Resources for Those Affected by Presidential Executive Orders

Announcements

What is the United States Travel Ban and who is impacted?

On June 26, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled on the case Trump  v. Hawaii, and supported the administration’s ability to suspend travel to the U.S. by nationals from seven countries:  Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. 

We want to emphasize that UMass Boston is a campus that values and supports its international students and scholars. We want to make sure that all members of our community, no matter your national, ethnic, racial, religious, or gender identity, feel welcome, safe, and valued here. UMass Boston is the most diverse university in New England, and we know that our strength lies in that diversity.

Importantly, this Supreme Court ruling does not change or amend the travel restrictions that have been in effect since September 2017.  In other words, current travel policies remain the essentially same.  The Court’s ruling does not impact individuals from these countries who are currently in the U.S. with a valid immigrant (permanent) or nonimmigrant (temporary) visa status.  International students and scholars from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Venezuala, and Yemen are exempt from the travel restrictions, and indications are that the Department of State continues to issue F-1 and J-1 visas for those exchange visitors.  Enhanced travel screening remains in effect for travelers from Iran and Somalia.  Travel from North Korea and Syria continues to be suspended.  The ban will impact new applications to travel from these countries to the U.S

What are the specific policies for the affected countries?

Again, this Supreme Court ruling does not change or amend the travel restrictions that have been in effect since September 2017.  The ban will impact new applications to travel to the U.S. from the seven impacted countries: Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. Individuals from who are U.S. lawful residents (immigrants) from these countries, who are dual nationals traveling on a passport from a non-restricted country (such as the UK or Canada), or who hold a valid U.S. visa or an Advance Parole travel document should not be impacted by the entry/travel restrictions.

A more specific breakdown of travel policies impacting visa issuance for Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen is as follows:

• Iran: No nonimmigrant visas except F student visas and J exchange visitor visas; no immigrant or diversity lottery visas.
• Libya: No B-1, B-2 or B-1/B-2 visitor visas; no immigrant or diversity lottery visas.
• North Korea: No nonimmigrant, immigrant or diversity lottery visas.
• Somalia: Nonimmigrant visa applicants subject to heightened scrutiny; no immigrant or diversity visas.
• Syria: No nonimmigrant, immigrant or diversity lottery visas.
• Venezuela: No B-1, B-2 or B-1/B-2 visas for officials of designated Venezuelan government agencies. Other visa holders are subject to verification of traveler information. No restrictions on immigrant or diversity lottery visas.
• Yemen: No B-1, B-2 or B-1/B-2 visitor visas; no immigrant or diversity lottery visas.

It is important to reiterate that current holders of F and J visas from these seven countries are not impacted.  In addition, there are no new changes that impact existing immigration benefits for citizens of any country.  These U.S. immigration benefits include applications for post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) or Academic Training (J-1 AT), or applications to change to any other immigration status from within the United States.

However, as we explain below, we advise that members of our community from these countries carefully consider the risks of international travel.  As directed below, we ask you to contact our International Student and Scholar Office (ISSO) Director for guidance on any travel outside of the U.S.  The ISSO can review your UMass Boston-sponsored visa status and offer individualized advising.

What if I am a student or scholar from an affected country?

Members of the UMass Boston Community from these impacted countries are strongly encouraged to receive individualized travel guidance before travelling outside of the U.S.  A visa is a travel document only; it does not confer immigrant status or work authorization.

If you are a student or scholar from one of the seven impacted countries and are currently in the U.S. in any nonimmigrant visa status (e.g., B. F. J. H. O, TN, etc). UMass Boston’s ISSO advises against travel outside of the U.S. without a thorough review of your current nonimmigrant visa status and travel plans.  If you are affected by the travel ban restrictions, please contact the International Student and Scholar Office (ISSO) Director, Susan Connors: susan.connors@umb.edu or 617-287-6481. Many questions are answered on our FAQ page.  The ISSO is one of several resources on campus.

Resources

On-Campus Resources

The Office of Global Programs provides counseling and information for international students and others with concerns related to immigration. 

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion can provide referrals to students. Call 617.287.4818.

The University Health Services Counseling Center is available for consultation to students, faculty and staff, and offers counseling appointments and walk-in emergency services to students. Visit https://www.umb.edu/healthservices/counseling_center or call 617.287.5690.

The Women’s Center has open office hours with Rachel Ring Thursdays from 3:30 to 6 p.m. in Suite 3100 of the Campus Center. She's also in the center Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:30 to 1:50 and Mondays from 5-6. For appointments, email Rachel.Ring001@umb.edu.

The Interfaith Campus Ministry is located on the third floor of McCormack Hall, off the Ryan Lounge. The Interfaith Center Sanctuary is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. The Prayer Space is open 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Juma Prayer is Friday at 1. Call 617.287.5938 or 617.287.5939. 

The Student Immigrant Movement (SIM) is a nonprofit organization that organizes undocumented students in Massachusetts. To be connected to UMass Boston's SIM chapter, contact Loan Dao at Loan.Dao@umb.edu.

The charge of the Queer Student Center (also known as the QSC, or "The Q") is to facilitate the educational and social development of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and queer (LGBTQQ) population at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Email qsc@umb.edu.

International Student and Scholar Office

The International Student and Scholar Office (ISSO) serves as the institution’s resource for all immigration matters and visa benefits for UMass Boston students and scholars and employees (in student and scholar visa classifications). This office is your principal liaison to the U.S. government agencies that oversee your stay in the U.S. They provide counsel to UMass Boston-sponsored visa holders through drop-in advising sessions, scheduled workshops, and information seminars, so that you stay informed, ensuring that your principal focus is on your academics and/or research activities, allowing you to make valuable contributions to your community and to enjoy your stay in Boston. You can reach an advisor in the ISSO by calling 617.287.5586 or emailing isss@umb.edu.

International Travel

UMass Boston is a strong advocate of international education and programs, international research activities, and collaborations, as well as of international service learning experiences opportunities that support student learning and professional development, and strengthen faculty and staff scholarship and professional growth. The university is also aware that the potential risks related to international travel are varied, and at times could be life-threatening. These pages are provided for international travelers to research and prepare for their travel overseas.

Global Student and Scholar Support Forum

The Global Student and Scholar Support Forum is a dedicated group of staff and faculty from offices and departments across campus who meets monthly to share advice, information, ideas, and experiences working with and within the UMass Boston international community. A primary purpose of the forum is to foster open communication among university representatives with specific focus on topics pertaining to the needs of international students and scholars while deepening responsiveness and engagement with cross-cultural issues. This group advocates for global education to be a campus-wide priority. This forum was created to forge a space for meaningful collaboration, spreading understanding, encouragement, and support of the larger UMass Boston global network. To join or for more information, contact global@umb.edu.

Additional Support for Faculty and Staff

ComPsych® provides faculty and staff with confidential support, resources and information to help with personal and work-life concerns. Call 844-393-4983 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or visit www.guidanceresources.com and enter the company ID UMASS.

Off-Campus Resources

Some immigration resources, including attorney resources, are available here.

If Out of the Country and Need Immediate Assistance

If you travel abroad and you are not permitted to return to the U.S., contact UMass Boston Public Safety at 617.287.1212. UMass Boston Public Safety is available for response 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and will notify Office of Global Programs staff and university emergency management immediately of your case. If you are at John F. Kennedy International Airport, you can call the ACLU hotline at 212.607.3310.

UMass Boston is committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment free of intimidation, harassment, domestic abuse, and sexual misconduct, which includes relationship violence, stalking, and sexual harassment. Such conduct is prohibited by federal law (Title IX) and by university policy and will not be tolerated—whether it takes place on or off campus. UMass Boston takes all allegations of sexual misconduct seriously and provides information, resources, and direction to members of the university community in an effort to prevent it and resolve all allegations. For more information about resources, polices and complaint procedures, please visit www.umb.edu/odi.