Information on the Presidential Proclamation suspending entry of certain Chinese graduate students and visiting scholars
On May 29, the U.S. president signed a proclamation that suspends the entry of certain F-1 and J-1 graduate students and visiting scholars from China effective June 1, 2020. The link to the Proclamation is here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspension-entry-nonimmigrants-certain-students-researchers-peoples-republic-china/.
At this time, while we believe the scope of impact from this proclamation will be relatively low at the University of South Carolina, there are still many unknowns regarding how this policy will be implemented. Until we are advised otherwise by the U.S. government, we will continue to process immigration documents for all F-1 students from China.
Who is NOT impacted at this time:
- All new and continuing undergraduate students
- All legal permanent residents
- A spouse of a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident
- F-1 or J-1 graduate students or visiting scholars "in a field involving information that would not contribute to the PRC’s military‑civil fusion strategy"
- This section of the proclamation is vague, and will be defined in the future by the U.S. Secretaries of State and Homeland Security. We do not know when they will provide further clarification.
- Optional Practical Training applications to USCIS are not currently affected.
Who is impacted at this time:
- New graduate F-1 or J-1 students and visiting scholars who:
- Currently receive funding, are employed by, study at, or conduct research at or on behalf of "an entity in the PRC [People's Republic of China] that implements or supports the PRC’s 'military-civil fusion strategy'"
- Have previously been employed at, studied at, or conducted research at or on behalf of "an entity in the PRC [People's Republic of China] that implements or supports the PRC’s 'military-civil fusion strategy'"
- The U.S. Secretary of State shall determine if current F-1 or J-1 graduate students and visiting scholars who are in the United States and have a valid visa meet the criteria regarding involvement in "military-fusion strategy" and determine whether their visa should be revoked.
What is Military Fusion Strategy?:
The proclamation defines "military-civil fusion strategy" as "actions by or at the behest of the PRC to acquire and divert foreign technologies, specifically critical and emerging technologies, to incorporate into and advance the PRC’s military capabilities." Note that a visa revocation does not mean a termination of one’s SEVIS status. Students’ I-20s will remain valid at this time even if a visa revocation were to occur.
Does this change the work of International Student Services staff?:
There are many unknowns regarding this new policy. It does not change business process for International Student Services at this time, and we will continue to welcome all of our students from China and support them wholeheartedly in their educational endeavors. We are proud of the multifaceted accomplishments, talents, and overall attributes that our Chinese students bring to UofSC’s campus.
(Note that information is subject to change and ISS guidance is based on interpretation of the most current available information. ISS recommends that you follow reputable sources of news for updates. There is much inaccurate information on the internet, especially surrounding immigration.)