Office of International Services
Guidance on Executive Order on Immigration
and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
Updated July 3, 2017
On Monday, March 6, 2017, the Trump administration released a replacement executive order for the executive order issued on January 27, 2017. On June 26, the Supreme Court of the United States heard challenges to the executive order and granted a partial stay of the injunctions of lower courts. Details of the Executive Order and Supreme Court decision are below.
The Office of International Services (OIS) will update this web page as new or updated information becomes available. Note: the information below is for general information purposes only. Please consult with an advisor in OIS before any travel abroad and check this page regularly for updates.
The Office of International Services (OIS) provides general travel guidance for JHU sponsored individuals.
We also provide personalized travel guidance to individuals on JHU sponsored visas (along with dependents) including the following:
- F-1 students
- J-1 students, faculty, researchers
- H-1B temporary workers
- O-1 extraordinary ability aliens
- TN for Canadian and Mexican professionals
Note that OIS does not generally provide guidance or support to legal permanent residents since those individuals do not require JHU sponsorship and JHU has no reporting or compliance obligations with respect to legal permanent residents. In light of current circumstances, however, we encourage all members of our community to contact OIS if they have questions or need support.
Generally, OIS travel guidance includes:
- Explanation of required documentation for the immigration and visa application process;
- Explanation of required documentation for entry or reentry to the United States;
- Discussion of potential risks of entering and/or leaving the United States during the immigration and visa application process; and,
- Emergency telephone support for issues encountered at borders and/or airports.
On June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States heard challenges to the executive order and granted a partial stay of the injunctions of lower courts “with respect to foreign nationals who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” However, the Executive Order “may not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”
The Court states that "the relationship must be formal, documented, and formed in the ordinary course, rather than for the purpose of evading” the Executive Order. The Court provided examples of what constitutes a "bona fide relationship" with a U.S. entity not subject to the Executive Order for persons from the designated countries:
- Students admitted to a U.S. school
- An employee who accepts an offer of employment from a U.S. employer
- Lecturers invited to address an American audience
It will hear the case again in October 2017 to consider the merits.
On June 29, 2017, the Department of State provided additional guidance on the applicability of the Executive Order in light of the Supreme Court decision. It defines a close familial relationship as “a parent (including parent-in-law), spouse, fiancé, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, sibling, whether whole or half, and including step relationships. “Close family” does not include grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, and any other “extended” family members.”
The executive order on immigration released on Monday, March 6 replaced the executive order released on Friday, January 27, 2017. The replacement executive order took effect at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, March 16. It suspended visa issuance to individuals from six designated countries – Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – for a period of 90 days. The administration removed Iraq from the list of impacted countries in the original executive order.
OIS continues to advise all pending visa applicants/recipients who may be affected by the executive order to reach out to both OIS and their sponsoring departments/units. OIS can be reached at 667-208-7001 and/or firstname.lastname@example.org or, in the case of emergency situations after hours, at 443-240-1938.
While the March 6 executive order permits travel and entry to the U.S. for persons from the six countries if they already have a valid visa, the university continues to advise Johns Hopkins-affiliated students or scholars to consult with OIS. Those who do choose to travel outside the country should be aware that they may encounter delays obtaining new visas at a U.S. consulate, or difficulties upon reentry including secondary inspection and longer detention periods for extended questioning by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers. CBP officers have wide discretionary authority to deny entry to the U.S. If that occurs, such individuals may not be able to return to the U.S. for an indefinite period of time. The Supreme Court decision on June 26 provided additional clarification and temporary relief, but it must still hear the case on the full merits in October 2017, at which time it will issue a final determination on the constitutionality of all or parts of the Executive Order. For these reasons, individuals from the six countries are urged to weigh the risks surrounding visa renewal applications, reentry into the U.S., and other issues, and to discuss those with an advisor in OIS.
Q: I know it is being cautioned that persons from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen who travel outside the US may not be able to return for an indefinite period of time. What if I have a family emergency and need to leave?
A: You should speak with an OIS advisor about your individual situation before making travel plans. However, the Supreme Court decision provided broad temporary relief to those “who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” This includes students and workers at JHU. The Supreme Court will hear the full case on the merits in October 2017, at which time they will issue a decision on the constitutionality of all or part of the March 6 Executive Order. Between now and October, travel is possible but individuals are urged to weigh the usual risks surrounding visa renewal applications or reentry to the U.S. and discuss those with an advisor in OIS.
Q: I am not from one of the six countries but am from a predominantly Muslim country. Should I travel?
A: While the replacement executive order, like the original executive order, does not address countries of origin other than the six designated countries, we routinely recommend everyone speak with an OIS advisor about their individual situations before making travel plans. However, there is no indication that your travel will be impacted by this executive order, though additional questions and delays may occur at U.S. Consulates and Ports of Entry, particularly if you have travelled to one of the six countries.
Q: Are U.S. Permanent Residents impacted by the Executive Order?
A: No, the replacement executive order does not apply to U.S. Permanent Residents from the six countries and they are not impacted by the Executive Order.
Q: How many of our students, faculty and staff may be impacted?
A: OIS has been in direct communication with those sponsored through our office who are from the six countries listed in the executive order. We are constantly monitoring for changes and new information, which is our standard operating procedure.
Q: What if I have an emergency outside regular office hours? What is an emergency?
A: OIS has an emergency telephone number for use outside regular office hours – 443-240-1938 – for issues such as urgent travel needs due to family concerns, or problems at the border or airport during your return. This telephone number is monitored by a senior OIS staff member who can access OIS immigration records. Our office number for non-emergency calls is 667-208-7001.
Q: I am a permanent resident from one of the impacted countries. May I contact OIS?
A: Yes, as a member of the JHU community, you may access OIS services. Keep in mind that our guidance will be general in nature, and we may need to refer you to an outside immigration attorney.
Q: Do you have special access to information that we do not?
A: We do not have special access to information that is not already in the public sphere. However, we have special training to interpret the meaning of what is out there and have access to additional interpretive resources provided to us by our professional organizations.
Q: I am a concerned U.S. citizen. How can I help?
A: If you know of someone who is impacted, be a supportive friend. If you are inclined, express your opinions to your member of Congress. There are a variety of other ways to voice your support and opinion, including becoming involved with organizations dedicated to the issues of concern to you.
Q: I am a United States citizen who is also from and/or a citizen of one of the six affected countries. What should I do?
A: No, U.S. citizens, even those with dual citizenship and/or national origin from an affected country, are not affected by this replacement executive order.
Q: I am from one of the six countries and will be graduating soon. I expect to apply for Optional Practical Training. Will this be impacted?
A: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is processing all applications for individuals from the six countries. OIS has not observed any distinction in processing times for citizens of the six countries.
Q: What if I am detained at the border? Can JHU offer legal assistance? Who will cover the cost of the legal assistance if I am unable to?
A: JHU will always attempt to support members of our community. If you are detained at the border or in an airport, please contact OIS at our emergency telephone number, 443-240-1938. If OIS is not able to resolve the issue with the border official, JHU will work on a case-by-case basis to refer affected members of our community to individuals or organizations that can be of assistance, including those who may be able to provide legal services at no or little cost.
Message from President Daniels on the executive order on immigration – February 1, 2017
JHU closely monitoring immigration actions – January 28, 2017
JHU and undocumented U.S. residents at the university – December 19, 2016
Supreme Court decision of June 26, 2017:
Department of State:
Department of Homeland Security post-Supreme Court decision announcement
Customs and Border Protection:
Statement By Department of Homeland Secretary John Kelly On The Entry Of Lawful Permanent Residents Into The United States:
Department of Homeland Security Press Releases:
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services notice on adjudications:
REPLACEMENT March 6, 2017 Executive Order: Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States
PDF of REPLACEMENT March 6, 2017 Executive Order:
Department of Homeland Security FAQ on March 6 Executive Order:
White House Fact Sheet on Executive Order:
REPEALED January 27, 2017 Executive Order: Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States:
PDF of REPEALED January 27, 2017 Executive Order:
February 1, 2017 memorandum from White House Counsel regarding applicability of Executive Order to Permanent Residents:
Fragomen updates and alerts:
Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) FAQs related to Executive Orders