News & Updates

Important Immigration News and Information

Message from Thomas LeBlanc
The GW president responds to the Trump Administration's travel ban

06/28/2018; reposted from GW Today

To the George Washington community:

This week, the Supreme Court upheld the Trump Administration’s travel ban. In March, the university joined 30 other universities in filing an amicus brief challenging the executive order on travel and immigration, affirming the importance of international students, faculty and staff at institutions of higher learning.

​The George Washington University welcomes students, faculty, staff, alumni and families from around the world and of all faiths and backgrounds. We believe in fostering an inclusive environment and a free exchange of ideas. We stand ready to assist our community members who are affected by this development. The International Services Office will provide any assistance that it can and will continue to communicate information as it becomes available.

Affected individuals who travel outside of the United States for the foreseeable future may be at risk. The ban could be enforced against citizens of Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen. F-1 and J-1 students and scholars who have a valid visa should be permitted to enter the United States, but they may face increased scrutiny and it is possible affected individuals will not be re-admitted to the United States. External immigration counsel is available to provide pro bono legal advice.

For questions or concerns, please contact the International Services Office at [email protected].

Thomas J. LeBlanc

SEVP Portal to Report OPT Information Scheduled to Launch for Students on March 23


The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) announced yesterday that the SEVP Portal will launch on March 23, 2018. The portal will allow F-1 students on post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) or Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) OPT to report changes to their U.S. residential address, mailing address, telephone number, and employment information directly to SEVP to fulfill their legal reporting requirements. 

Eligible SEVP Portal users will receive an email from [email protected] with instructions to create a portal account. In the meantime, GW F-1 students participating in or requesting post-completion or STEM OPT are strongly encouraged to login to GWeb and make sure their email address is correct so that they can receive communications regarding the SEVP Portal from SEVP. 

Verify your email address in GWeb

SEVP has created a webpage on its Study in the States website with helpful information and resources about the portal for students:

Visit the SEVP Portal Help webpage

Update on Travel Ban


This week, the Association of International Educators (NAFSA) released an advisory regarding Proclamation 9645, which restricts entry to the U.S. for citizens of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, and Somalia. For details and guidance about the Proclamation, please see the Indefinite Entry Bar Under Executive Order advisory on the NAFSA website. 

Read the Advisory

GW community members from the listed countries who are seeking advice or other support should email ISO Director Jennifer Donaghue at [email protected].

Executive Orders


The International Services Office is monitoring closely the situation related to legal action and implementation of the travel ban asserted by Executive Orders of the President of the United States; we will continue to post information as it becomes available. For additional updated information, please visit NAFSA: Association of International Educators

On March 6, 2017, President Trump signed a new executive order entitled "Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Entry into the United States." The order includes a revised ban on entry in to the U.S. of nationals from six countries (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen) for 90 days starting March 16, 2017, subject to certain exceptions and case-by-case waivers where visas may be granted. The new order revokes and replaces Executive Order 13769 in its entirety, effective March 16, 2017.

The new executive order does not apply to individuals from the six countries who hold a valid visa to depart and re-enter the U.S.  However, beginning March 16, 2017, travel outside the U.S. for current valid visa holders is still risky, until it becomes clear how the order will be implemented, and should be considered carefully.  Dual nationals who present a passport of a non-designated country and lawful permanent residents (green card holders) are excluded from the order.  The George Washington University's International Services Office will update the university community periodically on implementation of the March 6 order.  We encourage affected individuals in our community to read the documents linked below and to continue to monitor news reports when considering any travel plans.


DHS Fact Sheet

Read the New Executive Order

Update Regarding Premium Processing
On March 3rd, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that beginning on April 3rd it will suspend premium processing on all H-1B petitions for up to six months.

What is Premium Processing Service?
Premium Processing allows a supplemental fee to be paid for a guaranteed, faster processing time in many employment-related types of applications. Under the program, USCIS guarantees 15 calendar day processing to those applicants who use the service.

Premium processing can be requested by paying a $1225 fee along with submitting Form I-907, and it can be requested at the time of filing the case, or “upgraded” later.

If you are a GW employee with a pending or soon to be pending H-1B application, please contact your sponsoring department to understand where your case is in processing, and to explore if Premium Processing is an option.  

If you are a GW department with questions regarding Premium Processing for your employee, or regarding how this change may affect your employees start date, please contact ISO Director, Jennifer Donaghue, at [email protected]

Resources for GW Community Members Affected by the January 27, 2017 Executive Order on Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States

The George Washington University is tracking developments related to President Donald Trump’s January 27, 2017 executive order on immigration closely.  As GW President Steven Knapp made clear in his statement of on January 30, this executive order “directly threatens the well-being of students as well as of faculty and staff members who come from the affected countries…I want to assure you that we will do all we can to obtain answers to your questions and to support the members of our community who are affected by the order.”

GW’s support for members of the GW community from the seven countries affected by this order (including international students, visiting scholars, recent graduates on optional practical training, and international faculty and staff) is coordinated by our International Services Office (ISO).  GW community members from the seven listed countries who are seeking advice or other support should contact ISO Director Jennifer Donaghue directly by phone (202-994-4477) or email ([email protected]).  Additional resources for affected GW community members are listed below:

Pro Bono Advice on Immigration Law

CARE Network

Mental Health Services – Colonial Health Center

Multicultural Student Services Center (MSSC)

Disability Support Services (DSS)

GW Police Department (GWPD)

GW Haven, Title IX Office

Code of Student Conduct

Student Grievance Procedures 

Additional Resources for Securing Immigration Legal Services in the DC Metropolitan Area & Other Services Related to the Executive Order on Immigration

There are also a number of university administrators who are here as resources for students, including:

Caroline Laguerre-Brown, Vice Provost of Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement
The vice provost for diversity and inclusion works with senior leadership, administrators, faculty, staff, and students to advance the university’s commitment to building a more diverse and inclusive community.  Phone: 202-994-7434

An order issued by a U.S. District Court in Washington State on February 3rd  bars the U.S. government from enforcing certain provisions of Executive Order 13769, “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals,” including those related to visas and travel for nationals of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen.

The US Department of State has posted that the provisional revocation is now lifted, and provisionally revoked visas are now valid for travel to the United States, if the holder is otherwise eligible. This is subject to change, and it is possible that the Executive Order could be reinstated.  Therefore, GW urges affected individuals already in the US to consider any travel outside the US at this time very carefully.

For updated information regarding the Executive Order, please visit NAFSA: Association of International Educators travel advisory website.

The George Washington University's leadership and, particularly, its International Services Office, are aware of the Executive Order entitled Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Entry into the United States by Foreign Nationals signed by President Trump on January 27, 2017.

The university values and is concerned about all members of the GW community.  The International Services Office and others are working to understand how this Executive Order will affect students, faculty, staff, and their families.  The International Services Office will provide any assistance that we can to those in our community who are affected by this development, and will continue to communicate information as it becomes available.

Section 3 of the Executive Order suspends "entry into the United States" of both immigrants and nonimmigrants who hold passports from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days (and possibly longer), starting January 27, 2017. The affected individuals include dual citizens and US permanent residents, as well as refugees, from these listed countries.  The list of affected countries may be expanded in the future. The Executive Order excludes those traveling on diplomatic visas (A visas), NATO visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-4 visas; they may, for the time being, continue to return to the United States without restriction. 

As a result of this Executive Order, we are warning affected individuals that travel outside of the United States for the foreseeable future is risky because it is likely that you will not be re-admitted to the United States. 

For questions or concerns, please contact Director of International Services Jennifer Donaghue ([email protected]

EAD Card Filing Fee Increase & I-765 Form Update

Effective Friday, December 23rd, 2016, the I-765 filing fee for an EAD Card increased to $410, and USCIS published updated versions of their forms.

If you need a replacement EAD card, or are filing a new application for OPT, or the STEM Extension, you will need to include a check in the amount of $410 made payable to USCIS, and use the new I-765 form which has an edition date of 12/23/2016.

After February 21, 2017, USCIS will no longer accept previous editions of the form.

More information is available on the USCIS website

Advising Notice 

Effective Monday, October 3rd 2016 we will transition to an appointment booking system. 

Make an Appointment

Support for Students Impacted by Violence Around the World

Mental Health Services at the Colonial Health Center (MHS @ CHC) offers support to those that have been emotionally affected by acts of violence in Beirut, Paris, and around the world.

Because MHS @ CHC values diversity and strives to promote social justice for all people, we have staff members representing various racial and ethnic backgrounds available to speak with students. In addition to general walk-in hours M-F 10:00am-3:00pm on the Foggy Bottom campus, we offer walk-in hours for International Students on Fridays from 9:00am - 12:00pm. MHS @ CHC also offers Let's Talk/Hablemos (informal consultation hours at the MSSC) every Friday afternoon from 2:00-3:00pm (see Let's Talk/Hablemos).

International Student Support Group Established

Many international students face some special challenges due to cross-cultural adjustment. Some experience homesickness, loneliness, academic distress, language difficulties, different levels of social and academic success than what they are use to, and even discrimination. 

If you are an international student at GW who is experiencing any of these issues or other experiences, consider visiting the University Counseling Center Student Group at the Marvin Center Room 402 on Fridays from 2:30 to 3:45pm. You can get more information on this group by visiting the UCC's Current Group website. 

ACLU's Know Your Rights

Click on the link above to download the PDF flier!