New travel restrictions go into effect (September 24, 2017)
On September 24, President Trump issued a Presidential Proclamation entitled, “Enhancing Vetting capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats.” This replaces the travel ban imposed by the Executive Order of March 6, 2017. The Proclamation designates 8 countries—Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen—for partial or full restrictions on entry to the United States. Iraq has been removed from the list of proscribed countries; however, Iraqi nationals seeking entry to the United States will be subject to additional scrutiny
The Proclamation went into effect partially on September 24 and will enter into full effect on October 18.
If you have a visa that you obtained on or before September 24, are a green card holder from one of the 8 countries, or are a dual national traveling on your other passport (for example, a dual Iranian Canadian citizen seeking to enter the U.S. on a Canadian passport), the Proclamation does not apply to you. In addition, NATO or UN-specific visas are not covered by the new ban.
Since the original Executive Order was issued in January, Tufts has worked with other universities to support legal challenges to the Executive Order; most recently, Tufts contributed to an amicus brief supporting the challenge to the Executive Order before the U.S. Supreme Court, scheduled for oral argument on October 10. However, since the new vetting procedures are aimed at replacing the earlier Executive Order, the U.S. Supreme Court cancelled the hearing and directed the parties to file briefs addressing whether or to what extent the new Proclamation renders the cases moot.
The “Frequently Asked Questions” section below provides summary of key provisions of the new travel ban and answers to questions members of the Tufts community might have. It is also downloadable here. The full text of the Proclamation can be found here. The White House has also published a shorter Fact Sheet about the Proclamation, as well as FAQ. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as we receive more information on how the Proclamation will be implemented.
Update at Tufts (September 19, 2017)
On September 18, Tufts joined 30 universities calling on the Supreme Court to strike down President Trump’s Executive Order by filing a joint amicus brief. This reflects Tufts’ commitment to students and faculty from around the world.
The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on the Executive Order on October 10.
Tufts Guidance on Travel (June 26, 2017)
Today, the Supreme Court granted certiorari for the travel ban cases and agreed to hear oral arguments this fall. In the meantime, the Court reinstated the administration’s travel ban – at least, in part.
The reinstated travel ban only applies to foreign nationals from the six designated countries (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen) who lack "any bona fide relationship with any person or entity in the US.”
The reinstated ban does not apply to students who have been accepted to US universities or employees who work for US companies because these individuals have “bona fide” relationships with U.S. entities that exempt them from the ban.
For full text of the opinion, see here https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/16pdf/16-1436_l6hc.pdf
Based on today’s decision, current and incoming Tufts’ students, faculty and staff should still be able to travel abroad and return to the United States. As always, however, we must note that individual travelers may experience heightened screening requirements and delays, as enforcement agencies and airlines come to grips with yet another version of the travel ban. Please be sure to carry documentation evidencing your connection to Tufts (I-20, DS-2019, Non-immigrant visa approval notices, letters of appointment). If you encounter difficulty returning to Tufts, please contact Tufts University Police Department (TUPD) at 617-627-6911.
Tufts remains deeply committed to our international community and recognizes that today’s decision will impact many of our friends and colleagues who do not, as of yet, have a “bona fide” relationship with us. We will continue to watch these developments closely in the weeks and months ahead and encourage you to be in touch with the Tufts International Office with any questions.
Court stays latest Executive Order, halting travel ban (again)
Late on March 15, a federal judge in Hawaii issued a 43-page decision blocking the President’s revised Executive Order nationwide. Accordingly, the travel ban scheduled to take effect today has been put on hold indefinitely pending further litigation. Individuals from the targeted countries should be permitted to travel abroad and re-enter the United States as long as the stay remains in place.
The Revised Executive Order
The revised Executive Order was issued March 6, 2017, replacing President Trump’s earlier travel ban and removing Iraq from the list of targeted countries. It had been scheduled to go into effect today (March 16) and was designed to prevent nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen who do not have a valid visa obtained on or before January 27, 2017 from entering the United States until at least June 14, 2017. If you have a visa that you obtained on or before January 27, are a green card holder from one the 6 remaining countries, or are a dual national traveling on your other passport (for example, a dual Iranian Canadian citizen seeking to enter the U.S. on a Canadian passport), then the Executive order does not apply to you. In addition, Iraq has been removed from the list of proscribed countries, and people traveling on diplomatic, NATO or UN-specific visas are not covered.
Can Nationals from the 6 countries travel outside the United States now?
Yes; however, our advice cautiously remains: If you are from one of the six remaining countries on the travel ban list and can reasonably avoid discretionary travel outside the United States, we recommend that you continue to do so. If you need to travel, please reach out to your international office or to Diana Chigas, Senior International Officer and Associate Provost (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Travel Precautions: Spring Break Travel Plans
For members of our community from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen: The revised Executive Order issued on March 6, 2017 replaces the previous travel ban, removes Iraq from the list of targeted countries, and further narrows the scope of the ban to exclude permanent residents, dual citizens, and others. According to the Department of Homeland Security’s "Q&A" about implementation of the Executive Order, if you are from one of the six countries, and have a valid visa (that will be valid when you plan to return to the U.S.), you can travel outside the U.S. However, given the uncertainty of the situation, and until we have more information on how/if the new ban will be implemented, the University’s travel advice remains largely the same: If you are a non-immigrant visa holder from one of the six remaining countries on the list, we recommend that you continue to avoid discretionary travel outside the United States. We recognize that this may complicate your plans for Spring Break.
For all travelers going outside the United States, we are issuing the following recommendations:
- Visit the site of the Office of the Provost, the International Center or the Office of International Affairs at Tufts School of Medicine to keep informed of any changes in immigration regulations, travel recommendations and resources.
- Please ensure your passport is valid for reentry, that you hold the appropriate and valid visa in your passport, and that you carry with you all required immigration documents (e.g., Form DS-2019/I-20, valid passport, valid visa, etc.). Whether you are a student, scholar or employee of Tufts, it may be helpful to carry a letter from your Department noting that you are still a student, scholar or employee.
- Be prepared for heightened security measures/extra screening at the airport, so plan accordingly (e.g., delays, more intrusive searches).
- Consider whether you need to carry electronic devices, such as computers or cell phones. You should expect delays as well as more intrusive inspections. We have learned that personal electronic devices are now routinely being seized for inspection, so we would recommend that, if you are traveling, you should, if possible, seek alternatives to traveling with your devices. It may be best to travel with a "clean" laptop, if possible, and, if not, be mindful of any sensitive or confidential data that may be carried on or synced to your devices.
If you are detained by immigration officials and unable to re-enter the United States following your trip, please contact the Tufts University Police Department (TUPD) at 617-627-3030. They will connect you with one of us, so we can try to assist you in returning to Tufts. Please note that the TUPD number should be used for emergency situations only in which your detention prevents you from returning to the United States.
For non-emergency situations, please contact Diana Chigas, Senior International Officer and Associate Provost (email@example.com) and Dana Fleming, Assistant General Counsel (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your questions and concerns. We would welcome information from students, faculty and staff who may be temporarily detained, who may have their Tufts’ devices searched, or who experience other interactions they wish to share with us.
New Restrictions on Electronic Devices and Possible Difficulties Entering the United States
On March 21, 2017, Transportation Safety Authority (TSA) restricted airline passengers from bringing large electronic devices (laptops, tablets, e-readers, electronic games, portable printers, cameras, etc.) in carry-on luggage on flights from the following 10 airports:
Queen Alia International Airport (AMM) (Amman, Jordan)
Cairo International Airport (CAI) (Cairo, Egypt)
Ataturk International Airport (IST) (Istanbul, Turkey)
King Abdul-Aziz International Airport (JED) (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
King Khalid International Airport (RUH) (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)
Kuwait International Airport (KWI) (Farwaniya, Kuwait)
Mohammed V Airport (CMN) (Casablanca, Morocco)
Hamad International Airport (DOH) (Doha, Qatar)
Dubai International Airport (DXB) (Dubai)
Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) (Abu Dhabi)
All travelers coming to the United States from these airports should place large electronic devices in their checked luggage. Passengers can carry cellphones/smartphones on the plane.
For a fact sheet on the new security measures, see https://www.dhs.gov/news/2017/03/21/fact-sheet-aviation-security-enhancements-select-last-point-departure-airports.
The United Kingdom has adopted similar measures for flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.