President Trump Executive Orders – Travel Advisory

President Donald Trump has issued 3 Executive Orders that affect Immigration Law. This memo addresses travel issues that have arisen from the Executive Order signed on January 27, 2017, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.”

The Executive Order has the effect of stopping all refugees coming to the United States for 120 days, stopping Syrian refugees from entering the United States indefinitely, and stopping persons from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the United States for at least 90 days from January 27, 2017.

The following travel advisories remain in effect until further notice is given:

Citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen:

If you are a nonimmigrant from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, it is advised that you do not leave the United States, since you will not be allowed to return. If you are a green card holder from one of these countries, you are advised not to travel, even though the Department of Homeland Security has exempted green card holders from the ban. There have been reports of Legal Permanent Residents encountering difficulties at the port of entry into the U.S. If you are a U.S. Citizen from any of these countries, you should not be denied admission to the United States if you leave.

Nonimmigrants and Immigrants from Predominantly Muslim Countries:

If you are from a predominately Muslim country, it is advised that you do not leave the United States, since other countries may be added to the list of banned countries in a future executive order.

Nonimmigrants of Countries not included in the Ban:

Nonimmigrants who do not have valid visa stamped in Passport:

If you are planning to travel outside of the United States, and you do not have a valid visa stamped in your passport, we advise you not to travel, because each visa applicant is now required to be personally interviewed. This is because the Visa Interview Waiver program, which allowed a qualifying nonimmigrant visa holder to apply for a visa without attending an interview, is being cancelled. Therefore there is a delay in getting a visa appointment. Also, you may be required, in a visa interview, to present a cumbersome number of documents. This can result in very lengthy delays, and may lead to a denial of a visa. As such, do not travel if you do not have a valid visa stamped in your passport.

Nonimmigrants with valid visa stamped in Passport:

If you are a nonimmigrant who is not a citizen of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, and you are outside the United States, and you have a valid visa stamped in your passport, you will be allowed to travel to the United States and gain admission to the United States, given there are no other negative factors involved in your particular, individual circumstance.

If you are planning to travel outside the United States, and you have a valid visa stamped in your passport, we advise that you can travel outside the United States, since you will not be subject to the delays caused by attending a comprehensive visa interview, as discussed above.

Immigrants of Countries not included in the Ban:

If you are a Legal Permanent Resident of the United States (Green Card holder), there should not be a problem in your traveling abroad, and returning to the United States. If, however, for whatever reason, a Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agent, or any other Government Agent asks you to sign form I-407, Record of Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status, to abandon your green card, do not sign the form, immediately ask that the case be referred to an Immigration Judge, and that you be allowed to obtain an Immigration Attorney to represent you.


Proposed Bill Would Allow DHS to Indefinitely Detain Immigrants

A new bill, just filed by Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX), proposes to give the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) the authority to indefinitely detain immigrants. If passed, H.R. 1932, the Keep Our Communities Safe Act, would give DHS the power to detain and hold as long as it deems necessary certain “dangerous” immigrants who are under orders of removal but cannot be deported. The bill, which is co-sponsored by Jeff Miller (R-FL) and Dennis Ross (R-FL) would do the following, among other things:

(1) Remove key portions of two Supreme Court Decisions that stated an immigrant cannot be detained for a period over six months, even in cases in which the person cannot be deported.

(2) Give DHS the ability to detain immigrants for a range of offenses, including writing a bad check.

(3) Give DHS the ability to detain an immigrant for years without having to conduct a bond hearing in front of an immigration judge.

Detractors of the bill comment that, if the bill is passed, it will be challenged.

New Version of Form N-400, Application for Naturalization is announced by USCIS.

USCIS revised Form N-400, Application for Naturalization on April 13, 2016. The revised version is accessible at August 9, 2016 is the last date to use the 9/13/13 form edition, if any forms submitted after August 10, 2016, it will be discarded and previous versions of Form N-400 submitted will be returned.

Eligibility Requirements

The eligibility requirement for naturalization remains the same. Visit to get the information on how to complete the form, and where eligibility requirements can be found.

Revised Form Changes:

  • Removed the bar code
  • Streamlined the application process for the customer
  • Identified evidence.

Instructions to complete the Revised Form N-400:

  • Access the revised form
  • Complete it electronically, then print, sign and mail it to the USCIS Lockbox listed in the instructions. Please comprise supporting papers and the correct fee.
  • If you are unable to fill out Form N-400 electronically, you may print it, or request a paper form by calling the Forms Request Line at 800-870-3676. You must complete the paper form in black ink.
  • You may also get forms and information by calling the USCIS National Customer Service Centre at 800-375-5283

US plans to talk to India about H-1B and L-1 visa fee hikes

The US has planned to hold a discussion with India in April over the recent H-1B and visa fee increase. According to the Indian media statement, it mainly disturbs the Indian owned companies in the US. The US has agreed discussions following India’s complaint against its move to raise visa fees for non-immigrant workers at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Indian Government, Ministry of Commerce is functioning with a set of legal mentors to validate that the visa rules victimize Indian IT organizations working in the US. “We want the US to see our point of view at the consultation stage itself and revoke the visa fee hike, but this is unlikely to happen. We have to be ready to fight a case at the dispute panel. Our legal team is trying to prove violation of WTO rules on both de facto (in effect) and de jure (by law) basis,” the Commerce Ministry official said.

According to Nasscom Assessment:

The change would affect losses estimated at $400 million for Indian IT firms. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said: “The MEA is intense to settle the matter during the WTO consultation process as it does not want yet another problematical situation with the US on trade and economic matters.”

This will be a challenging case for India to argue at the WTO as the legislation is applicable on all companies and doesn’t explicitly target Indian companies. Official said: “Our legal team has to prove that discrimination is taking place by providing data which shows that it is only Indian companies that are getting affected because of the increased visa fees and not the American companies”. The US has suggested April 5-6 as probable dates for consultations. We look at the readiness of our officials around that time and respond accordingly.

Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone Temporary Protected Status Stretched for Six Months.

An additional six months of extension for the designations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone for Temporary Protected Status (TPS).This extension has been done by Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security. Though there have been major progresses in the conditions in all three countries since their designations for TPS in November 2014, the enduring effects of the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak and continued recovery challenges support this six-month extension

The extended designation is effective May 22, 2016, through Nov. 21, 2016. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) encourage beneficiaries to re-register as soon as possible. TPS extension allows TPS re-registrants to apply for a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Eligible TPS beneficiaries who re-register during the 60-day period and request a new EAD will receive one with an expiration date of Nov. 21, 2016.

Submission Process for Re-registering for TPS:
To re-register, current beneficiaries should submit the following forms:

  • Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status (re-registrants do not need to pay the Form I-821 application fee)
  • Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, regardless of whether they want an EAD
  • The Form I-765 application fee (or a fee-waiver request) only if they want an EAD. No application fee is required if the re-registrant does not want an EAD.
  • The biometric services fee (or a fee-waiver request) if they are age 14 or older.

Submission Process for Individuals who still have a pending initial TPS Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone application:
New Form I-821 is not needed for the individuals who still have a pending initial TPS Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone application.However, if they currently have a TPS-related EAD and want a new EAD, they should submit:

  • Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
  • The Form I-765 application fee, regardless of their age and
  • A copy of the receipt notice for the initial Form I-821 that is still pending

One who fails to submit the required filing fees or a properly documented fee-waiver requests USCIS will reject that applicant’s TPS application. Applicants may request that USCIS waive any fees based on an inability to pay by filing Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, or by submitting a written request. Fee-waiver requests must be accompanied by supporting documentation. All USCIS forms are provided for free. Forms are available at USCIS website or applicants can request forms by mail or call toll-free 1-800-870-3676.

H-1B Petitions for Fiscal Year 2017

USCIS will start accepting H-1B petitions subject to the fiscal year (FY) 2017 cap from April 1, 2016. The H-1B visa program allows employers to hire foreign workers in specialty occupations that require the imaginary or practical application of highly specialized knowledge, such as engineers, scientists, and computer programmers.

The required cap on H-1B visas for FY 2017 is 65,000.The first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed for individuals with a U.S. master’s degree or higher are exempt from the 65,000 cap. The number of petitions received will be monitored and notified to the public by an agency when the H-1B cap has been met.
To Avoid Delays in Processing:

USCIS is expecting to receive more than 65000 petitions during the first five business days of this program. In order to avoid delays in processing, H-1B petitioners must follow all legal and regulatory requirements.

USCIS has developed detailed information, including an optional checklist, Form M-735, Optional Checklist for Form I-129 H-1B Filings, on how to complete and submit an FY 2017 H-1B petition. The optional checklist for FY 2017 will be available within the next week. Employers should take action as early as possible to initiate any cap-subject H-1B petitions. Cases will be acknowledged on the date USCIS receives a properly filed petition with the appropriate fees.

Mark Zuckerberg to Support Obama’s Efforts on Undocumented Immigrants

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook and other Silicon Valley leaders have advised the Supreme Court to sustain Barack Obama’s executive actions that seek to protect undocumented immigrants to stay in the US.

The Facebook founder, along with Reid Hoffman LinkedIn co-founder, PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, prominent angel investors and venture capitalists Ron Conway, Jeremy Levine and representatives of upwards of 60 companies advised the Supreme Court to support Obama’s efforts to allow millions of immigrants to stay in the U.S.

Silicon Valley Says:

The court brief released by on Tuesday argues that the immigration system is shattered and advised the Supreme Court to allow Obama’s executive actions to be implemented for the sake of the U.S. economy. For Silicon Valley, the issue has been both personal and commercial.

Other Companies Says:

Facebook, LinkedIn and other companies say they need more visas for high-skilled immigrants. In recent times company faced a backlash in India aimed at trying to offer free mobile broadband service to some users, but only to access certain websites, such as Facebook. Many of the allusions point to theoretical studies and press trainings rather than other court cases. “Failure to address the status of undocumented immigrants and their families,” the brief says, “also wear away the long-term skills base of our workforce.”

DHS to launch known Employer Pilot Program

The Employer pilot program is announced by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This program is to assess a new process for employers seeking to hire certain workers through employment-based visa categories.
The program will be designed to make adjudications more efficient and less costly and also to reduce paperwork and delays for both the department and U.S. employers who seek to employ foreign workers.


  • Reducing the amount of paperwork filed by employers and retained by USCIS
  • Encouraging the stability in the settlement of employment-based petitions and applications.
  • Restructuring the adjudicative process to achieve greater efficiency within USCIS
  • Providing greater support to CBP and DOS in support of greater efficiency and consistency at ports of entry and consular posts.

Under the Known Employer pilot, up to nine preselected employers will file applications requesting that USCIS predetermine that they meet certain requirements relating to certain immigrant and nonimmigrant visa classifications. Employers will create a profile in the Web-based Known Employer Document Library (KEDL), and upload documents relating to the requirements, when making this request.

USCIS officers will review and decide whether a prospective employer has met certain requirements relating to the visa classifications, and if USCIS approves the employer’s predetermination request, the employer may then file petitions or applications for individual employees without needing to resubmit company information with each petition or application.

No additional fee is charged to participate in this program. At any time, USCIS may terminate or extend the pilot at any time. DHS and DOS will solicit on going feedback from the participants.

Immigration changes make it easier to hire, retain foreign nationals

By Joel Seguine
Office of the Vice President for Communications

A number of changes are under way within the International Center (IC) designed to streamline immigration processes for international faculty and staff, and more are planned. The actions respond to task force recommendations issued during the summer.

The University’s Task Force on Faculty and Staff Immigration Services, chaired by Liz Barry, managing director of the Life Sciences Institute, undertook a comprehensive review of immigration services pertaining to hiring and retaining foreign nationals as faculty and staff. The task force report issued in June includes 12 recommendations comprising policies, practices and infrastructure designed to upgrade the IC’s immigration services in the post-9/11 environment.

The task force provided a great service to the IC and the University, says E. Royster Harper, vice president for student affairs, who oversees the center and who initiated the task force.

“Our ability to hire and retain the best foreign talent is under pressure from recent trends and we must put ourselves in the best position to compete for and welcome these individuals into our midst,” Harper says. “Making the navigation of immigration procedures more transparent and efficient will make us more competitive in attracting outstanding international faculty and researchers, as well as students.”

As the task force formed its recommendations, certain core values and guiding principles emerged, Barry says.

“One of the keys was the idea that the institution’s core value of promoting international education and collaboration is best served by the University adopting uniform policies and procedures for hiring foreign nationals, ensuring strict compliance with them and providing the resources necessary for efficient implementation,” she says.

The first policy change will be implemented Oct. 3 when legal counsel retained by the University will be available to provide a subset of services on behalf of the University with regard to certain employment-based immigration petitions, Assistant General Counsel Donica Varner says. As of that date, all new immigration petitions for which U-M is the petitioner must be prepared by either Faculty and Staff Immigration Services (FSIS) staff or one of the five firms retained by the Office of the Vice President and General Counsel (OGC) to provide immigration services.

“Previously, individuals or their campus units often hired counsel themselves. Since these attorneys were actually performing legal work on behalf of the University, the task force believed the Office of the Vice President and General Counsel should be responsible for selection, retention and supervision of outside counsel,” Varner says.

When legal counsel is deemed necessary, the new policy makes the hiring unit responsible for payment of legal fees, administrative costs, filing fees and recruitment costs. Foreign national faculty and staff members no longer will be permitted to retain legal counsel to represent the University in immigration matters. Similarly, hiring units may only work with a law firm that has been approved by and retained by the OGC.

Varner says the firms were selected based on their familiarity with higher education institutions; successful experience with the University; foreign language skills of staff; and ability to handle significant workload in a timely fashion; among other criteria. The names of the firms and details about the policy are available at

Another change already benefiting international faculty, staff and students is the administrative move in July by the IC—with the help of Michigan Administrative Information Services—of the International Student/Scholar Health Insurance Plan from a standalone database to M-Pathways, according to Louise Baldwin, assistant director of IC. “This move was the first step of a three-part project that, when completed, will greatly reduce the number of paper insurance forms international students and scholars are required to submit, and will reduce the need for in-person visits to the IC that are related to health insurance,” Baldwin says.

Another recommendation involving the upgrade of digital infrastructure and streamlining of business processes resulted in an ongoing pilot project with several academic units. The project will test software called INSZoom, which allows FSIS to provide many of its services more efficiently, especially the processing of H-1B (temporary employment) petitions, according to Meghan Covino, FSIS manager.

“The software allows departments and employees to log-in any time to check the status of their petitions. Departments also can run reports tracking information such as the number of employees they have in H-1B status which countries they are from,” Covino says. Following the pilot, campus-wide use of the software and new processes is scheduled for Winter Term.

The task force recommendations have been incorporated into a formal project to update and improve the services of IC for all clients, including international students and departmental staff who rely so much on the services of the center, Harper says. “We also conducted a thorough internal process review and are benefiting from an additional study done by an external consultant,” she adds.

Dean of Students Susan Eklund, who oversees the project, says staff from academic and administrative units will participate in focus groups to ensure that new and updated policies and processes meet their needs. “We’ll be rolling out improvements on a gradual basis over the next 12 to 18 months. The first recommendation we implemented was bringing the technical infrastructure of the International Center to a more current state for Director Rodolfo Altamirano and his staff,” Eklund says.

Altamirano says that with all of the changes, his staff will put a strong emphasis on educational outreach. “We want to keep those who use and need our services well informed about the changes and improvements we’re making,” he says.

The task force report and detailed information about the IC and its services is available at

Yemen: Deadline for TPS Registration is March 1, 2016

March1, 2016 is the deadline for the Yemen to get registered for Temporary Protected Status (TPS).The TPS designation for Yemen runs from September 3, 2015, through March 3, 2017.

Eligibility Criteria for Registration:
To get registered with TPS, you must validate all eligibility criteria. This includes:

  • You must undergo security checks if you are 14 years old or older
  • It also includes that, you have been “continuously residing” and “continuously physically present” in the United States since September 3, 2015.
  • Person with criminal records are not eligible for TPS

Registration Process:
To get registered for TPS, You must submit the following forms:

  • Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status.
  • If you are more than 14years then biometric services fee applies.
  • Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, regardless of whether you want an employment authorization document (EAD).
  • The Form I-765 application fee or a fee-waiver request, but only if you want an EAD. No application fee is required if you don’t want an EAD.
  • There is no Form I-765 fee for initial applicants under the age of 14 or 66 years of age and over.

If you cannot pay the fee, you can submit a written request. However, you must file Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver. TPS application will be rejected, if you do not submit the required filing fees or a properly documented fee-waiver request.