Visa Renewal Update: The Tillerson Memos and Visa Revocations for Drunk Driving Arrests
by Jason Marquart, Team Leader
It has been hard to keep up with all the immigration related news over the past semester. The Trump administration signed two executive orders that would have affected the visa renewal process for all international students, but both have been temporarily blocked by the courts. There have been other changes to the immigration landscape that may affect those who plan to renew their visas this summer.
In March, the Department of State did issue four memos to all US consulates and embassies which called for tougher screening for visa applicants. The memos directed each consulate to maintain extra vigilance and to increase scrutiny for certain applications as determined by each consular post.
It is hard at this time to know how these memos will affect visa processing, though it seems likely that we will begin to see delays as we head into summer. This is especially true for applications that are chosen for administrative processing.
In addition to the Tillerson memos, it is worth reminding students that the Department of State did issue new guidance in 2016 which clarified the authority and obligations of consular officers to revoke previously issued nonimmigrant visas for DUI or DWI related arrests or convictions.
If you are planning to renew your visa this summer, it recommended that you review our Travel Abroad, Re-entry and Visa Renewal information. Though the travel ban was blocked by the federal courts, if you are from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen, we strongly caution against travel outside the U.S. unless absolutely necessary and advise that you talk to your International Student Advisor before finalizing your travel plans.
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