News and Policy FAQs

Immigration Policy Updates and FAQs


International Affairs at UC Riverside recognizes that the recent changes regarding immigration policy have raised questions and concerns for international students, faculty and employees of the university. Information regarding policy changes is posted below. UC Riverside is a global university. International education, collaboration and research enrich our vibrant institution. International Affairs remains committed to supporting our international community. 

The situations remains fluid and updates will be made to this page as we know more information. 
(Page updated: 10/1/2017)


President Trump's Proclamation (9/24/2017)

On September 24, 2017, President Trump issued a Presidential Proclamation entitled Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats(link is external) (click here for BIO's detailed summary). This Proclamation partially or fully restricts entry into the United States for nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen and Somalia. The proclamation contains specific provisions for each impacted country, as summarized below. The new restrictions established by the proclamation take effect October 18, 2017.

Who is directly impacted?

The Proclamation cites country-specific entry restrictions for nationals from nine countries. Individuals from all impacted countries should expect increased scrutiny and screening of visa applications in all non-immigrant categories.

  • North Korea, Syria and Somalia- Entry is indefinitely suspended for all non-immigrants and immigrant visas
  • Chad, Libya and Yemen- Entry in B-1, B-2 and B-1/B-2 visas and immigrant visas is suspended.
  • Iran- Entry in all non-immigrant categories is suspended– except F,M, and J exchange visitor visas. F, M and J exchange visitors will be subject to enhanced screening and vetting requirements. Entry for immigrant visas is also suspended.
  • Venezuela- All Venezuelan nationals who are visa holders may face increased screening and scrutiny. Entry is specifically suspended only for B-1, B-2 or B-1/B-2 visas for officials of the following government agencies Ministry of Interior, Justice, and Peace; the Administrative Service of Identification, Migration, and Immigration; the Corps of Scientific Investigations, Judicial and Criminal; the Bolivarian Intelligence Service; and the People’s Power Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and their immediate family members.

Are there impacts for individuals from all countries?

For the near future, our office recommends minimizing international travel due to the changing nature of the new administration’s policies on visas and U.S. entry.

  • Increased Screenings, Possible Travel Delays- The Proclamation specifically indicates increased scrutiny for Iraqi citizens or nationals. Due to the P.P’s call for increased scrutiny at the Port of Entry and at consulates and embassies abroad, immigrant and non-immigrant travelers should expect increased travel delays when applying for a new U.S. visa or when entering the U.S.
  • Future Changes in Visa Issuance for additional countries- Provisions of the Proclamation order call for ongoing review of U.S. visa issuance procedures for all countries. These continuing revisions and reviews may result in countries being continued on, added to or removed from the visa/entry suspension list, changes in fees, or visa lengths.

International Students and Scholars office is monitoring continuing issues impacting our international student, scholar and employee populations. 

See the Dept of State Travel AlertDHS Fact Sheet, and White House FAQ, as well as NAFSA: Association of International Educators, detailed resources.



Other Policy Updates:

  • 8/21/2017: U.S. Department of State suspends nonimmigrant visa processing in Russia.
    The U.S. Dept. of State is suspending nonimmigrant visa processing in Russia on Aug. 23rd, 2017. Processing will resume in Moscow only on September 1. Plan accordingly if you intend to travel to Russia in the future and will need to renew your visa stamp. For additional information, see the mission statement and fact sheet.
  • 4/19/2017: Executive Order issued to "Buy American and Hire American


Executive Order: March 6, 2017

On Monday, March 6, President Trump signed a new executive order that restricts entry to the United States for individuals from six predominately Muslim countries (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen).

We will continue to monitor the situation and post updates as changes occur. Building upon conversations after the January 27 executive order, International Affairs will host ongoing dialogues for our community. There are a number of resources available across the university. International students and scholars with concerns about how this executive order will affect them should contact the International Students and Scholars office (by phone at 827-4113 or by email at 

UC Riverside is a global university. International education, collaboration and research enrich our vibrant institution. International Affairs remains committed to supporting our international community. We have included two messages below from the University of California Office of the President; these messages outline details of the executive order and what it means for the University of California. For now, we call on the entire UCR community to stand together because we value diversity and inclusive excellence.

Dr. Kelechi Kalu, Vice Provost International Affairs
UC Riverside
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3/21/2017 UCR Resource:
"Frequently Asked Questions for University employees & students about possible federal immigration enforcement actions on UCR property"
The University of California has updated their immigration information and resource pages as well. For more information, visit:  


Additional information:


Executive Order: January 27, 2017

On January 27, 2017, President Trump issued “Executive Order: Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” It contains provisions that directly affect our student and scholar populations, along with the departments and units who host them. For example, the Executive Order suspends visas, entry, and immigration benefits for individuals from Libya, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen (i.e. nationals of these countries, including those who were born in or are permanent residents of these countries, or are dual nationals).

In addition, the increased screening procedures outlined in the Executive Order will likely have an impact on travel. There have been many questions as to whether the executive order will affect the adjudication of US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) benefits for individuals with immigrant and non-immigrant status in the USA.

General Information and Resources for UC Riverside students and scholars:

Recommended Resource document (compiled February 13, 2017


See Customs and Border Protection's Executive Order webpage & FAQ, which addresses traveler questions specific to the rule. Individuals who may be affected by this Executive Order may visit the CBP INFO Center website for additional information. On the webpage, travelers may also request additional guidance by clicking on the ‘Email us your Question' button.


Beware of Scams Relating to the Executive Orders

International Affairs has received reports about "scams" or criminal activity happening in some parts of the U.S. relating to the new executive orders.  These are situations where criminals are targeting international students and scholars by phone, posing as government or law enforcement officials such as the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, the police, etc. and trying to convince the students that they must immediately pay a large amount of money or they will immediately be arrested and deported.

If you receive such a call, it is NOT TRUE.


Scams like this have been around and targeting international students for years. The only difference now is that they can use the fear and anxiety caused by the executive orders to help convince someone to pay.  No matter what, you would not be called on the phone like this and asked to pay money or be deported if there was something wrong with your status.

If you receive such a call, hang up. Please contact our office and we will assist you.



Campus Update re: Executive Order (posted January 28, 2017 at 11:00am PST)

The International Affairs office at UCR recognizes that the recent Executive Orders regarding immigration policy have raised questions and concerns for members of our international community. Today our staff held three, hour-long dialogue meetings with concerned students and scholars. In these discussions, we answered questions about what we know right now, how the system works and how these changes may impact any travel plans for international students and scholars in the near future. 

The three questions (with our responses) we heard most frequently were:

1. How does this affect my visa status?

It may not affect you. As long as you continue with the intended purpose of your visa status (i.e. full course load, authorized work or research), you will remain in legal status. 

2. Can I travel? Will my family be able to visit me here in the U.S.?

As a precaution, it is recommended to refrain from travel outside of the U.S. for the immediate future.

If your family has already obtained their visas, there is a possibility that they may be able to visit. However, there is a slight chance that port authorities could refuse entry. We advise that you make sure that your visiting family members have your correct home address here in California and phone number where you can be reached if needed by immigration officers at the port of entry.

3. Will this affect my OPT or any change of status?

The Executive Order does not affect OPT or a change of status, because these benefits are typically applied for while you are within in the U.S.


Our recommendations are:

If you are from one of the seven countries identified in the executive order (Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen), we recommend avoiding all non-essential travel outside of the U.S. for the immediate future. 

It is important for international students and scholars to maintain their visa status. As a reminder, the visa stamp in your passport is not your immigration “status.” The visa stamp in your passport is used to enter the country. Please stop by International Affairs if you have questions.

Dr. Kalu will be traveling to D.C. in mid-February. We will be holding additional conversations upon his return to brief everyone on what higher education institutions are doing to reduce the impact of the Order on our students and scholars as the situation unfolds in the weeks and months ahead.

International Affairs remains committed to supporting our international students and scholars. We will be sending out more information as details unfold. The International Students and Scholars office is here to support you and to answer any questions you may have.


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