Letter to International Students, Scholars & Employees, Feb. 1, 2017

Dear International Students, Scholars and Employees,

We are following up regarding the Executive Order President Trump signed on Friday, January 27, 2017 titled “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals.” The complete text of the order is posted on the UCIS Resources page.

The provisions in the order will have an immediate impact on some Pitt students, scholars, and employees. The following will be suspended for 90 days for citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen:

  • Visa issuance. The US Department of State has issued a statement advising individuals from these countries not to schedule visa appointments or pay any visa fees.
  • Admission the United States. Visa holders from the above countries will not be admitted to the US, even if they have valid documents. US permanent residents should still be eligible for admission. 
  • Adjudication of other benefits under the Immigration and Nationality Act. We are awaiting further clarification on this, but this is likely to include all applications and petitions filed with USCIS Service Centers such as optional practical training applications and H1B and permanent residency petitions. We will provide more information as it becomes available.

If you are from one of these countries, based on what we know, we recommend that you do not travel outside the US, unless you have completed your time at Pitt and do not plan to return. If an application or petition needs to be submitted to USCIS during this period so that you maintain your legal status and/or eligibility for the requested benefit, you should discuss your situation with your OIS immigration specialist.

Additional changes include the following, which may impact individuals of any nationality:

  • 120 day suspension of the US Refugee Admissions Program with an indefinite suspension for refugees from Syria
  • Implementation of a biometric entry-exit tracking system for all travelers to the US
  • Immediate suspension of the Visa Interview Waiver Program
  • A review of all visa reciprocity agreements and possible adjustment of the terms (validity period, fees, etc.)

If you or any member of the Pitt community is impacted by these changes, please contact OIS.  

OIS will continue to monitor this and any other changes to immigration regulations and policy under the new administration and notify you as we learn more. As mentioned in the Chancellor’s email this weekend, updates and resources will be posted to the UCIS Resources page. We will also share articles and information about regulatory and policy changes on the OIS Facebook page. In addition, we will send email messages when there are significant changes that impact the Pitt community directly.

At any time, if you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at ois@pitt.edu or make an appointment with an immigration specialist.  

On behalf of the entire OIS staff,

Genevieve Cook

Office of Inernational Services

Center for International Studies
of Pittsburgh
708 William Pitt Union
Phone: (412) - 624 - 7120
My OIS: Online Service Center