Critical Immigration Updates

Attention international students, scholars, and members of the GT community. Currently, a variety of announcements are being released regarding changes at the federal and state levels of the U.S. government. These announcements detail issues that will directly impact our community. The Office of International Education is currently reviewing these changes and formulating communication for all affected parties. Please continue to check your GT email and the Critical Updates section of our website over the next few days for new information on the recent Supreme Court ruling, changes to F1 visa processing for Chinese nationals, USCIS memorandum on unlawful presence, and updates to Georgia law regarding driving and use of electronic devices.


Please see the message below from the University System of Georgia’s Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s travel ban decision on 6/26/2018. 

Dear Colleagues: 

As you know, today the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling upholding the President’s authority to impose entry restrictions into the United States for foreign nationals of certain countries. The Department of Homeland Security is the lead federal agency charged with implementing this authority and as details become clearer regarding its implementation we will share that information as quickly and broadly as possible to our institutions. We encourage students, faculty and staff who are foreign nationals of one of the affected countries to continue to closely monitor information as it becomes available as to how the ruling applies to them. In addition, we strongly encourage them to reach out to their campus office of international education should they have questions, particularly about any planned international travel.

Thank you,
Edward M. Tate
Vice Chancellor of Legal Affairs
University System of Georgia

OIE Guidance:

  1. The EO restricts entry for all nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia who seek an immigrant visa, in addition to tailored restrictions on the non-immigrant entry of nationals previously listed. 
  2. The travel restrictions do not apply to legal permanent residents of the United States or any individual with an advanced parole document.
  3. The entry into the United States of nationals of Iran with valid student (F and M) and exchange visitor (J) visas is permitted, although enhanced screening and vetting requirements will be conducted.  
  4. Employees from Iran holding work visas (H-1B or O-1 status) will no longer eligible for new work visa stamps. Waivers may be considered on a case-by-case basis for those that have previously been granted visa stamps.
  5. The suspension of entry into the U.S. on nonimmigrant business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas for Venezuelan nationals serving as government officials for prescribed Venezuelan government agencies.
  6. Entry to the U.S. is suspended for nationals of Syria, Somalia, and North Korea on any immigrant or nonimmigrant visa.
  7. Entry to the U.S. is suspended for nationals of Chad, Libya, and Yemen on any immigrant visa, and nonimmigrant business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas.
  8. This Executive Order does not affect petitions filed with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Petitions will continue to be adjudicated based on prescribed eligibility criteria.
  9. Nationals of Iraq do not have any travel restrictions, but any non-immigrant or immigrant entry to the U.S. will be subject to additional scrutiny.
  10. The Department of Homeland Security is authorized to recommend to the President the modification of any or all such restrictions for a country that comes into compliance with the standards of the baseline and waive the restrictions on a case-by-case basis.
  11. As always, advisors are available to individuals with questions by email at, during walking advising Monday- Friday 1:00-4:30pm, and by appointment, at 404-894-7475.

Updated September 27, 2017 at 2:30pm.

Links to U.S. government agencies associated with enforcement of the Executive Order

  1. Presidential Proclamation Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats
  2. FAQ document related to the Proclamation on Enhanced Vetting is available at
  3. U.S. Department of State Presidential Proclamation on Visas

Updated September 27, 2017 at 2:30pm.

Court Decisions

On December 4, 2017 The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) stayed preliminary injunctions that had partially blocked the (partial or full) travel restrictions on entry to the U.S. from being enforced under Proclamation 9645 associated with Section 2(e) of the Executive Order 13780. The SCOTUS decision authorizes the U.S. government to enforce travel restrictions on all eight countries while appeals in the Ninth and Fourth Circuits, or any further SCOTUS review, are in proceedings.

On September 24, 2017, a proclamation was made to augment the March 6, 2017, Executive Order (EO) 13780. The current restrictions set out under the March 6, 2017, Executive Order, in compliance with court modifications, are still in effect. On October 18, 2017, new conditions will take effect.

On Monday, June 26, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court partially granted the government's request to stay preliminary injunctions on the 90-day travel ban in section 2(c) of Executive Order 13780. This decision will result in section 2(c) being enacted except under certain conditions. It is expected to be enforced within 72 hours and will result in the travel ban for individuals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen “who lack a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”

In addition, the Court formally lifted the injunction on the section outlining the government's study which could lead, under section 2(e) of the executive order, to an indefinite ban on entry by nationals of countries that do not provide the U.S. government with sufficient information on citizens who are applying for U.S. visas or immigration benefits.

While the Court cited several examples of such “bona fide relationships” — such as students admitted to a U.S. college or university or individuals employed by U.S. entities — further guidance from the State Department is needed regarding full application of these rules. The Supreme Court will hear arguments on this case in October, and a final decision is expected during the 2017-18 academic year.

Georgia Tech Office of International Education and Global Human Resources will continue to stay abreast of the changes and provide updates as they are available. We encourage our international students, staff, and faculty to contact OIE for individual guidance if they are planning to travel or study abroad. 

On March 29, 2017 the U.S. District Court in Hawaii issued a preliminary injunction which currently blocks all of Section 2 of Executive Order 13780. This includes Section 2(c) 90-day entry bar and the "indefinite" entry bar of Section 2(e) that is the subject of this advisory. The U.S. Government has filed an appeal. The Office of International Education continues to monitor the situation, and will provide information and resources as needed.

On March 15, 2017, the U.S. District Court in Hawaii issued a nationwide temporary restraining order preventing the government from enforcing Executive Order 13780, limiting travel to the U.S. from certain countries. The Office of International Education continues to monitor the situation, and will provide information and resources as needed.

Monday, March 6, 2017, a new Executive Order was signed. Specific information to F and J students and scholars will continue to be posted on OIE website as it becomes available. The NAFSA: Association of International Educators and the Council on Global Immigration are additional resources. The Campus-wide Guidance Regarding Travel, Immigration, and Visas will continue to offer broad resources and information.

Updated December 5, 2017 at 7:00pm.

Summary of New Executive Order, #13780:

* The new EO cancels the previous EO #13769 issued January 27, 2017.

* The new EO is effective starting on March 16, 2017 at 12:01 EST. The EO may be extended and countries may be added or removed after an initial 90-day review period.

* The new EO suspends the Visa Interview Waiver program. Anyone applying for or renewing a visa stamp will require a visa interview. Limited exceptions exist based on statute or for diplomatic type-visas.

* The new EO institutes bans on visa issuance and entry into the U.S. for 90 days starting March 16, 2017, for nationals (citizens) from six countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

* The new EO applies to nationals (citizens) of the six covered countries who are:

   * Outside of the U.S. on the March 16, 2017; and

   * Did not have a valid visa at 5 p.m. EST on January 27, 2017; and

   * Does not have a valid visa on March 16, 2017.

* Excluded from the new EO are:

   * U.S. permanent residents (“green card” holders);

   * Anyone admitted to or paroled into the United States on or after March 16, 2017

   * Dual nationals who are traveling on a passport issued by a non-designated country;

   * Students or faculty/staff who have diplomatic (A) visas or (G) visas and dependents; and

   * A person granted asylum or a refugee already admitted to the U.S.

* The new EO also institutes a 120-day pause on refugee programs starting on March 16, 2017, and a limit of 50,000 total refugees per fiscal year, but no longer includes an indefinite ban on refugees from any country.

OIE Response to the New Executive Order

On March 6, 2017, a new executive order (EO) was signed. This EO will go into effect March 16, 2017, and cancels the January 27, 2017, Executive Order #13769.  The Office of International Education (OIE) is sensitive to the impact of this new EO and continues to be a resource and advocate to Georgia Tech’s international student and scholar community.

Georgia Tech is a place where complex problems are defined, studied, and resolved by a community of diverse perspectives and cultures. As an essential member of this academic community, your commitment to achieving your personal and academic goals sustains the Institute’s overarching mission.

To help remain committed to one’s goals, many seek support within the community. The Office of International Education is one of many places on campus where support is available to help you maintain focus and continue the important, scholarly work you are doing. In that spirit, OIE would like to provide specific and clear guidance to minimize uncertainty where possible. 

Our guidance: 

  • Individuals who are citizens of one of the six countries listed in the new executive order should travel only if the visa stamp in the passport will be valid upon the planned date of return to the U.S. 
  • For those with an expired visa stamp, a consultation with an international student and scholar advisor and/or a qualified immigration attorney is recommended prior to scheduling any international travel.
  • For students and scholars traveling outside of the U.S. with an expired F or J visa — including to Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean — we urge you to visit our office during walk-in advising hours, Monday-Friday between 1 – 4:30 p.m. Our staff will review your immigration documents under the current immigration rules, offer re-entry advising, including travel signatures if applicable.

As always, advisors are available to individuals with questions by email at and by appointment, at 404-894-7475.

To quote from President Peterson’s public remarks, “Georgia Tech is a stronger, better place because of the contributions of our international community. You are welcome here, and you are valued.”

Marisa Atencio,

Director, International Student and Scholar Services

USCIS Will Temporarily Suspend Premium Processing for All H-1B Petitions

USCIS announced recently that effective April 3, 2017, premium processing (form I-907) is suspended for all H-1B I-129 petitions for up to a six month period. The USCIS decision is NOT related to federal executive order #13780. USCIS has temporarily suspended premium processing for all cap-subject H-1B cases and cap-exempt H-1B extension cases in the past and is currently taking this action in order to clear the backlog in preparation for cap-subject petitions filed for the upcoming filing cycle, starting April 1, 2017. 

OIE is not able to respond to questions about H1B filing and advise students and scholars to seek guidance from the prospective employer filing the H1B petition or an immigration attorney. OIE offers an informational presentation each semester titled “The Nuts and Bolts of Immigration Sponsorship in the U.S” which is led by an immigration attorney.  Please visit OIE events to see the full details about the April 12th event and know this is an ideal opportunity to obtain detailed information about H1B processing and seek guidance about any concerns you may have related to work visas.

Updated 3/14/17 at 9:30am.


Georgia Tech is sensitive to the impact of the executive orders on our community. The Office of International Education and the Office Human Resources strive to be a resource and advocate to Georgia Tech’s international faculty, student and scholar community and to all of our colleagues. To that end, we would like to provide specific and clear guidance and minimize uncertainty where possible. 

The OIE international student and scholar advisors and Global HR staff are available to provide additional assistance or guidance. We encourage anyone holding a U.S. visa and citizenship in any of the countries listed in the new executive order not to travel until after a consultation with an immigration attorney.  OIE student/scholar advisors are available to individuals with questions by email at, during walk-in advising hours, and by appointment, at 404-894-7475 and Global HR staff are available by appointment

President Peterson’s remarks from March 2017 continue to ring true. “Georgia Tech is a stronger, better place because of the contributions of our international community. You are welcome here, and you are valued.”

Updated December 5, 2017 at 7:00pm.