Frequently Asked Questions Regarding 217(a)(12) Country Travel Ban
(Last Updated: February 1, 2017)
I am outside the U.S. and have been restricted from returning, or one of my F-2 or J-2 dependents is unable to return, what should I do?
If you are on a University of Massachusetts Boston I-20 or DS-2019, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to include your UMass ID #. An advisor will assist you with information/guidance.
I am from one of the seven countries listed. Does this mean I will have to leave the U.S.?
No, if you are currently inside the U.S. then you will continue with your student or scholar activities as normal. These orders would impact you only if you leave the U.S. during this 90-day period. Please note: these changes pertain specifically to visa issuance (at an overseas U.S. consulate), travel, and entry into the U.S. rather than interruption of anyone currently in the U.S. As long as you remain enrolled and in valid F-1/J-1 Student or J-1 Scholar immigration status under UMass Boston sponsorship, there are no changes to your status and you remain in perfect legal standing.
I am from a country that is not on the list of 217(a)(12) countries (e.g., China, Germany, Australia, etc.). Do I need to be worried or do anything differently?
At this point the only change for you is if (1) you travel outside the U.S. and (2) your visa is expired so that you need to renew your F or J visa. If this is the case, then you would be required to go in person to the U.S. consulate to complete the application process - you cannot use any mail-in or bank application processes, it must be done in-person. If your visa is still valid, then nothing is different for you.
I am not a citizen of any of these countries but I was born there. Will this impact me?
If you are a US citizen but born in one of the 7 217(a)(12) countries, expect delays upon reentry.
I am from a University of Massachusetts Boston department and we are expecting a J-1 scholar who may be impacted. What should we do?
Please contact the ISSO director, Susan L. Connors, who oversees the J scholar program, at Susan.Connors@umb.edu, or by calling 617.287.5586.
I am an enrolled student who is in a status other than F or J, who can help me?
Although you may not be a university-sponsored visa holder, please feel free to reach out to the ISSO for immigration resources and general, non-case-specific information. We can provide you with a helpful list of immigration contacts and immigration clinics. Feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com.
I am a foreign national employee who is not an enrolled student and am also not on a University of Massachusetts Boston immigration document. Who can help me?
This will depend on your immigration status. For example, if you are an F-2/J-2 dependent, your spouse’s university immigration office will provide you guidance. If you are an H-4 dependent, your spouse’s Human Resource office will provide you guidance. As with all visa holders not on UMass Boston sponsorship, the ISSO can give you general, non-case-specific information and provide a helpful list of immigration contacts and immigration clinics. Feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am from one of the seven countries listed. Will this prevent me from extending my I-20 or DS-2019, applying for OPT or CPT, or obtaining part-time authorization?
No, it will not. You are still able to apply for the usual benefits available to those in F or J status. Any updates regarding USCIS-granted employment authorization benefits will be communicated to you in a timely manner as made available.
Are there any general recommendations regarding travel for the seven 217(a)(12) countries?
The University of Massachusetts Office of General Counsel has provided the following recommendations:
- If a citizen of one of the seven countries and here on a nonimmigrant visa, travel is not recommended. You will not be able to reenter for at least 90 days even with a visa stamp, perhaps longer. (The Massachusetts court order is temporary, due to expire on Saturday, February 4, 2017, and is limited only to re-entry at Logan Airport and based “on the ground” accounts. CBP may not be fully complying.)
- If a dual citizen of one of the seven countries and another country (e.g., Canada or U.K), travel is not recommended at this time.
- If a U.S. citizen but born in one of the seven 217(a)(12) countries, travel is not recommended at this time.