On Friday, May 29, 2020, President Trump signed a proclamation restricting entry to the United States on F or J visas for some students and researchers from China, effective June 1, 2020. The proclamation will remain in effect until terminated by the president.
The proclamation states that students or researchers from China who have connections to organizations in China that, in the judgment of the U.S. Department of State, implement or support that country’s “military-civil fusion strategy”, will not be issued F-1 or J-1 visas and will not be allowed to enter the U.S. in F or J status. “Military-civil fusion strategy” is defined as actions by or at the behest of China to acquire and divert foreign technologies, specifically critical and emerging technologies, to incorporate into and advance China’s military capabilities.
Students and researchers will be considered to have a connection to one of these organizations if they currently receive funding from or are employed by, study at, or conduct research at the organization, or have done so in the past. Since the proclamation does not include a list of restricted organizations, it is not clear specifically who might be subject to the entry ban, at this time.
The entry ban does not apply to:
- New and continuing undergraduate students, including transfer students
- Anyone studying or conducting research in a field involving information that would not contribute to China’s "military-civil fusion strategy". These fields are not identified in the proclamation.
- F-1 and J-1 students and researchers who are currently in the U.S. It is not yet known if the State Department will cancel or revoke visas of individuals who are currently in the U.S. so that they cannot re-enter.
- The proclamation also lists some additional exceptions, including permanent residents, spouses of US citizens or permanent residents, or anyone whose entry would be in the US national interest.
The potential impact of this proclamation on U-M’s international population will not be clear until additional information from the Departments of State and Homeland Security is available, and until routine visa issuance, which is currently suspended due to the COVID-19 crisis, resumes. It is important to note that COVID based travel restrictions that disallow the entry of foreign nationals who have been physically present in China during the previous 14 days are also still in effect and may have an impact on students not otherwise banned by this new proclamation.
Note that the proclamation only applies to visa issuance and entry into the U.S. and not to other immigration benefits. The International Center will continue to process requests for non-immigrant benefits such as OPT or CPT for all students as usual and the University will continue to issue initial I-20s for newly admitted incoming students.
The University of Michigan is actively monitoring the situation. The International Center will post additional information as soon as more specific details from official sources are available.
The University of Michigan and the International Center welcome and support all members of our international community. The University will continue to advocate for policies that do not diminish the quality and breadth of our academic community, and will work to ensure that educational opportunities are available for all students regardless of nationality.
Last updated: Monday, 6/1/2020 at 9:46AM.