Read the following article by UCSB's Office of International Students and Scholars explaining the impacts of Executive Order. Please review the guidelines issued for travel, visa renewal procedures, and maintenance of legal F1/J1 status.

By Simeng (Karen) Li, International Peer
Wednesday, February 1st, 2017 - 1:06pm

On January 27, an Executive Order was signed by the President. It will seriously impact people from Libya, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen (excluding those with dual citizenship with the U.K.). Additionally, the Executive Order increased screening procedures which may have an impact on travel and possible decisions regarding United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) policies beyond citizens of countries mentioned above.

For the near future, UCSB's Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) recommends that all international students and scholars avoid or minimize international travel due to the changing nature of the new administration's policies on visas and U.S. entry. In addition, the Executive Order effects:

  • Overseas ​visa ​renewals: The Executive Order currently stops the Visa Interview Waiver Program (VIWP), which allowed individuals to apply for visas or visa renewal without an in-person interview. An in-person interview will be required for visa renewals.
  • More ​changes to ​come: The Executive Order calls for a review of all countries seeking U.S. visas, as well as visa reciprocity provisions. These continuing adjustments and reviews may result in countries being added to or removed from the visa/entry suspension list, changes in fees, or visa lengths.
  • Increased ​screenings, ​possible ​travel and USCIS ​processing ​delays: Due to the Executive Order's suspension of VIWP and call for increased scrutiny at the Port of Entry and at consulates and embassies abroad, expect increased travel delays when applying for a new U.S. visa or when entering the U.S. This may also affect USCIS processing times.

OISS, UCSB, and the UC system stand with our international community during this challenging time. We know that uncertainty is stressful and we are committed to supporting you in any way we can.

REMINDER: During these fluid times, it is important to avoid any violations of your F-1 or J-1 status. In addition to enrollment requirements, address reporting, ​and employment restrictions, individuals in non-immigrant status are expected to refrain from breaking any U.S. state or federal laws. Please think carefully before engaging in protest activities, as arrests can seriously impact immigration status or future visa applications. Arrests or convictions that involve violence, drugs, or alcohol can have serious and long-lasting impact on current or future immigration status. Also be aware that marijuana use remains illegal at the federal level (and illegal on the UCSB campus and student housing) and use constitutes a violation of federal law. Use of marijuana, or alcohol/drug-related DUI arrests or convictions can lead to severe immigration consequences ranging from fines, visa cancellation to deportation. If you are arrested or have any legal concerns, please contact OISS immediately. In such cases, we urge you to retain legal advice as to your next steps and possible consequences.

Legal Representation: Attorneys and fellows at UC Davis School of Law are able to provide legal advice to students and their families at UC Davis, UCLA, UC Merced, UC San Francisco, UC Santa Cruz, UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego, and UC Riverside. Please use the following contract information:
Vivek Mittal, Managing Attorney
University of California Undocumented Legal Services Center
Tel: (530) 219-7256 Fax: (530) 752-3034


For scholars, immigration specialists Adam Green and Bernard Wolfsdorf are two attorneys who have given immigration presentations at UCSB in the past. (OISS does not endorse any specific legal firm, and provides this information as a convenience only.)

If you have specific questions or concerns, OISS Student Advisors are available for Walk-In Advising on Wednesday mornings and afternoons from 10 a.m. to ​noon and 1 to 4 p.m. You can also call, come in, or email OISS to schedule an appointment to speak with an advisor,, or (805) 893-2929. Advising for J-1 Visiting Scholars or Student Interns is available by appointment only.