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Presidential Orders and Proclamation on Travel and Immigration

The Office for International Services (OIS) is responsible for welcoming and supporting international students scholars, and employees at Fordham University. This page was created to guide the Fordham University community regarding revisions to federal immigration policy. OIS and campus partners will continue to monitor the United States’ evolving immigration rules and will update this page as more information becomes available.

COVID-19 Updates

Concerning the COVID-19 Crisis, the NAFSA COVID-19 Restrictions on U.S. Visas and Entry webpage lists the following updates:

National Interest Exceptions for F-1 and M-1 students and other nonimmigrants

On April 26, 2021, DOS updated its National Interest Exception (NIE) page to expand certain NIE eligibilities to all countries subject to a geographic COVID-19 entry ban. Key eligibilities include:

  • F-1 and M-1 Students.
    • "Students with valid F-1 and M-1 visas intending to begin or continue an academic program commencing August 1, 2021 or later do not need to contact an embassy or consulate to seek an individual NIE to travel. They may enter the United States no earlier than 30 days before the start of their academic studies. Students seeking to apply for new F-1 or M-1 visas should check the status of visa services at the nearest embassy or consulate; those applicants who are found to be otherwise qualified for an F-1 or M-1 visa will automatically be considered for an NIE to travel."

Also reference an April 27, 2021 Department of State Media note announcing the policy, titled Uniform Global National Interest Exceptions to COVID-19 Travel Restrictions.

Here is the notice on the travel.state.gov website: National Interest Exceptions for Certain Travelers from China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, Schengen Area, United Kingdom, and Ireland.

Geographic COVID-19 Proclamations Affecting Entry from Certain Countries

Three COVID-19-related presidential proclamations limit travel to the United States by individuals who were physically present in a covered country during the 14-day period prior to their planned entry or attempted entry to the United States.

The Covered Countries

  • Brazil
  • China
  • Iran
  • Ireland
  • Schengen Area (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland)
  • United Kingdom
  • South Africa

The COVID-19 Geographic Proclamations Currently in Effect

  1. Proclamation 9984 of January 31, 2020 (Trump), published at 85 FR 6709 (February 5, 2020), effective February 2, 2020, continued in effect by Proclamation 10143 of January 25, 2021 (Biden), published at 86 FR 7467 (January 28, 2021). Covers:
    • China.
  2. Proclamation 9992 of February 29, 2020 (Trump), published at 85 FR 12855 (March 4, 2020), effective March 1, 2020, continued in effect by Proclamation 10143 of January 25, 2021 (Biden), published at 86 FR 7467 (January 28, 2021). Covers:
    • Iran.
  3. Proclamation 10143 of January 25, 2021 (President Biden), published at 86 FR 7467 (January 28, 2021). Covers:
    • South Africa. Effective January 30, 2021.
    • The European Schengen Area. Originally went into effect March 12, 2020 by Proclamation 9993 of March 11, 2020 (Trump), published at 85 FR 15045. (March 16, 2020). Terminated effective January 26, 2021 by Proclamation 10138 of January 18 2021 (Trump), but reestablished without interruption through Proclamation 10143 of January 25, 2021 (Biden), published at 86 FR 7467 (January 28, 2021).
    • The United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Originally went into effect March 12, 2020 by Trump Proclamation 9984 of January 31, 2020, published at 85 FR 6709 (February 5, 2020). Terminated effective January 26, 2021 by Proclamation 10138 of January 18 2021 (Trump), but reestablished without interruption through Proclamation 10143 of January 25, 2021 (Biden), published at 86 FR 7467 (January 28, 2021).
    • Brazil. Originally went into effect on May 26, 2020 by Proclamation 10041 of May 24, 2020 (Trump), published at 85 FR 31933 (May 28, 2020). Terminated effective January 26, 2021 by Proclamation 10138 of January 18 2021 (Trump), but reestablished without interruption through Proclamation 10143 of January 25, 2021 (Biden), published at 86 FR 7467 (January 28, 2021).

On February 24, 2021 the Department of State included this updated question and response in a brief FAQ related to the gradual reopening of consulates on a country-by country basis: "Do the various Presidential Proclamations/travel restrictions still apply, or are those lifting with the resumption of visa services? The three geographical COVID-19 Proclamations (P.P. 9984, 9992, and 10143) and one of the COVID-19 Labor Market Proclamations suspending the entry of certain aliens (P.P.10052) remain in effect."

CDC Order Requiring all Passengers on U.S.-Bound Flights to Have COVID-19 Viral Test

On January 12, 2021, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) stated that CDC has issued "an Order requiring all air passengers arriving to the US from a foreign country to get tested no more than 3 days before their flight departs and to provide proof of the negative result or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 to the airline before boarding the flight. This Order will go into effect on January 26, 2021."

A set of CDC Frequently Asked Questions clarifies that "This Order applies to all air passengers, 2 years of age or older, traveling into the US, including US citizens and legal permanent residents."

January 12, 2021 CDC media statement that effective January 26, 2021 states:

"Air passengers are required to get a viral test (a test for current infection) within the 3 days before their flight to the U.S. departs, and provide written documentation of their laboratory test result (paper or electronic copy) to the airline or provide documentation of having recovered from COVID-19. Airlines must confirm the negative test result for all passengers or documentation of recovery before they board. If a passenger does not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery, or chooses not to take a test, the airline must deny boarding to the passenger... This order was signed by the CDC Director on January 12, 2021 and will become effective on January 26, 2021."

On January 21, 2021, President Biden issued Executive Order on Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel, which directs relevant agencies to assess the January 12, 2021 CDC order requiring a negative COVID-19 test result for airline passengers traveling into the United States, and, based on that assessment, take any further appropriate actions and planning regarding air, land, and sea travel.*

On January 25, 2021, the Department of State published a Fact Sheet titled, Negative COVID-19 Test Required for Travel to the United States Beginning January 26.

Because airlines fly into so many countries and U.S. states which have such varied rules that are frequently updated, there are reports that some airlines require passengers to sign a blanket "contract" where the passenger promises that they will self quarantine after arrival, likely to proactively avoid having any problems landing in any city, state, or country.

* Executive Order 13988 of January 21, 2021, Executive Order on Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel. Published in the Federal Register at 86 FR 7205 (January 26, 2021).

President Biden's Executive Order 13988 of January 21, 2021, Executive Order on Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel, directs relevant agencies to incorporate CDC recommendations on public modes of transportation and at ports of entry to the United States, including recommendations such as mask-wearing, physical distancing, appropriate ventilation, timely testing, and possibly self-quarantine after U.S. entry. It also directs relevant agencies to assess the January 12, 2021 CDC order requiring a negative COVID-19 test result for airline passengers traveling into the United States, and, based on that assessment, take any further appropriate actions and planning regarding air, land, and sea travel.

Section 5. International Travel.

  • Section 5(a) provides:
    • "to the extent feasible, travelers seeking to enter the United States from a foreign country shall be:
      (i)   required to produce proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test prior to entry; and
      (ii)  required to comply with other applicable CDC guidelines concerning international travel, including recommended periods of self-quarantine or self-isolation after entry into the United States."
  • Section 5(b) Air Travel.
    • Section 5(b)(i), regarding air travel, provides that HHS/CDC, in coordination with DOT/FAA, and DHS/TSA, "shall assess the CDC order of January 12, 2021, regarding the requirement of a negative COVID-19 test result for airline passengers traveling into the United States, in light of subsection (a) of this section," and then "take any further appropriate regulatory action, to the extent feasible and consistent with CDC guidelines and applicable law." Section 5(b) states that this assessment and regulatory action:
      • "shall include consideration of:
        (A)  the timing and types of COVID-19 tests that should satisfy the negative test requirement, including consideration of additional testing immediately prior to departure;
        (B)  the proof of test results that travelers should be required to provide;
        (C)  the feasibility of implementing alternative and sufficiently protective public health measures, such as testing, self-quarantine, and self-isolation on arrival, for travelers entering the United States from countries where COVID-19 tests are inaccessible, particularly where such inaccessibility of tests would affect the ability of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents to return to the United States; and
        (D)  measures to prevent fraud."
    • Section 5(b)(ii) requires HHS, DOT/FAA, and DHS/TSA to promptly provide to the President, through the COVID-19 Response Coordinator, "a plan for how the Secretary and other Federal Government actors could implement the policy stated in subsection (a) of this section with respect to CDC-recommended periods of self-quarantine or self-isolation after a flight to the United States from a foreign country, as he deems appropriate and consistent with applicable law. The plan shall identify agencies' tools and mechanisms to assist travelers in complying with such policy."

Presidential Proclamation on Travel Restrictions for Eight Countries

Update

On December 4, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a decision allowing the latest version of the Trump administration’s travel ban, “Travel Ban 3.0” to be enforced in full. Travel Ban 3.0, implemented in September 24, 2017, restricts travel to the U.S. for individuals from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. Two federal courts had issued injunctions limiting implementation of Travel Ban 3.0 to allow travel to the U.S. from one of the restricted countries when a visitor has close family members living in the U.S.  The Supreme Court overruled the injunctions because two other federal Courts were hearing arguments on the substantive legality of the travel ban. The Justices determined that they expect these decisions on the underlying merits of the travel ban to be appealed and decided by the Supreme Court, possibly even this term.
It should be noted that Travel Ban 3.0 does not affect students or scholars who are presently in the US on a visa or have permanent residency. For full detail on Travel Ban 3.0, please see below.

Original Notice - September 24, 2017

On Sunday evening, September 24, 2017, President Donald Trump released a Presidential Proclamation Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats. This “travel ban” targets eight (8) countries, restricting, and in some cases eliminating, travel by their nationals into the United States. The restrictions affect nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea Somalia Venezuela, Yemen and Syria, unless exempt or granted a waiver. US lawful permanent residents, dual nationals, and holders of valid US visas are exempt, among others. Restrictions vary by country and are set forth below. Restrictions took effect immediately for certain nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen. Below is a detailed list of those affected.

Travel Restrictions
The country-specific restrictions are as follows:

  • Chad:
    • Immigrants, those seeking permanent residency, entry is suspended.
    • B-1 (tourist visa), B-2 (short-term business visa) or B-1/B- 2 (short-term business and tourist visa) entry is suspended
  • Iran:
    • Immigrants, those seeking permanent residency, and most nonimmigrant entry (visas) is suspended.
    • Iranian nationals seeking to enter as F or M visa students or as J visa exchange visitors are not subject to suspension but are subject to enhanced screening and vetting.
  • Libya:
    • Immigrants, those seeking permanent residency, entry is suspended.
    • B-1 (tourist visa), B-2 (short-term business visa) or B-1/B- 2 (short-term business and tourist visa) entry is suspended
  • North Korea:
    • All immigrant and nonimmigrant entry suspended.
  • Somalia:
    • Immigrants, those seeking permanent residency, entry is suspended.
    • Visa adjudications and decisions regarding nonimmigrant entry (visas) are subject to additional scrutiny to determine whether applicants are connected to terrorist organizations or otherwise pose a threat to U.S. national security or public safety.
  • Syria:
    • All immigrant and nonimmigrant entry suspended.
  • Venezuela:
    • Venezuelans holding visas will be subject to additional vetting to ensure that their traveler information remains current.
    • B visa (short-term business and tourist visa) entry is suspended for officials of designated Venezuelan government agencies and their immediate family members.
  • Yemen:
    • Immigrants, those seeking permanent residency, entry is suspended.
    • B-1 (tourist visa), B-2 (short-term business visa) or B-1/B- 2 (short-term business and tourist visa) entry is suspended

The proclamation does not impose restrictions on nationals of Iraq, but the Department of Homeland Security has recommended to Customs and Border Protection officials that Iraqi nationals be subject to additional scrutiny. Sudan has also been removed from the list of countries subject to restrictions, though Sudanese nationals remain likely to be subject to heightened scrutiny.

Duration

The restrictions will remain in place indefinitely. However, the Department of Homeland Security and Department Of State will review the restrictions every 180 days and will make recommendations to the President concerning whether the Administration should continue, modify, terminate or supplement the restrictions, and whether other countries should be added.

Who Is Subject to the Restrictions
The suspensions and limitations on entry apply to nationals of the named countries who:

  • Are outside the U.S. on the applicable effective date;
  • Do not have a valid visa on the applicable effective date; and
  • Do not qualify for a visa or other valid travel document under provisions for persons whose visa or travel document was marked canceled or revoked pursuant to the January 27 travel ban executive order.

Exemptions
The proclamation exempts the following groups from the restrictions:

  • U.S. lawful permanent residents;
  • Dual nationals traveling on a passport from a non-restricted country;
  • Any foreign national admitted or paroled into the United States on or after the applicable effective date of the proclamation;
  • Any foreign national who has a document other than a visa that is valid on the effective date or issued thereafter that permits him/her to travel to the U.S. and seek entry or admission, including transportation letters, boarding foils and advance parole documents;
  • Foreign nationals traveling on a diplomatic/diplomatic-type visa, NATO, C-2, G-1, G-2, G-3 or G-4 visa;
  • Any foreign national granted asylum by the U.S.;
  • Any refugee already admitted to the U.S., and
  • Any individual already granted withholding of removal, advance parole or protection under the Convention Against Torture Act.

Waivers
Waivers will be available on a case-by- case basis, not granted categorically, subject to forthcoming guidelines from the Departments of State and Homeland Security. To be eligible for a waiver, a foreign national must demonstrate that denying entry would cause undue hardship, entry would not pose a threat to U.S. national security or public safety and entry is in U.S. national interest. The proclamation also lists several groups for whom a waiver may appropriate:

  • A foreign national previously been admitted to the United States for a continuous period of work, study, or other long-term activity and seeks re-entry to the United States to resume activity;
  • The foreign national has established significant contacts with the United States but is outside the United States for work, study, or other lawful activity;
  • The foreign national seeks to enter the United States for significant business or professional obligations and the denial of entry would impair those obligations;
  • The foreign national seeks to enter the United States to visit or reside with a close family member (e.g., a spouse, child, or parent) who is a United States citizen, lawful permanent resident, or alien lawfully admitted on a valid nonimmigrant visa, and the denial of entry would cause the foreign national undue hardship;
  • The foreign national is an infant, a young child or adoptee, an individual needing urgent medical care, or someone whose entry is otherwise justified by the special circumstances of the case;
  • The foreign national has been employed by, or on behalf of, the United States Government (or is an eligible dependent of such an employee);
  • The foreign national is traveling for purposes related to an international organization traveling for purposes of conducting meetings or business with the United States Government;
  • The foreign national is a Canadian permanent resident who applies for a visa at a location within Canada;
  • The foreign national is traveling as a United States Government-sponsored exchange visitor; or
  • The foreign national is traveling to the United States, at the request of a United States Government department or agency, for legitimate law enforcement, foreign policy, or national security purposes.

For more information regarding the decision process for creating the restrictions please see the White House’s Fact Sheet on Proclamation on Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public- Safety Threats.

If you have any questions about September 24, 2017 Proclamation, please contact the Office for International Service (OIS).

The University will continue to protect the privacy of student information and records from unauthorized or unlawful intrusion. While Fordham representatives will comply with lawfully issued subpoenas and warrants, it is neither the University’s practice nor expectation to function as an agent of the federal government regarding enforcement of federal immigration laws.

Legal Resources

Other University Resources

Previous Updates

On February 3, 2017, a federal judge in Washington State issued a restraining order, which temporarily blocked the government from enforcing the executive order’s ban on travel to the United States. The government appealed the ruling to the Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

On February 9, 2017, the Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit unanimously rejected the government’s motion to stay the temporary restraining order, refusing to reinstate the executive order travel ban. The government will likely appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. Learn more:

Because the situation remains very fluid, we continue to recommend that citizens from the seven countries affected by the ban who are currently in the United States avoid travel abroad, as it may result in their inability to return to the United States. For example, the United States Supreme Court could hear the case and reverse the suspension of the ban, or President Trump could issue another, perhaps more legally defensible, executive order on immigration that would likewise restrict entry into the United States.

On February 20, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security issued guidance on the implementation of Executive Order issued on January 25, 2017. Notably the guidance expressly provides that there are no changes to the 2012 and 2014 Executive Orders establishing DACA. Learn more on the Department of Homeland Security website: 

On March 6, 2017, a new Executive Order was issued that revokes and replaces the one issued on January 27, 2017. See details below.

The Executive Order revokes and replaces Executive Order 13769, issued on January 27, 2017. The Executive Order only applies to people from six countries without current visas. It suspends, for 90 days, entry to the United States for visitors, students, and workers without current non-immigrant visas from the following six countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The ban also applies to people, from these six countries, newly arriving on immigrant visas (which are issued based on employment or family status). Iraqi nationals seeking immigration will be allowed entry but will be subject to additional scrutiny.

The Executive Order also suspends entry of all refugees (irrespective of their country) to the United States for 120 days.

A copy of the Executive Order can be found here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/03/06/executive-order-protecting-nation-foreign-terrorist-entry-united-states

On March 15, 2017, the U.S. District Court in Hawaii issued a nationwide temporary restraining order, preventing the government from enforcing the March 6, 2017 Executive Order's entry ban that was scheduled to go into effect on March 16, 2017.

On March 16, 2017, the U.S. District Court in Maryland issued a nationwide preliminary injunction, preventing the government from enforcing the March 6, 2017 Executive Order 90-day entry ban, which had been scheduled to go into effect on March 16, 2017.

On June 26, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that limited parts of the March 6, 2017 Presidential Executive Order (EO) travel ban will take effect until October, when the Court agreed to hear the administration’s challenged to the federal court cases that have stayed the full implementation of the EO. This ruling should not affect students, scholars, and employees from the six countries impacted by the travel ban with a “bona fide” relationship with a U.S. university.

According to the Court’s ruling, the administration cannot block entry of individuals from the six affected countries (Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen) and refugees from around the world if they have "a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States." To qualify as a bona fide relationship with a U.S. entity, the Court states that "the relationship must be formal, documented, and formed in the ordinary course, rather than for the purpose of evading the EO." The Court gives the following examples of individuals who would likely have the required "bona fide relationship" with a U.S. entity, and therefore would remain exempt from the ban:

Students who have been admitted to a U.S. school (e.g., F-1 or J-1 student)
Workers who accept an offer of employment from a U.S. employer (e.g., H-1B)
Lecturers invited to address an American audience (e.g. J1 professors and researchers)