New Executive Order on Travel and Visa Restrictions Issued

March 7, 2017

To our International Students:

On Monday, March 6, 2017, President Trump signed a new Executive Order, addressing travel and visa restrictions impacting certain foreign nationals.  The previous Executive Order, dated January 27, 2017, will be revoked and this new Order will be effective as of March 16, 2017. 

The following is a brief summary of the Order’s key components:

  • The Order suspends the issuance of any new immigrant or nonimmigrant visas to a citizen or national of 6 countries – Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen – for 90 days.  Iraq is no longer included in the list of countries impacted by the Order. 
  • The Order does NOT apply to individuals of these 6 countries with valid visas.  While the previous Order of January 27 provisionally revoked valid visas, this new Order confirms that the valid visas are no longer considered revoked and are valid for entry to the U.S. for the period of the visa.
  • The suspension of entry for nationals of the 6 countries does NOT apply to U.S. Citizens or U.S. Permanent Residents (individuals who hold Green Cards, but not those with pending applications for U.S. Permanent Residency with USCIS).  The Order also does NOT apply to an individual granted asylum or an individual already admitted to the U.S. as a refugee.
  • Dual nationals (individuals who hold a valid passport in one of the 6 designated countries and a passport issued by another country that is not one of the 6 designated countries) are NOT subject to the entry restrictions of the Order if they are traveling to the U.S. on their passport issued by the non-designated country.
  • Waivers on the suspension of entry (or obtaining a new visa) to the U.S. may be considered on a case-by-case basis.  We look forward to receiving more guidance on the process to request such Waivers and if it will be applicable to our international students.
  • The Order also suspends the Visa Interview Waiver Program, therefore requiring all applicants for nonimmigrant visas to have an in-person visa interview at a U.S. Embassy/Consulate abroad to obtain a new visa for entry to the U.S.

To view a copy of the full Executive Order issued on March 6, 2017, click here.

To view a copy of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Q&A regarding the new Executive Order, click here.   

Students who hold citizenship from one of the 6 designated countries should consider holding off on any non-essential travel outside of the U.S. until additional details concerning the implementation of this Executive Order by the various government agencies are available. 

If you are a citizen of any of the 6 designated countries or Iraq, and have any questions concerning travel under the Executive Order, please feel free to contact me at the ISO.

If any student has questions concerning the Executive Order, or other matters impacting your stay at MIT, please do not hesitate to contact your ISO Advisor.

MIT continues to work closely to support our students, and all members of the MIT Community, impacted by the Executive Order.  Any additional updates received on Presidential or government agency actions will be posted to the ISO “Major Immigration Updates” webpage. 

Most sincerely,

David C. Elwell 
Associate Dean and Director
MIT International Students Office