Countries Pursuant to Executive Orders. Please contact your ISSS Advisor if you have any questions.

Greater Scrutiny for Visa Applicants at U.S. Consular Offices: The U.S. Department of State has ordered U.S. consulates to increase the screening of visa applicants and restrict the number of visa appointments held each day.  Visa officers will conduct more intensive interviews to determine whether visa applicants are eligible for the immigration category they seek and will have more discretion to order additional security checks beyond the regular background checks that all visa applicants undergo. These new processes, and the limits on the number of visa interviews, are likely to cause longer waits for interview appointments, and longer waits for passports with visas to be returned after the interview.  For detailed information on how to apply for an F or J visa and approximate wait times for visa interviews and visa application processing, please visit the U.S. Department of State’s website.

Foreign nationals flagged by a US consular officer for additional security screening will be asked to complete new visa application questions and may be asked to provide the following additional details:

  • Five years of public social media account information, email addresses and phone numbers
  • All prior passport numbers
  • 15 years of residence, employment and travel history (including source of travel funds)
  • The names of all children, siblings and current and former spouses

Though not every visa applicant will be subject to the new questions, foreign nationals may wish to prepare for the possibility that they will be asked to respond. Gathering social media, travel, work and residence history, details of prior passports and the like before a visa appointment can help minimize delays in the event a traveler is asked to provide additional information.  

New Restrictions regarding Electronic Devices on some Flights to U.S. and U.K.: The governments of the United States and the United Kingdom are now prohibiting travelers on direct flights bound for the U.S. or the U.K. from certain Middle Eastern and North African countries from carrying laptops, tablets and other devices in the passenger cabin. Restricted devices may be packed in checked baggage if otherwise permitted. Cellphones and smartphones are permitted in passenger cabins but must meet size limits on UK-bound flights.  For detailed information on the new restrictions regarding electronic devices on travel to the U.S., please consult the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DH) FAQ and factsheet.  For detailed information on the new restrictions regarding electronic devices on travel to the UK, please refer to the UK government’s FAQ.