U.S. Immigration News and Travel Bans
Cornell offers many resources to support those with questions and concerns about recent U.S. executive actions. On this page, you'll also find university statements relating to immigration and travel bans—and the current and future implications for student, faculty, and staff activities and our international programs.
A Message to Cornell's International Community
As a global institution of higher education, Cornell values the contributions of international students, faculty, and staff. International diversity challenges all academic community members to consider and evaluate their assumptions, beliefs, and biases; to broaden their perspectives; to consider new approaches and novel solutions.
More than 6,000 gifted, accomplished, and motivated international students and scholars study, teach, and conduct research at Cornell. They contribute to our success as a leading world university. We rely on the mobility of our international students and scholars across campuses and international borders. Ensuring their safety is of utmost importance.
In response to the restrictions placed by President Trump and his administration on foreign nationals’ travel into the United States, Cornell continually joins with other American universities to advocate for our international students, faculty, and staff.
Information Related to Visas and Travel
- Cornell’s Office of Global Learning International Services is here to help and support all members of the Cornell community: students, staff, and faculty. The staff can offer visa and immigration advice, and generally answers questions international students have related to maintaining legal status, studying, or working at Cornell. In difficult cases, staff works directly with lawyers and U.S. Congressional staff on individual case management. Call +1-607-255-5243 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you are a current student, scholar, or staff member traveling abroad and you are not permitted to return to the U.S. or have urgent immigration questions, please call the Cornell Police at +1-607-255-1111 anytime, day or night; they will immediately notify a staff member in the Office of Global Learning/International Services who will assist.
- Clinical faculty at Cornell Law School will provide—without charge—advice and legal assistance to Cornell students who are denied visas under the U.S. executive orders. For assistance, please contact Beth Lyon, clinical professor of law, at email@example.com, +1-706-254-4638, or lyonbeth (Skype).
- If you are a new or prospective student, scholar, or staff member planning your first visit or move to Ithaca, the Office of Global Learning International Services is happy to answer your questions, help with visa applications, provide advice for immigration interviews, and otherwise guide you through the visa process.
- Cornell provides faculty, staff, and students traveling on university business 100 miles or more away from their permanent residence or campus with access to travel planning information and the university's emergency travel assistance coverage while abroad. Cornellians can access this assistance with their NetID through Cornell's Travel Registry.
Support at Cornell
President Pollack condemns events at U.S. Capitol
President Martha Pollack (Jan. 6, 2021)
Planning for the Spring Semester
President Martha Pollack (Nov. 19, 2020)
Compliance with Section 117 of the Higher Education Act
John Carberry, Senior Director of Media Relations and News (Oct. 21, 2020)
Update on racial justice initiatives at Cornell
President Martha Pollack and Vice Provost Avery August (Sept. 4, 2020)
Statement on Beirut explosion
President Martha Pollack (Aug. 7, 2020)
Additional actions to create a more just and equitable Cornell
President Martha Pollack (July 16, 2020)
A positive outcome for international students
President Martha Pollack and Vice Provost Wendy Wolford (July 14, 2020)
Standing with our international students
President Martha Pollack (July 8, 2020)
- Explore the complete archive of university statements
Guidance and Counseling
- Cornell’s Office of Global Learning International Services assists international students, academic staff, and their families by advising on U.S. federal immigration and other issues, and through web resources, information sessions, and events. They also provide counseling on personal, academic, and cultural matters. To speak with a staff member directly, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- International students and scholars can find more information about maintaining their immigration status from the Office of Global Learning International Services. Those with questions may contact the office and ask to speak with an immigration advisor.
- Cornell's Office of Graduate Student Life serves the Cornell community in many capacities: discussing student concerns, providing available resources and services, and sharing options to handle difficult academic and personal situations. Contact Janna Lamey to help identify appropriate resources.
- The staff in Cornell's Dean of Students office is available for support, advice, guidance, and consultation navigating various circumstances. Contact email@example.com or +1-607-255-1115 to be connected with a resource.
- Cornell's Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives offers general advising on personal and academic support, as well as planning for future academic and professional aims and referrals specifically for undocumented students as part of the trailblazers program.
- Counseling and Psychological Services, or CAPS (including the Let’s Talk Program), a part of Cornell Health, is a confidential place to talk with a trained health-care professional about any concern. This may include stress, loneliness, anxiety, depression, adjustment challenges, relationship difficulties, questions about identity, managing an existing mental health condition, or other issues. Please call CAPS at +1-607-255-5155 to speak with a staff member directly.
- Cornell's Faculty and Staff Assistance Program offers free and confidential guidance and support to benefits-eligible employees and their partners to address issues that may be affecting their personal lives and/or job satisfaction or performance. This confidential resource is part of Cornell's broad commitment to foster and support the mental health and well-being of the campus community.
- Clinical faculty at Cornell Law School will provide—without charge—legal assistance to Cornell students who are denied visas under the executive order. Specifically, Cornell Law School faculty will consult with those students about their legal options, represent them if they need to seek waivers from the order's restrictions, and make themselves available telephonically during student arrivals at U.S. ports of entry. For assistance, contact Beth Lyon, clinical professor of law, at firstname.lastname@example.org, call +1-607-254-4638, or Skype: lyonbeth.
- In addition, the Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School is a not-for-profit group that believes everyone should be able to read and understand the laws that govern them, without cost. They publish law online and create materials that help people understand the law.
Housing in Ithaca
- International students may be concerned that the uncertainty around federal immigration policy might impact their ability to travel abroad to return home during university breaks. For more information about on-campus housing options in these circumstances, please send an email in confidence to email@example.com.
- Cornell’s Office of Global Learning International Services provides general information on its website. Visit Your First Week and Student Resources.
Support from Off-Campus
- A blog for students and schools offers guidance about how to survive in the current immigration uncertainty; it is coauthored by Cornell Law Professor Stephen Yale-Loehr, who also practices immigration law at Miller Mayer LLP in Ithaca, New York, and Dan Berger, a partner at Curran and Berger, LLP in Northampton, Massachusetts.
- Penn State Law provides resources for immigrants and the broader community.
- Informed Immigrant offers important resources for immigrants and allies.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services provides updates on official government policies related to immigration into the United States.
- American Civil Liberties Union provides information and resources to help defend the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States.
- NAFSA, the Association of International Educators, provides resources that include a summary of current immigration executive actions and the Visa Interview Waiver program.
- Miller Mayer Attorneys at Law, Ithaca, provides updates on topics such as enforcement news, travel ban, H-1B, detention remedy chart, and more.
- Tompkins County Immigrant Rights Coalition is a network for immigrant community empowerment.