Government Updates

“On September 25, 2020, ICE published a proposed rule "Establishing a Fixed Time Period of Admission and an Extension of Stay Procedure for Nonimmigrant Academic Students, Exchange Visitors, and Representatives of Foreign Information Media."  Northwestern University submitted a public comment letter in response.

OISS will continue to follow all developments related to the proposed rule and will update the international community as we are able. “

Northwestern Response to and information on Fall 2020 SEVP Guidance from July 6

Dear International Students,

I am writing to share some wonderful news. The U.S. government is withdrawing the directive that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced on July 6, which would have prohibited international students in the U.S. from taking a fully online/remote course load during the Fall 2020 term while remaining in F-1 status. Following legal challenges from Northwestern University and from higher education institutions and states nationwide, a federal judge announced today that ICE will rescind the directive. This means international students currently in F-1 status will be able to keep this status for the Fall 2020 term, provided they register for a full course load, regardless of whether these courses are in person or online/remote, and regardless of whether they are in the United States or outside the United States.

告诉大家一个好消息。美国政府已经决定取消移民局七月六日发出的有关禁止在美持有F-1签证的国际学生在2020年秋季只上网课的指令。鉴于西北大学及国内其他高等院校发出的申诉,一位联邦法官今天宣布,移民局将撤回其七月六日发出的指令。这就意味着只要注册全职学生身份,无论是不是网课,无论本人是否在美国上课,所有国际学生都可以合法保持其F1签证的身份。

This is a victory not only for international students at Northwestern University, but for the higher education community as a whole. Our strength as a world-class university—the global conversations happening across our campus every day, the creative work in the arts and the groundbreaking research in our laboratories to address the world’s greatest challenges—depends on you, the world’s best and brightest. Your presence and your diverse perspectives are a part of what makes Northwestern a great global university. Please know that all of us—your student colleagues, your teachers and University leaders care deeply about you and are grateful you are a part of our community.

这不仅仅是西北大学国际学生取得的一个胜利,同时也是整个高等教育大家庭取得的一个胜利。在我们这样一个世界级大学的校园里,每天都在发生着全球级的对话。我们在艺术领域的创新,我们在实验室里对解决世界棘手问题的探索,这一切都离不开你们,当今世界上的最强大脑。你们的存在使西北大学成为了一个拥有多元思维的世界级高等学府。在你们的同学、教授及校领导的眼里,你们是我们西北大学大家庭里不可或缺的一个组成部分。

While we hope you are as relieved as we are to hear this news, we know this has been a very difficult week and a difficult year. We remain committed to supporting you in every way possible as you make plans for the Fall term and beyond. I encourage you to reach out to your Office of International Student and Scholar Services advisor with any specific questions or concerns pertaining to your status or plans.

听到这个消息,希望你们和我们一样松了一口气。但是我们非常清楚对你们来说过去的一个星期,甚至过去的一年是一种什么样的煎熬。在即将到来的秋季学期及未来的日子里,我们将一如既往地做好你们的坚强后盾。如果你们就身份及计划安排有什么问题,请及时向学校国际学生及学者服务办公室的顾问咨询。

We will continue to keep you apprised of new developments as we plan for the Winter and Spring terms. Again, we greatly value you being a part of our community, and we are fully committed to supporting you all in every way possible as we prepare to resume our research, teaching and learning activities as safely as possible this fall.

我们将会及时向大家通报有关冬季学期及春季学期的安排计划。在此我们再次强调,你们每一位国际学生都是西北大学大家庭的重要一员。 我们会为你们秋季即将重启的科研、教学及学业保驾护航。

Sincerely,

特此敬礼,

Annelise Riles

万安黎

Associate Provost for Global Affairs, Northwestern University

西北大学负责国际事务的副教务长

 

 

Dear International Students,

I am writing to share information on the new directive that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced on July 6.

Northwestern University leadership has been working diligently to review the new ICE guidelines. Under the new directive, you would be prohibited from taking a fully online/remote course load during the Fall term if you are in the U.S. in F-1 status. However, we expect the hybrid model of online/remote and in-person courses we plan to institute this fall will accommodate the vast majority of your needs and enable you to continue in your studies at Northwestern.

Below please find additional information and guidance based on the ICE announcement. We have also posted an FAQs page for reference and will continue to share new information or guidance as it becomes available. 

  • Northwestern University intends to operate on a hybrid instruction model during the Fall term. This model involves a mix of online/remote and in-person courses, including independent study and graduate-level research courses.
  • Continuing, new and incoming transfer international students who will be in the U.S. for the Fall term may not register for a fully online/remote course load while also remaining in the U.S. in valid F-1 status. To maintain F-1 status, students must (1) enroll in at least one course that includes an in-person instructional component and (2) take the minimum number of online/remote courses required to make normal progress in their respective degree programs. Because Northwestern will offer a number of in-person courses, we expect most of our international students will remain eligible to study on our campus this academic year. The Northwestern Office of International Student and Scholar Services (OISS) is working on a procedure to reissue I-20 forms for international students who will be in the U.S. during the Fall term. OISS will share more information about this in the coming weeks.
  • Continuing students who will be outside of the U.S. in the fall are allowed to take a fully online/remote course load. However, students who reside outside the U.S. will no longer be able to maintain their F-1 status. Prior to returning to the U.S., these students will need to work with their OISS advisor to ensure they have a valid F-1 record with which to return.
  • New international students who will be outside of the U.S. for the Fall term are allowed to take a fully online/remote course load, but will need to defer their F-1 SEVIS record and I-20 form. Starting on July 10, students can submit a New Student Immigration Document Deferral request through the OISS Portal to defer their immigration documents. You will receive an email with more detail about this process soon.

We understand that there are still outstanding questions and concerns, and we are working intensely to find answers. For students studying on the quarter system and in the Pritzker School of Law, course schedules including tags identifying those courses that will include face-to-face components will be published in late July and August. Again, if you are a continuing, new or incoming transfer international student who will be in the U.S. during the fall, we encourage you to register for at least one hybrid or face-to-face course that meets the requirements of your program.

We will provide updates as new information becomes available. In the interim, please do not hesitate to contact your OISS advisor with any questions or concerns.

We are fully committed to supporting our international students in every way possible. As President Schapiro stated in his message yesterday evening, your University community stands beside you in this painful moment. You are not alone, and we will support you in the days ahead.

Sincerely,

Annelise Riles

Associate Provost for Global Affairs, Northwestern University

  

Dear members of the Northwestern community,

I am horrified by the federal guidelines issued this week by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which threaten to revoke the visa status of international students who take all-remote classes this fall.

As Northwestern has been taking steps toward a safe, phased return to campus for the Fall Quarter, we have already been planning to institute a hybrid model of remote and in-person courses. I therefore expect that our international student community will be largely unaffected by these capricious and indefensible directives.

Whether or not our students are impacted directly, we will work tirelessly with our academic peers to ensure no students anywhere are affected.

We have joined an amicus brief supporting a lawsuit filed this morning by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that seeks to keep the new directives from going into effect.

Northwestern’s overriding priority, since the beginning of this global health emergency, has been to ensure the safety of all our students and enable them to remain on course toward completion of their degrees.

I want every one of our international students to know that your University community stands beside you in this painful moment. You are not alone. We will support you in the days ahead.

Sincerely,

Morton Schapiro
President and Professor

Dear members of our Northwestern community,

Northwestern is studying the new ICE announcement closely to determine how the modifications to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program may impact our international students.

Given the pandemic, the University plans to continue ramping up research and to offer both in-person and remote classes this fall as students return to campus in greater numbers. Since there will be a number of in-person classes, we are hopeful most international students will remain eligible to study on our campus this academic year, and we will be taking steps to help ensure that our international students are in compliance with the new policy.  

We remain firmly committed to ensuring that international students are able to study at Northwestern, both remotely and in person, this year. As a premier global academic institution, we bring together the best and the brightest from around the world to learn from our faculty and one another and to conduct research that addresses the most cutting-edge science and the most pressing global challenges. Our international students are critical to this mission. They bring much needed expertise, diverse perspectives and a global outlook to our classrooms and our laboratories, and they are a critical part of what makes our community so special.   

We are grateful for all that our international students bring to our community, and Northwestern remains committed to supporting them in every way possible. A Wildcat is a Wildcat, no matter their nationality.

Sincerely,

Kathleen Hagerty
Interim Provost and Professor

Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak

Proclamation Update (June 24, 2020):President Trump issued a “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak” on June 22, 2020 (the “Proclamation”). This Proclamation goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on June 24, 2020 and will be in effect until December 31, 2020. The Proclamation will be reviewed every 60 days for potential modifications. The text of the Proclamation can be found here along with a fact sheet here

PROHIBITED FROM ENTRY INTO THE US THROUGH DECEMBER 31, 2020

  • Individuals outside of the U.S. seeking H-1B or H-2B status (and their H-4 dependents) who do not hold a valid entry visa/travel document that was issued before 6/24/20.
  • Individuals outside of the U.S. seeking J status (and their J-2 dependents), to the extent such individuals are participating in an intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel program, who do not hold a valid entry visa/travel document that was issued before 6/24/20. Note: OISS is working on getting clarification as to whether the Proclamation impacts J-1 Student Interns.
  • Individuals outside of the U.S. seeking L status (and their dependents) who do not hold a valid entry visa/travel document that was issued before 6/24/20

NOT AFFECTED

  • Individuals seeking J-1 Student, Scholar, or Professor statuses.
  • Individuals in possession of valid entry visas issued prior to 6/24/20.
  • Individuals seeking to change their status within the US.

The vast majority of our J-1 visitors will be unaffected.  However, this Proclamation will have an impact on our incoming H-1B employees and it is therefore important to note that the J-1 category cannot be used for tenure/tenure track employees and should not be used in place of the H-1B status.

For any H-1B currently in the U.S., the H-1B approval will remain valid. Northwestern is also able to continue to file Change of Status, Extension of Status, Change of Employer, and Amended H-1B petitions.

This Proclamation also extends the previous “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak” that was issued on April 22, 2020 until December 31, 2020.

If you are in H-1B status or a J-1 Student Intern, please contact your OISS Advisor before any international travel. As we receive additional information we will post it on the OISS website.

 

Response to Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry as Nonimmigrants of Certain Students and Researchers from the People's Republic of China

Read an English-Mandarin translation

To members of the Northwestern international community,

In light of the U.S. government’s recent proclamation on the suspension of entry "of certain students and researchers from the People's Republic of China," we want to express Northwestern University’s commitment to being an inclusive, global academic community. 

This is essential to fulfilling our mission and to addressing our world’s most urgent challenges. Our Chinese students, scholars and faculty are deeply valued members of our community and full partners in these efforts, bringing important new ideas and perspectives to Northwestern.

The Northwestern Office of International Student and Scholar Services (OISS) stands ready to support and advocate for all our international students and scholars. We encourage all members of our community with concerns regarding their status to reach out to their OISS advisor

Again, we want to emphasize our ongoing commitment to our Chinese students and researchers and to all our international scholars, whose presence and contributions enrich our entire academic community.

We will continue to work with our partners to advocate for our international scholars and to ensure that all members of our community can pursue their work as full and equal members of the university.

Best regards,

Kathleen Hagerty
Interim Provost and Professor

Milan Mrksich
Vice President for Research

 

Proclamation Update (June 2, 2020): On May 29, 2020 President Trump issued a “Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry as Nonimmigrants of Certain Students and Researchers from the People’s Republic of China.” 

This proclamation went into effect June 1, 2020 and will continue until further notice. It suspends the entry of certain students and researchers from the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Specifically, the proclamation prohibits entry into the United States as a nonimmigrant by individuals who satisfy all of the following criteria:

  • Chinese national;
  • Traveling to the United States on an F or J visa;
  • Studying or conducting research beyond an undergraduate level (this does not apply to undergraduate students from China);
  • Have past or present ties to an entity in the PRC that implements or supports the PRC’s “military-civil fusion strategy,” defined as any actions by the PRC to acquire and divert foreign technologies to incorporate into and advance the PRC’s military capabilities. Please note that we do not yet have information on which PRC entities the U.S. government considers tied to the PRC’s military-civil fusion strategy. We will update this page with information on this as soon as it is available.

Again, we wish to emphasize that this proclamation applies only to those who meet all of the above criteria. Unless certain exceptions apply, it is unlikely that the U.S. Department of State will approve F or J visa applications for those who meet all of the above criteria. Additionally, the U.S. Department of State could revoke visas already issued to individuals who meet all of the above criteria. 

Among others, the proclamation does not apply to:

  • Lawful permanent residents of the U.S.
  • A spouse of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident
  • Anyone in an immigration status or with a visa other than F or J
  • New and continuing undergraduate students
  • Any F or J graduate student or J scholar who “is studying or conducting research in a field involving information that would not contribute to the PRC’s military-civil fusion strategy.”

If you have an F or J visa stamp and think you might be impacted by this Proclamation, please contact the consulate that issued your visa stamp to confirm if the visa stamp has been or will be revoked as a result of the proclamation. This should be done prior to travel. The Northwestern Office of International Student and Scholar Services (OISS) also stands ready to support you. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your status, please do not hesitate to reach out to your OISS advisor

OISS will continue to issue immigration documents (I-20 and DS 2019) for any Chinese national. 

We will update this website as we learn more.

Response to Executive Order on Immigration

STEM OPT Update (June 15, 2018):  On June 8, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled in the case Washington Alliance of Technology Workers (Washtech) vs. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that a challenge to the 2016 STEM OPT rule can be considered. The Court of Appeals has remanded the case to the D.C. District Court.

The District Court will now have to consider the merits of Washtech's case – namely, whether the 2016 STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) rule exceeds the authority of DHS under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

The Court of Appeals further asks the court to consider whether the "reopening doctrine" applies to the issue raised in the count challenging STEM OPT. Under the reopening doctrine, Washtech argues it can challenge the statutory authority of the entire OPT program, not just STEM OPT. If not for the reopening doctrine, the Court found that the initial 12 months of OPT could not be challenged due to a statute of limitations.

The Court of Appeals reached this decision by concluding that the District Court abused its discretion in dismissing a plausible claim for relief. It is unclear how the District Court might now rule regarding DHS's authority to promulgate the rule under the INA, although it should be noted that the 2016 STEM OPT Rule, unlike the 2008 STEM OPT Rule, has undergone full notice and comment rulemaking.

While the litigation continues, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has also indicated it will pursue rulemaking on practical training reform in October. However, it is possible the new litigation development will cause ICE to delay that rulemaking.

CFGI will keep you abreast of all litigation and rulemaking developments with OPT and will advocate on your behalf to keep the program alive.

 

Travel Ban Update (June 26, 2017): The U.S. Supreme Court announced on June 26, 2017, that it will review the federal administration’s travel ban executive order. The travel ban had been placed on hold by lower courts. Until its review can occur this fall, the Supreme Court is allowing some aspects of the travel ban to be implemented, with limitations.

Students and scholars from the six countries who have questions or need assistance should contact The International Office (intoff@northwestern.edu), which will provide referrals to free legal consultations as needed. For emergencies or assistance outside the International Office's normal operating hours (Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5:00pm), please use the After Hours Contact.

The U.S. Supreme Court said that prior to its full review this fall, it will allow partial implementation of the federal administration’s March 6, 2017, executive order, which limited entry to the United States for nationals of six countries – Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The Supreme Court said the ban “may not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” The court provided examples including “a foreign national who wishes to enter the United States to live with or visit a family member” and students from the designated countries who have been admitted to a U.S. university (e.g. Northwestern University).

By its terms, the travel ban executive order does not apply to lawful permanent residents of the United States.

More details may emerge in the coming days, including information about when and how the partial travel ban will be implemented. This website will be updated. Individuals from the affected countries who have travel planned, or who otherwise have questions or need assistance, are encouraged to contact The International Office as outlined above.

Travel Ban Update (March 2017) On March 6, 2017, a revised Executive Order was issued by U.S. President Donald Trump banning citizens and nationals of six countries (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen) from traveling to the U.S. for at least 90 days. This new Order takes effect on March 16, 2017, and is different from the Executive Order issued on January 27, 2017, in that those from impacted countries holding lawful permanent residence status in the U.S. or dual citizenship, including citizenship in at least one country which is not one of the listed countries will not be barred from entering the U.S.  In addition, citizens and nationals of the six listed countries who already hold valid nonimmigrant visas will not be barred from entering the U.S. under the authority of the Executive Order as long as their visas have not expired.   The following FAQ’s have been prepared to answer common questions—if you have a more specific question, please contact your advisor in the International Office.

1. When does the new Executive Order go into effect?
The Executive Order issued on March 6, 2017, which was to have gone into effect onl March 16, 2017 (at 12:01 A.M., Eastern Standard Time), was temporarily blocked by a judge in Hawaii. It is possible that the Trump administration will appeal this ruling. We will be in touch with any new developments.

2. Which countries are listed in the new Executive Order?
Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Note: Iraq, which was listed in the Executive Order issued on January 27, 2017, is not listed in  the most recent Executive Order.

3. Who is covered by the new Executive Order?
The new entry ban applies to citizens and nationals from the six countries listed above.  However,  does not apply to the  individuals who are citizens or nationals of one of the six countries and also are within one of the classifications listed below:

  • Lawful permanent residents of the U.S.;
  • Nonimmigrants, including F-1 students, F-2 dependents, J-1 students/scholars, J-2 dependents, H-1B employees, H-4 dependents, etc., who are in the U.S. in nonimmigrant lawful status on March 16, 2017, unless they depart the United States and do not have a valid unexpired visa authorizing their admission to the U.S. for the purposes of that visa
  • Holders of valid nonimmigrant visas issued on or before January 27, 2017 or holders of nonimmigrant visas valid as of March 16, 2017, unless they depart the United States and do not have a valid unexpired visa authorizing their admission to the U.S. for the purposes of that visa;
  • Dual citizens of one of the six countries listed and the U.S. (individuals in this category are considered U.S. citizens and therefore are not subject to the Executive Order ); and
  • Dual citizens of one of the six listed countries and a country which is not the U.S. and not one of the six listed countries, who will enter the U.S. with a valid passport issued by a country which is not from one of the six countries.

4. What does the new Executive Order do?
The new Executive Order bans citizens and nationals from the six listed countries without current valid visas from traveling to the U.S. for at least 90-days beginning on March 16, 2017.  Students, scholars, employees and their dependents from the six countries with valid unexpired F, J, H , or who are currently in the U.S. for the purpose of studying or working at Northwestern, and all other required documentation may be allowed to return to the U.S. following international travel.  However, if you are from one of the six listed countries and currently in the U.S. with a valid I-20 (F-1 immigration document), DS-2019 (J-1 immigration document), H-1B I-797 Approval Notice, or in another valid nonimmigrant status, our guidance to you is to remain in the U.S. for the time being.  International travel by individuals from these countries during the period of the travel ban carries a very real risk that they may not be permitted to reenter the country or will encounter prolonged delays at entry which may include search of your baggage and personal electronic devices.  Moreover, if your nonimmigrant visa expires before your return to the U.S., you will not be admitted to the U.S. until you are issued a new nonimmigrant visa permitting your return.  Issuance of a new visa would require that you be granted a waiver of the travel ban by the U.S. Secretary of State.  See FAQ #8. 

5. I am a  lawful permanent resident of the U.S. with an approved green card can I travel, and if so, what am I required to carry when traveling internationally?
Yes, you may travel. It is important that you have with your  actual lawful permanent resident (“green”) card or a unexpired passport stamp evidencing you are a legal permanent resident and a valid passport.  A notice of approval of an application for adjustment of status is not sufficient proof of your status as a lawful permanent resident.  We also recommend that you carry proof of your current U.S. residence and your current employment or school enrollment.   

6. I am a dual national with citizenship from one of the six listed countries and another country not on the list and not the U.S.: am I able to travel to apply for an immigrant/nonimmigrant visa and travel to the U.S.?
The new ban does not apply to you so long as you apply for a visa and enter the U.S. on the basis of a valid passport issued by a country which is not one of the six listed countries.

7. I am a dual national with citizenship in one of the six listed countries and the U.S.:  am I able to travel to the U.S.?
Yes. You are U.S. citizen and will be permitted to enter the U.S. upon presentation of your U.S. passport.

8. I am an international student at Northwestern University on an F-1 or J-1 visa (and may/may not have F-2 or J-2 dependents) from one of the six listed countries: can I travel internationally? (Note: the same information applies to international scholars on either J-1, H-1B, or O-1 visas and their J-2, H-4 or O-3 dependents.)
At this time and throughout the period of the travel ban, our guidance to you is to remain in the U.S. and avoid any international travel.  While the Executive Order states you can return to the U.S. following international travel if you have a valid, unexpired visa, international travel by you carries a very real risk that you may not be permitted to reenter the country. Moreover, we anticipate you will encounter lengthy delays at entry, which may include search of your baggage and personal electronic devices.  In addition, if your visa is expired, you will not be allowed to return to the U.S. unless you are issued a new nonimmigrant visa.  Issuance of a new nonimmigrant visa should will require that you be granted a waiver of the travel ban by the U.S. Secretary of State. Northwestern University has no information at this time regarding how difficult it will be to obtain such a waiver or how long the waiver process will take. You also should not rely on the regulatory provisions which allow in limited circumstances for the automatic extension of expired visas following travel to Mexico or Canada or certain Caribbean islands since we have no information regarding the availability of such extensions for citizens or nationals of the six listed countries during the travel ban.

If you have an urgent situation that may make international travel seem necessary (e.g. for family emergency), you should consult with  the International Office immediately so we can arrange a consultation with an immigration attorney who can further assess the risks associated with your travel abroad for your return to the U.S. For After-Hours contact information, please visit the Contact Us section of our website.

9. I am a student/scholar coming from a country which is not one of the six listed countries: can I travel?
Yes, but students/scholars and their dependents may encounter delays upon entry which may include search of your baggage and personal electronic devices. Be sure to carry your immigration documents (I-20, DS-2019, H-1B Approval Notices, etc.), valid passport, and admission or employment letters. For students, we strongly recommend you request a Status Verification Letter from the International Office and an Enrollment Verification Letter from the Registrar’s Office. We also suggest you carry unofficial transcripts and a printout from CAESAR showing your next quarter’s registration. For scholars and other employees, we recommend you carry a letter confirming your appointment and/or employment with Northwestern. Your hiring departments can provide this to you.

10. I am an international student (not from one of the six listed countries) at Northwestern on an F-1 or J-1 student visa, what am I required to carry when traveling abroad?
If you are an international student on an F-1 or J-1 student visa, you will need the following documents to travel: your I-20 or DS-2019 with an updated travel signature on page 2 (the signature should be dated within the past 12-months), a valid F-1 or J-1 visa stamp, and a valid passport (valid at least 6-months into the future). If you are a student from a Muslim majority country, please review the information listed in FAQ #9, #13, and #14 regarding the increased scrutiny to which you may be subject.

11. How many times can I use my I-20 or DS-2019 with an updated travel signature?
You may enter as many times as you need within the 12-month window from your last travel signature. A valid travel signature on an I-20 or DS-2019 means the signature was provided by the International Office within the past 12-months. A signature is not required each time you enter the U.S.

12. I am an international student traveling internationally and I forgot my I-20/DS-2019, what should I do now?
If you have a scanned copy of your I-20/DS-2019, print and carry it with you on your return travels to Evanston/Chicago. If you do not have a scanned copy and do not have an I-20/DS-2019 issued by Northwestern University, you may be denied entry into the U.S., or you may be issued a Form I-515A. Form I-515A allows you to enter the U.S. conditionally. If you are issued a Form I-515A at passport control, you must respond by submitting required documents within 30-days of the date of your arrival. If you are issued a Form I-515A, please plan to visit the International Office during walk-in advising hours.

13. I am an international student on F-1 OPT (Post-Completion or STEM OPT) and am a citizen of either one of the affected countries or another country: can I travel?
If you are an international student on F-1 OPT, you will need the following documents to travel: your I-20 with an updated travel signature on page 2 (the signature should be dated within the past 6-months), a valid unexpired F-1 visa, and a valid passport (valid for at least 6-months into the future), AND your approved Employment Authorization Document (OPT EAD Card).

14. I am an international student on J-1 academic training: can I travel?
If you are an international student on J-1 academic training, you need the following documents to travel: valid DS-2019. Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status, with current travel signature, valid passport, unexpired J-1 visa, status letter from the International Office, and employment letter

15. What if I am detained by U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) at the airport and they need to speak to someone at Northwestern?
Occasionally students are stopped by CBP and held until CBP can speak to someone at the university. Please instruct CBP to contact the International Office at 847-491-5613. IMPORTANT NOTE: A forgotten I-20/DS-2019, outdated travel signature, etc., do not constitute an emergency in this situation and you should refer to FAQ #12 above if this situation applies to you.

16. Should I carry around documentation of my immigration status while going about my everyday life?
If you are not a U.S. Citizen and an  employee of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”), including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) asks to see your immigration papers, you must show them if you have them with you. If you are over 18, carry your immigration documents with you at all times. If you do not have immigration papers, you have the right  to remain silent.  You should never lie about your citizenship status or never present fake documents. (Source: https://www.aclu.org/know-your-rights)

We also recommend carrying photo identification with you at all times—this could be a driver’s license, temporary state identification card, passport card, your Wildcard (Northwestern University ID card), or even your passport.

17. What if after I am admitted to the U.S. I am questioned about my immigration status?
You have the right to remain silent and do not have to discuss your immigration or citizenship status with police, DHS officers or any other government officials. You do not have to answer questions about where you were born, whether you are a U.S. citizen, or how you entered the country.  (Please note:  Separate rules apply at international borders and airports and for individuals on certain nonimmigrant visas, including tourists and business travelers.) (Source: aclu.org/know-your-rights)

If you are detained or taken into custody by a law enforcement officials, including ICE or other DHS officers, you have a right to be represented by a lawyer and the right to contact for assistance a Consulate of any country of which you are a national or citizen.  You have the right to be silent and to refuse to sign anything until after you have an opportunity to speak with a lawyer or a Consular officer.

18. I have been contacted by telephone by someone claiming to be from the DHS, including ICE, or claiming to represent other federal agencies (IRS, FBI, U.S. Dept. of State, etc.), what should I do?
If you are contacted by telephone or email by someone claiming to be a federal agent or someone asking you  to confirm personal information (name, citizenship, date or place of birth, address, bank information, etc.), you should not confirm or provide any information.  Instead you should immediately contact the International Office to inform the Office of the communication you received and seek our advice.

19. I have a pending application for OPT (or STEM OPT) or a pending Change of Status Application (I-539) with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and I am from one of the six listed countries. Will USCIS continue to process my pending applications?
Yes. At present, our understanding is that USCIS will continue to accept, process, and approve (where eligible and applicable) pending I-765 (OPT) or I-539 (Change of Status) applications submitted by anyone currently in the U.S., who is a citizen of one of the listed countries.

The International Office is available Monday–Friday from 8:30am-5:00pm at 847-491-5613 or by emailing intoff@northwestern.edu. We understand these recent developments may be upsetting, but please know we are here to support you and will do the best we can to convey information as it becomes available to us.

Please be sure to take good care of yourself, and let the International Office us know if you have any further questions about the latest Executive Order or concerns about your immigration status.

 

Previous updates may be found in our announcements archive.