Foreign Nationals

Travel Warning for Nationals of Certain Countries in Anticipation of Executive Order

An Executive Order titled “PROTECTING THE NATION FROM TERRORIST ATTACKS BY FOREIGN NATIONALS” relating to visa issuance, screening procedures, and refugees, will most likely be issued this week.

Among other provisions, if implemented as written, would "suspend" the immigrant and nonimmigrant entry of nationals from certain designated countries for 30 days from the date of the order. Designated countries are tied to the Visa Waiver provisions of the 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act and if implemented without change, would include Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Additional countries could be included.

For those country nationals who might be affected by the Executive Order, it may be advisable to refrain from traveling outside of the United States if they are already present in the U.S., or try to return to the United States as soon as possible if they are outside of the country.


I've Graduated! What Now?

International Students who graduate from U.S. universities and are educated in the U.S. are facing a visa dilemma when it comes to options after graduating.  Most of the international graduates obtain an Optional Practical Training (OPT), which extends status of stay for 1 year (a 17 additional month is granted for those in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) and allowing the international graduates to work in their specialized field.  However, even with the OPT extending their status, they are facing a dilemma of not being able to stay due to lack of H-1B visa “quota” each year.  Brookings Institution made an analysis in 2010 that only 30 percent of international students graduating from U.S. universities received H-1B visas. The rest of the graduates who didn’t qualify have very limited to no choice left but to go back to their home country as far as visa options for professional workers and/or entrepreneurs are concerned.  The biggest argument surrounding this topic is whether the graduates should get an alternative way to help them stay in the U.S. and help the economy grow. One of the main arguments against the idea is that foreign graduates are taking the jobs that should be given to U.S. citizens at a cheaper labor cost. On the other hand, people in favor of helping the graduates believe that, “immigration system forces many of them to leave, sacrificing the innovation and economic growth they would create here.” Stuck in between these arguments are the foreign graduates, living with the uncertainty as they gamble their career based on the H-1B lottery system.