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Dear Students,

As many of you have already read and heard, on Tuesday, June 26th the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Trump Administration’s September 24th Presidential Proclamation limiting travel into the U.S. for citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, North Korea and Venezuela.  Chad and Iraq were listed in previous travel bans, but have been taken off this current list. 

Before we start on the details of this decision, let me make two things clear.

  1. All of us at the University of Kansas want you to know that you are welcome here. We have deep respect for and appreciation of the diversity you bring to this university. You bring the world to our classrooms, as well as your knowledge, perspectives, passions and commitments. You make KU a better place for being here and we are so thankful that you have chosen us for your home in the U.S. and the place in which you earn your degree.
  2. Student visas (F-1 and J-1) are only affected from the countries of North Korea and Syria, however, no current visa holders are in danger of having their valid visa revoked.

While there is no new news to report on the Proclamation itself as it will now stand as originally issued this past September, it is important to recognize that the Supreme Court’s decision is critical in a very significant respect. A central challenge before the Supreme Court was to determine if the Proclamation violated a key provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act barring religious and other types of discrimination in the issuance of visas. The Court’s majority decided that it did not and that there is no evidence that visa issuance would be impacted by an applicant’s religion. This is critically important, and good news for us all. Evidence to the contrary will likely result in additional legal challenges.

So where does this leave us? As mentioned earlier, the restrictions will still not apply to current visa holders, meaning students and scholars from the affected countries who are already in the United States, for as long as their existing visas remain valid. People whose visas expire will be subject to the travel ban upon exit from the United States.

The new rules also do not apply to legal permanent residents, dual nationals traveling on a passport issued by a country other than those listed, refugees already admitted to the United States or someone granted asylum. It should also be emphasized that the Proclamation allows for case-by-case waivers in certain circumstances, but will not be granted categorically, meaning that there is always room for individual case exceptions.

The restrictions vary by country and “restrictions are conditional and may be lifted as [the affected governments] work with the United States government to ensure the safety of Americans." As was the case with taking Iraq and Chad off the original list.  We will continue to update the following chart as changes come about.

Country

Nonimmigrant Visas (people who enter the U.S. on a temporary basis)

Immigrant and Diversity Visas

Iran

No nonimmigrant visas except F and M student visas, and all J visas (student and scholar categories)

No immigrant or diversity visas

Libya

No B-1 (business), B-2 (tourism) or B-1/B-2 (dual purpose) visas

No immigrant or diversity visas

North Korea

No nonimmigrant visas

No immigrant or diversity visas

Syria

No nonimmigrant visas

No immigrant or diversity visas

Venezuela

No B-1 (business), B-2 (tourism) or B-1/B-2 (dual purpose) visas of any kind for government officials and their immediate family members

No restrictions

Yemen

No B-1 (business), B-2 (tourism) or B-1/B-2 (dual purpose) visas

No immigrant or diversity visas

Somalia

Somalian citizens will be subjected to additional scrutiny.

No immigrant or diversity visas

Again, we are always here for you and want to support you in any way that we possibly can. Please let us know if you have any questions, issues, or become aware of challenges you feel we need to address as a university. Together we will do all we can to transcend the headlines we read each day and keep our focus on one of the best educational environments in the world – right here in Lawrence, Kansas.


Sincerely,

Charles A. S. Bankart, Ph.D.

Associate Vice Provost


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