Frequently Asked Questions on Changes to Immigration Benefits


Here are some general frequently asked questions about resources that can assist you in understanding and responding to recent and future changes to immigration benefits.

How will NAFSA make us aware of changes to immigration law, policy, and procedure?

Executive orders, policy changes, and regulatory initiatives can be complicated. NAFSA will generally approach these in the following ways:

What can we do to help in the process of understanding the mechanics of these orders and directives?

First, always carefully read the original text of the source of authority. Sometimes these texts incorporate by reference other sources of authority. Read those too. Next, read NAFSA's summaries and analyses.

While reading, take notes on the core questions of who, what, where, when, and how? As you do, consider implications for:

  • You, in your roles: immigration adviser, school employee, counselor;
  • Your institution: as employer, as education provider, as a legal entity (e.g., for-profit, non-profit, state entity);
  • Your student or scholar: immigration impact, decision-making, personal and family concerns, concerns as a student or employee.

NAFSA will collect your questions and insights regarding the order or directive in the following ways:

  • NAFSA members are encouraged to submit their illustrative cases, insights, and questions to NAFSA IssueNet: Report an Issue, at
  • NAFSA will also monitor the International Student Advising Network and International Scholar Advising Network discussion forums.
  • Although NAFSA is not resourced or authorized to act as a legal advocate for specific individuals, NAFSA will use your submissions and postings to produce its practice advisories and to inform its government liaison activity.

To find out more about law and policy, take a look at NAFSA's web page, Practical Immigration Concepts in a Time of Change.

What can I do for a student or scholar who might be affected by a new policy, rule, or law?

  • Gather as many facts about the situation as possible, within the scope of your authority as an employee of your institution
  • Identify what you might be able to do within the scope of your role at your institution, and refer individuals with issues, questions, or concerns that are beyond the scope of your role or ability to appropriate helpers
  • Remember that you cannot dispense legal advice - know when to encourage someone to seek legal advice from an experienced attorney
  • Notify stakeholders on your campus about the situation, through your normal supervisory chain
  • Keep up to date by reading NAFSA advisories posted on the NAFSA Regulatory Information Page at and the NAFSA Adviser's Manual 360 Home Page at

What can I do to help advocate for policies that lead to a more welcoming, globally engaged, and educated United States?

Connecting Our World. Register for to raise your voice in support of international education and a more globally engaged and welcoming United States. We advocate for policies that foster a more peaceful world, result in a commonsense immigration process, encourage enlightened global engagement, and sustain an informed civic culture through international education.