Travel and Re-entry
Security Clearances for Some Visa Applicants
The U. S. Department of State (DOS) has stated that the process of issuing visas to some individuals will be delayed due to security clearances. At present, individuals who were born in or are citizens of the following counties should expect delays of at least six to eight weeks before a visa is issued. In some cases the delay may be of an unspecified length of time. Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, and the territories of Gaza and West Bank. This list may continue to be expanded.
Travel to Canada or Mexico
Clark students and scholars should not plan to travel to Canada or Mexico to obtain a visa stamp without first consulting with The ISSO. In the past, it was routine for students and scholars to return to the United States from Canada & Mexico (and in some cases from the Caribbean) with an expired visa stamp after a visit of no more than 30 days to one of these adjacent countries. This process is known as “Automatic Visa Revalidation.” The DOS has now ruled that this benefit is no longer available to some foreign nationals, specifically, citizens of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, North Korea, and Cuba. In addition, any Third Country National (a person applying at a U.S. consulate/embassy in a country other than his own) who applies for a visa in Canada or Mexico, must have that application approved before returning to the United States. If the applicant is unable to obtain approval of the new visa application (in Canada or Mexico), s/he will not be permitted to reenter the United States. This may necessitate a trip to the individual’s home country directly from either Canada or Mexico to obtain the visa.
Sensitive Fields of Research
For students and scholars conducting research in certain technologically sensitive fields, as listed on the U. S. State Department Technology Alert List (TAL), a security clearance conducted by the U. S. consulate is required before a visa can be issued. Although the U. S. Government states that a clearance is supposed to take approximately 21 days, the turn around time can be indefinite.
Visa Delays at U. S. Consulates
Under the current political and immigration climate, we recommend that you not make international travel plans without checking with the International Students & Scholars Office (ISSO). It is recommended that you only travel outside the United States if you have all documents related to your U. S. immigration status in order. A critical document is the U. S. visa stamp in your passport. It is important to remember that obtaining a new visa stamp is never guaranteed. Now, more than ever, it is possible that you may experience delays at a U. S. embassy or consulate, regardless of your country of citizenship. Please contact the U. S. embassy or consulate at which you plan to obtain the visa ahead of time to confirm its hours of operation, application procedures, and to see if any changes in operations have been implemented. Visit www.travel.state.gov
Embassy and Consulate Closures
For security reasons the Department of State often closes consulates and embassies unexpectedly for indefinite periods of time. If you will be traveling and need to apply for a visa overseas check the website of the appropriate consulate/embassy for updates regarding the availability of visa services. Visit www.travel.state.gov