Guidance on President Trump's May 29, 2020 Proclamation
Updated June 3, 2020
Many of you likely have read or heard about President Trump’s Proclamation, issued on May 29 and effective June 1, which suspends entry to the U.S. for some Chinese students and researchers. We know many people have questions about this order and who it impacts. We do not yet know how the State Department will apply this order or who they will consider as those who are helping to implement or support the “military-civil fusion strategy” that is the subject of this order. We can tell you what we do know at this point, though. Please read carefully.
This order does not apply to:
- Chinese citizens who are, or will be, pursuing undergraduate studies in the U.S.;
- People who are U.S. permanent residents or people who are studying or engaged in research in the U.S. in other nonimmigrant statuses (H-1B, etc.);
- People who are in a field that does not “contribute to the PRC’s military-civil fusion strategy” (while not clearly defined, this means that the order does not apply to all graduate students/researchers);
- Chinese graduate students or scholars who are IN the U.S. (although visas may be revoked, see below); and
- Applications submitted to USCIS (such as OPT applications).
This executive order applies to:
- SOME, but not all, Chinese graduate students/researchers, who are outside the U.S. and are applying for an F or J visa. It applies to those students/scholars who: 1) receive funding from; 2) are employed by/study at, or conduct research at/on behalf of; or 3) have been employed by, studied at or conducted research at/on behalf of “an entity in the PRC that implements or supports the PRC’s ‘military-civil fusion strategy’.” The “entities” have not been identified but may include Chinese universities that have close ties to the Chinese military.
- SOME Chinese graduate students/researchers who are INSIDE the U.S. may have their visas revoked. A revoked visa, by itself, does not impact someone’s ability to remain in the U.S.; instead, it means that a new visa would be required in order to re-enter the U.S. In other words, if a visa is revoked, students and scholars who are maintaining their status should be allowed to remain in the U.S. and continue their studies/research through the program end date on their I-20/DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility (plus any authorized OPT) plus the grace period (30 days for J-1 and 60 days for F-1). However, if the visa is revoked under this Executive Order, it is unlikely the State Department would issue a new visa, which makes international travel risky for some graduate students/researchers.
This order does not reference people who are on OPT. While we do not know for certain, people on OPT will likely be treated as if they were students. That means that someone on OPT after an undergraduate degree may not be impacted but someone on OPT after a graduate degree may be impacted. The nature of the job, while on OPT, may also determine if someone is impacted by this order.
If you are currently in the U.S., we encourage you to consider international travel very carefully and we recommend that graduate students and researchers, in particular, remain in the U.S., if possible. As it is uncertain who this order will apply to, this order adds a level of risk to travel beyond the ongoing challenges of the consulate closures and Travel Ban.
If you are currently outside the US, we encourage you to remain positive and to not assume you are subject to the order. Since we do not yet know how the State Department will interpret this order, the full impact is not known. It is clear, though, that this order does not apply to all Chinese graduate students and researchers and we are hopeful that the scope of the order will be targeted and narrow, rather than unfocused and broad.
We know you may have questions about the fall and ongoing immigration situations. We are waiting more guidance from the Student & Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) about ongoing immigration impacts of COVID-19 and we will continue to update OIE COVID-19 FAQs as we learn more. OIE staff continue to work remotely but we are providing full services from our remote locations—you are welcome to email, call or schedule an appointment if you have questions that weren’t answered by information on our website or if you have a need for services.