What Should I Do If?

Executive Orders on Immigration

What should I do if?

I am traveling abroad and I’ve heard that the government has begun “enhanced interrogation” for some people. Do you have any advice for what I should do if I am selected for that?

The American Civil Liberties Union has general guidelines regarding your rights when encountering law enforcement at U.S. airports and other ports of entry. It is available at: https://www.aclu.org/files/kyr/kyr_english_5.pdf

Should people who are from the seven countries attempt to travel during the next 90 days?

The university recommends that citizens from these countries avoid traveling outside the U.S. until there is a further assessment of the new policy. Furthermore, friends and family members from the seven countries should be advised not to travel to the U.S. at this time. The university will continue to carefully monitor this situation and provide updates as we receive them.

I am a student from one of the listed countries, and I am currently out of the country.  Who do I contact if I have questions about returning to campus for assistantship/employment obligations, for a preliminary exam or final exam/dissertation defense, or if I have dependents who remain on campus?

Students should contact ISSS, if they are abroad but are unable to return to campus. If you have dependents residing on campus, let ISSS know.  Graduate students with teaching/research assistantships or other campus employment should contact the employing department or unit.  Graduate students who are unable to return for a scheduled preliminary exam or final exam/dissertation defense should contact the Graduate College. The Graduate College will work with students and departments to develop a solution.

I’m a faculty member/student employee who is out of the country. What do I do?

Please stay in close contact with your appointing unit.  Your unit will work with campus administration to determine how to best support your individual situation.  As a general matter, we would expect that appointments and pay continue and will look for ways that research and other duties can be addressed remotely.

I’m scheduled to attend a conference or conduct research outside the county. What should I do?

We strongly recommend that affected students and scholars postpone out-of-country travel. We recognize the importance of these experiences to your academic and professional development, so we encourage you to explore possibilities for participating remotely by contacting conference organizers and research partners.

I have an emergency that might require me to travel out of the country. Who can I speak to about my options?

We strongly recommend that affected students and scholars defer travel outside the U.S. However, we understand that an urgent situation requiring out-of-country travel may arise. If so, ISSS and the Dean of Students (helpdean@illinois.edu or 217-333-0050) or the Graduate College Ombudsperson (ombudsperson@illinois.edu) can discuss your options with you.

What if my visa is about to expire?

Reach out to ISSS for guidance and support. The office is at 400 Student Services Building, 610 E. John St., Champaign. The phone number is 217-333-1303 ext. 1. And you can email them at isss@illinois.edu.

I am a prospective student affected by the Immigration Ban Executive Order, should I still apply to the University of Illinois?

Yes. The executive order is in effect for 90 days, which coincides with other processes required for international student admission and enrollment, and so should not impede our usual timeline to process your application. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign evaluates prospective students based on their individual merit, and does not consider national origin in its admissions decision. We are committed to the fundamental principles of academic freedom, equality of opportunity and human dignity and apply these principles in the evaluation of any undergraduate or graduate student application.

Can I apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) and other non-immigrant benefits

The executive order does not affect status in the U.S., nor the benefits of that status. On February 2, 2017, USCIS Acting Director Lori Scialabba issued a memo confirming that the executive orders do not affect USCIS adjudication of applications and petitions filed for or on behalf of individuals within the United States. Therefore OPT applications and other benefit applications should remain unaffected at this time.

If I am not able to be in the United States for my coursework or other degree requirements, will I be able to participate and complete my degree remotely?

Depending on several factors, federal export control regulations could prevent you from conducting academic activities (such as dissertation defense for Ph.D. candidates) from abroad. Please contact the Graduate College directly at 217/333-0035 for assistance.

What can I do to help?

We urge you to reach out to colleagues from the affected countries and reassure them that you care. Make sure the affected individuals know that they are wanted and supported. They can rightfully expect support from offices such as ISSS and International Programs, but offices that are not international-specific are even more important in demonstrating that the community at large supports them.

Call your legislators and let them know how you feel about the order and its impact on the people and work of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The university is advocating vigorously against any actions that are needlessly detrimental to our university community and we pledge to be proactive in supporting all of our students, faculty, staff and visiting scholars, whether domestic or international.