Current and Emerging Immigration Issues

If you have questions or concerns about these issues, please reach out to the University’s primary point-of-contact for immigration-related matters:

Elizabeth A. Gill, Director of International Services, Global Education Center

The January 27, 2017 Executive Order on Immigration

President Donald J. Trump issued an Executive Order entitled “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Entry into the United States by Foreign Nationals” on January 27, 2017.

President’s Statement

Montclair State University President Susan A. Cole delivered this message to the university community on January 31, 2017.

Updates (Last Updated: 3/7/2017)

 On March 6, 2017, the January 27, 2017 Executive Order (13769) was replaced by a new order entitled “Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States”. The primary provisions of this new order that distinguish it from the January 27 order are as follows:

  • The total number of countries listed in the order has changed from seven to six; Iraq is no longer included.
  • The following previously banned categories of individuals from the six listed countries (in the “Travel Advisory” below) are now exempt from the restrictions of the order:
    • Green card holders
    • Valid visa holders
    • Dual citizens who hold citizenship in one of the six listed countries and in a country not listed in the order. Dual citizens must travel using their passport from a country not restricted by the order.
    • Syrian refugees, previously suspended indefinitely from entering, are now suspended for 120 days.
    • The language that prioritized claims from people from minority religions in their country of origin has been eliminated.
    • The new order does not take effect immediately; it becomes effective on March 16, 2017.


For in-depth, timely information, please refer to the NAFSA: Association of International Educators Travel Advisory for Nationals of Certain Countries Pursuant to Executive Orders. We will continue to apprise you of further updates.

Travel Advisory

Section 2 of the March 6, 2017 Executive Order “direct[s] that the entry into the United States of nationals of those six countries [listed below] be suspended for 90 days from the effective date of this order, subject to the limitations, waivers, and exceptions set forth in sections 3 and 12 of this order.” As of March 16, 2017 (the date the new order takes effect), the six affected countries are:

  1. Iran
  2. Libya
  3. Somalia
  4. Sudan
  5. Syria
  6. Yemen

According to the provisions of the order, additional countries could be added to this list at a later time.

If you are a valid visa holder, green card holder, or holder of dual citizenship from one of the six affected countries, you may now travel freely, but please be aware that you could still encounter longer-than-usual wait times at the Port of Entry (Customs).

Although the new order allows for certain case-by-case waivers, Montclair State University recommends that you do not travel if you have an expired visa and are from one of the six affected countries. If your visa is expired and you feel that you are in a situation that requires you to travel, please obtain the advice of a licensed, experienced immigration lawyer prior to making travel plans, and be sure that someone inside the U.S. has copies of all of your immigration documents, your flight itinerary, and your contact information before you board a plane.

We advise that you not seek immigration advice over the internet. If you have questions, please refer to the More Information section below.

F-1 and J-1 Student and Scholar & H-1B Employee Information

Due to the current immigration climate, it is imperative that you closely follow the travel guidance the International Services office has compiled for you:

If you have any questions about this guidance, please contact your International Services advisor for assistance; do not travel without the required documentation in hand.

Immigration Applications & Petitions

If you are a student, scholar, or employee of Montclair State who has submitted or will submit an application or petition to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), please be mindful that you could encounter longer-than-usual processing times, and plan accordingly. If you are in doubt as to whether you should submit a particular application or petition to USCIS, please obtain the advice of a licensed, experienced immigration lawyer. 

If you are a newly admitted international student who is a citizen of one of the six countries listed in Section 3(c) of the Executive Order and currently outside the U.S., the International Services office can issue you an I-20 or DS-2019 once you submit the required documentation, but you will be unable to apply for a visa until the ban is lifted. If you are a newly admitted international student currently in the U.S. in F-1 or J-1 student status, you should be able to transfer your SEVIS record from your current school to Montclair State University. Regardless of your situation, please e-mail International Services at for assistance if you are an incoming F-1 or J-1 international student.

Information and Resources

The following articles and pages should prove helpful in staying abreast of this issue:

Please keep in mind that the information contained on this web page and in the advisories and pages listed above does not constitute legal advice. Please speak to a licensed, experienced immigration attorney if you require legal counsel.

Counseling and Psychological Services

Students who have individual concerns are encouraged to contact the Office of the Dean of Students, and they may also take advantage of the resources offered through Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), including short-term individual counseling, group therapy, psychiatry, Let's Talk walk-in sessions, and more. Contact information for CAPS is located here.

Employees who have individual concerns are encouraged to contact the Office of Human Resources.

Encounters with Government Officials

If you are contacted by someone claiming to be a Department of Homeland Security (or other government agency) official, ask for the person's full name, government agency, reporting office, and government telephone number. Then, contact the International Services office, Global Education Center, so that they can assist you in identifying the actual government office to which the person claims to belong. Once you have the actual government office’s contact information, you will be able to contact that office to find out whether the inquiry you received is a valid one or a scam. The Department of Homeland Security will never demand immediate payment from you or threaten to deport you if you do not pay a fee, so if someone tries to intimidate you with statements to that effect, it should immediately put you on alert. In addition, please refrain from providing personally identifying information (like your Social Security Number) to someone whose identity you have not been able to verify.

U.S. law provides you with specific rights whenever you are confronted by a federal, state or local law enforcement official. Please review those rights here so that you are prepared for any encounter you may have with a government or law enforcement official.

More Information and Assistance

If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to the University’s primary point-of-contact for immigration-related matters: 

Elizabeth A. Gill
Director of International Services
Global Education Center