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Office of International Services

Guidance on Executive Order on Immigration
and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Updated February 8, 2017





During the week of January 30, 2017, the Office of International Services (OIS) conducted five information sessions across Johns Hopkins campuses in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. More than 500 individuals attended the sessions, which covered elements of the executive order on immigration and subsequent released statements by the Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies. Additional information sessions may be held in person or online. In the meantime, OIS will update this web page as new or updated information becomes available. Note: the information below is for general information purposes only. The situation remains fluid. 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.



The executive order on immigration released on Friday, January 27, 2017 suspends visa issuance and the entry of temporary visa holders from seven designated countries – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – for a period of 90 days.

OIS advises all visa applicants/recipients who may be affected by the executive order to reach out immediately to both OIS and their sponsoring departments/units. OIS can be reached at 667-208-7001 and/or or, in the case of emergency situations after hours, at 443-240-1938.

Immediately after the release of the executive order, the university advised Johns Hopkins-affiliated students or scholars who may be affected not to travel outside the United States. Those who do choose to travel outside the country should be aware that they may not be able to return for an indefinite period of time.  Note that the situation remains fluid.  Thus, as future court orders may alter the applicability of all or parts of the executive order, travel outside the U.S. for most persons from the seven countries remains inadvisable at this time.

On January 31, 2017, U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued official guidance and questions and answers about the executive order, which you can read here:  The date of the most recent update is found at the bottom of the Customs and Border Protection FAQ.


OIS FAQs (updated 2/8/17):

Q:     I know it is being cautioned that persons from Iran, Iraq, 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. You will need to weigh the nature of the emergency against the prospect of not being able to return to the United States for an indefinite period of time.

Q:     I am not from one of the seven countries but am from a predominantly Muslim country. Should I travel?

A:      While the executive order does not address countries of origin other than the seven designated countries, we recommend that you speak with an OIS advisor about your individual situation before making travel plans.  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.

Q:     Are U.S. Permanent Residents impacted by the Executive Order?

A:      The Administration has clarified that U.S. Permanent Residents are not impacted by the Executive Order.

Q:     How many of our students, faculty and staff may be impacted?

A:     OIS is in direct communication with those sponsored through our office who are from the seven countries listed in the 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. 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 concern 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 seven affected countries. What should I do?

A:      At this time, U.S. citizens, even those with dual citizenship and/or national origin from an affected country, do not appear to be affected by this executive order.

Q:     I am from one of the seven countries and will be graduating soon. I expect to apply for Optional Practical Training. Will this be impacted?

A:      At this time, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is processing all applications for individuals from the seven 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. 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.



University Communications

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


Government Resources

Customs and Border Protection FAQ:

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:

Executive Order: Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States:

PDF of Executive Order:


External Resources

NAFSA Travel Advisory:

February 1, 2017 memorandum from White House Counsel regarding applicability of Executive Order to Permanent Residents:

Fragomen updates and alerts: