I keep hearing about travel bans and visa suspensions in the news. How do I know whether I am affected by these changes?
by Martha Turner, Director, International Student and Scholar Advising
ANSWER: It has been a tumultuous year as far as surprising visa and immigration changes, with a number occurring without advance warning. There will likely be more changes ahead. At OISS, we try to inform our student population in general about the changes and specifically reach out to students who might be affected due to their nationality or status.
For instance, when the first “travel ban” was announced in January of this year, we sent a number of emails to all students about the Executive Order. We also held Forums on the Danforth and Medical School campuses. In other cases, we chose to e-mail only the students who were directly affected by the change.
To help keep our students and scholars up to date about important changes, we have added a new page to the OISS website titled Immigration and Visa Updates. On this page we provide an overview of any recent changes as soon as possible. Whenever there are updates or changes to the changes, such as court challenges, we make those additional updates available as well. Often it takes a few days to gather information and understand the specifics of new Executive Orders, Presidential Proclamations, State Department policy changes, and other government actions, so we can’t always provide information immediately; however, we will get updates on the website and out to our students and scholars as soon as we can be sure we have accurate information.
Always know that if you are concerned about something you hear or read about related to visas and immigration, you can always ask your OISS advisor during walk-ins (Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs: 1:30-3:30pm) or email your question. In these turbulent times, we want to provide as much information as we can so that you can plan accordingly.
Send us your questions! “Ask an OISS Advisor” is a regular feature in the International Voice where OISS advisors answer questions that have been submitted by International Students and Scholars from Washington University. This means that we need your help! If you have a question that you would like to have answered in this column, please send it to us. It might be a question for which you don’t know the answer or it may be a particular issue that you have noticed causes confusion for many other international students. If you’re not sure if it’s a good question for this feature, go ahead and send it in, and we will decide. Please send your questions to the editor of the International Voice at: firstname.lastname@example.org . Indicate if you prefer for your question to be anonymous.