UMD: A Globally Connected University

Immigration Updates

This page highlights the recent immigration enforcement changes and what they may mean for you.  We'll keep this page updated with the most recent information and our guidance. If you have any questions, you can contact International Students and Scholar Services.

 Read ISSS' Director, Susan-Ellis Dougherty, Statement on two
Executive Orders Signed on January 27th 





07/24/2017 - Premium Processing Restored for Cap-Exempt Institutions (NAFSA)

On July 24, 2017, USCIS announced that effective immediately it has restored premium processing for the following H-1B petitions:

Petitions that are exempt from the cap because the H-1B petitioner is:

  • An institution of higher education;
  • A nonprofit related to or affiliated with an institution of higher education; or
  • A nonprofit research or governmental research organization
  • Petitions that are exempt because the beneficiary will be employed "at" one of the above qualifying cap-exempt institutions, organizations or entities.
  • Premium Processing back on for Conrad and IGA waiver petitions

USCIS announced that starting June 26, 2017, it will resume premium processing for H-1B petitions filed for medical doctors under the Conrad 30 Waiver program, as well as interested government agency waivers. These two programs provide for waivers of the J-1 two-year home residence requirement in conjunction with the filing of an H-1B petition for an individual who would otherwise be subject to the 2-year requirement for having participated in the J-1 exchange visitor program as an alien physician. USCIS stated that it "plans to resume premium processing of other H-1B petitions as workloads permit. We will make additional announcements with specific details related to when we will begin accepting premium processing for those petitions. Until then, premium processing remains temporarily suspended for all other H-1B petitions."


6/26/2017 -  Executive Order 13780 "Travel Ban"

 Supreme Court opinion regarding the March 6, 2017 Executive Order 13780 “Travel Ban.”​  [Read More]


03/06/2017 - President Trump signed a new Executive Order entitled "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States". The order includes a revised entry ban on nationals of 6 countries. The Executive Order revokes and replaces Executive Order 13769 in its entirety, effective March 16, 2017. A helpful question and answer resource can be found on the website of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  In addition to the Executive Order the President also issued a memorandum to implement more stringent vetting of applications and petitions for immigration benefits.


02/04/2017 - Federal Courts issue a Temporary Restraining Order on  Executive Order 13769

On February 3, 2017, a Federal Judge in Seattle granted a temporary restraining order (TRO) that temporarily halts the enforcement of Executive Order 13769 nationwide, the provision that established the 90-day ban on entry of "immigrants and nonimmigrants" from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

Customs & Border Protection has updated their website with the following message:

In accordance with the judge's ruling, DHS has suspended any and all actions implementing the affected sections of the Executive Order entitled, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States."
This includes actions to suspend passenger system rules that flag travelers for operational action subject to the Executive Order.
DHS personnel will resume inspection of travelers in accordance with standard policy and procedure.
At the earliest possible time, the Department of Justice intends to file an emergency stay of this order and defend the President's Executive Order, which is lawful and appropriate.

The situation remains in flux, UMD ISSS urges caution for individuals from the 7 countries choosing to travel. Please read the attached Client Alert from Fragomen, Del Rey, Bersen & Loewy LLP  for more detail. Travellers may wish to travel via Abu Dhabi International Airport to access a pre clearance immigration inspection. Please understand that the restaining order is a temporary measure, and subject to change quickly. The. U.S. government will be working to challenge the restraining order as early as possible.


01/28/2017- For Foreign Nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen

  • Ban on entry to the U.S:  The executive order bans entry for at least 90 days for nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. If you are from one of these countries, you can stay in the U.S. provided you maintain your current visa status.
  • Travel outside the U.S.:    We strongly recommend that you do not travel to any country outside of the U.S. at this time. If you do, you will not be able to reenter the country, at least until the ban on entry to the U.S. is lifted.
  • Impact on U.S. Permanent Residents, Naturalized Citizens, and Dual Citizens:  U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents have broad discretion and authority to question an individual regardless of country of origin or nationality.  Although we have received word that U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents should not be affected by this order (read the DHS statement), we would remind you to proceed with caution with the understanding that we cannot guarantee that you will not have additional delays during transit.


01/27/2017- The U.S. President signed an executive order on January 27 that will impact visa processing abroad for international students and scholars.