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Be Careful Out There!

By Sara Goldsmith Schwartz and Julie A. Galvin

In light of this weekend's Executive Order, "Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry To The United States," we urge independent schools, colleges and universities to be extremely cautious when determining which students leave the United States for any reason, and particularly with respect to school-sponsored trips out of the country. We have already received several inquiries from educational institutions that have students and employees who are outside of the U.S. and being prohibited from returning.

Under the Order, individuals from seven (7) designated countries - Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen - are prohibited from entering the U.S. Anyone who holds a passport from one of these countries is subject to the Order, including:

  • those who hold non-immigrant visas, which includes students on F-1 visas;

  • those who hold immigrant visas and intend to enter the U.S. permanently;

  • lawful permanent residents (LPRs)- i.e., "green card" holders. (Although it is being reported that LPRs are being admitted on a case-by-case basis, this is a discretionary determination, and the risk of denial is possible); and

  • those who are dual nationals and hold passports from both a designated and non-designated country.

Individuals who travel outside the U.S. will not be permitted to re-enter, even if they have a valid visa or green card. Although the Order suspends entry by these individuals for only 90 days, such travel will not necessarily be automatically reinstated. Further, additional countries may be added to the list of designated countries.

At this time, we urge independent schools to re-visit their protocols regarding which students, including U.S. citizens, should be permitted to travel abroad. When a trip will be occurring outside of the U.S., schools should ensure that all students who plan to attend the trip have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the travel dates. In addition, foreign students should be sure that they meet any and all visa requirements, both for the country to be visited, and also to be able to return to the U.S. Students who cannot obtain a valid passport or visa, if applicable, should not leave the U.S.

If you have any questions, please contact any member of the Education Group or our immigration counsel, Julie Galvin.