Guidance Regarding Travel, Immigration and Visas

"We aspire to be an Institute that pursues excellence and embraces and leverages diversity in all of its forms. In the years ahead, we must continue to enhance a culture of collegiality, close collaboration, global perspective, intercultural sensitivity and respect, and thoughtful interaction among a diverse community of scholars that includes all of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni."    —Georgia Tech Strategic Plan, 2010

This page serves as a resource to capture the changing regulatory policies for visa holders in the United States, as well as to document the public response from the academic community. It will be updated as additional guidance and information is available.


September 26, 2017

Dear Presidents:

The University System of Georgia greatly values the contributions of our international students, faculty and staff. International education, research and collaboration enrich our academic culture, benefitting students, faculty and staff throughout our 28 institutions across our University System. It is important that we continue to remain in close communication as new information and direction becomes available about policy changes impacting international travel and visa holders.

On September 24, 2017, President Trump issued a presidential proclamation which immediately extends the travel restrictions that were originally enacted in March, 2017 for citizens from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen and creates new restrictions for citizens from Chad, North Korea and Venezuela, effective October 18, 2017. The restrictions, which vary according to country, can be reviewed here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/09/24/fact-sheet-proclamation-enhancing-vetting-capabilities-and-processes. Additionally, the Department of State has provided an alert regarding the proclamation as well as FAQs prepared by Department of Homeland Security at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/news/important-announcement.html.

Citizens of the eight affected countries that were inside the U.S. and already issued a visa OR were a U.S. permanent resident as of September 24, 2017 are not impacted and their visas and green cards remain valid. We encourage students, faculty or staff from the affected countries to closely read the proclamation as it applies to their country of citizenship and reach out to their campus office of international education should they have questions.

As both phases of the order are implemented, the USG Office of International Education will coordinate closely with the international education offices across the system and share new information and guidance as it becomes available.

Thank you,
Steve Wrigley
Chancellor, University System of Georgia


June 26, 2017

On Monday, June 26, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court partially granted the government's request to stay preliminary injunctions on the 90-day travel ban in section 2(c) of Executive Order 13780. This decision will result in section 2(c) being enacted except under certain conditions. It is expected to be enforced within 72 hours and will result in the travel ban for individuals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen “who lack a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”

In addition, the Court formally lifted the injunction on the section outlining the government's study which could lead, under section 2(e) of the executive order, to an indefinite ban on entry by nationals of countries that do not provide the U.S. government with sufficient information on citizens who are applying for U.S. visas or immigration benefits.

While the Court cited several examples of such “bona fide relationships” — such as students admitted to a U.S. college or university or individuals employed by U.S. entities — further guidance from the State Department is needed regarding full application of these rules. The Supreme Court will hear arguments on this case in October, and a final decision is expected during the 2017-18 academic year.

Georgia Tech's Office of International Education and Global Human Resources will continue to stay abreast of the changes and provide updates as they are available. We encourage our international students, staff, and faculty to contact OIE for individual guidance if they are planning to travel or study abroad. 


June 21, 2017

  • On Wednesday, June 21, 2017, the White House issued an executive order which amends Executive Order 13597, enacted in 2012. This amended executive order rescinds a provision, subsection (b)(ii) of Section 2, which Established Visa and Foreign Visitor Processing Goals and the Task Force On Travel and Competitiveness, stating that consulates should “ensure that 80 percent of nonimmigrant visa applicants are interviewed within three weeks of receipt of application.” The rescission of this subsection removes specific timelines for the visa interview to occur.

March 6, 2017

  • On Monday, March 6, 2017, a new executive order related to immigration travel visas was signed. Specific information to F and J students and scholars will be posted on the OIE website as it becomes available.
  • On Tuesday, March 7, President G.P. “Bud” Peterson released a statement in response to the newest executive order.
  • Georgia Tech provides an Employee Assistance Program to all benefits-eligible staff and faculty (and their families) for consultation on a range of topics, including legal advice. Additional support may be obtained via Georgia Tech's Global Human Resources.
  • Students with questions are encouraged to direct them to info@oie.gatech.edu. The Division of Student Life also offers a number of services to aid students in need.

February 1, 2017


January 29, 2017

To Georgia Tech's F and J visa students and scholars:

Recent regulatory and policy changes impacting immigration have resulted in questions among our international students and scholars, as well as among others holding U.S. visas. As valued members of our community, Georgia Tech wants to reaffirm our commitment to keep you informed of changes that may impact you.    

On Friday, January 27, 2017, an executive order entitled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States” was issued. As a result of this executive order, we do not recommend travel outside the U.S. for anyone who holds a passport as a national of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen [a reference to INA 217(a)(12)]. This includes those who hold dual citizenship. 

We will continue to actively evaluate the changes to determine their impact on our students and/or scholars, and to provide you with updated information and assistance. 

Yves Berthelot
Vice Provost, International Initiatives
Georgia Tech