Frequently Asked Questions

Can border agents search my mobile devices like a phone or laptop?

Can border agents search my mobile devices like a phone or laptop?

According to Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the answer is yes. In general, the privacy expectations you have for your phone and other electronic devices that you have while living in the United States do not apply at the border or point of entry (such as an airport). There, agents have more authority and you have less privacy. Although civil liberties and digital privacy groups disagree, CBP claims it has it has broad authority to search all electronic devices at the border, regardless of whether you are a U.S. citizen or whether they have reason to suspect you committed a crime.

Read this ACLU post about technology and privacy at borders and checkpoints for a detailed explanation of the issues involved. The post also offers tips to prepare for a trip, including recommendations to travel with as little data and devices as possible. The Electronic Frontier Foundation also provides details on how to prepare for international travel in their 2017 Digital Privacy at the U.S. Border guide.

How many students, faculty, and staff from the countries listed in the Executive Order are at the University of Minnesota?

How many students, faculty, and staff from the countries listed in the Executive Order are at the University of Minnesota?

The University of Minnesota community includes approximately 120 international students and scholars from the affected countries (Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, and previously also Iraq), plus hundreds more faculty, staff, and students who have connections to those countries.

Who should I contact if I hear of a student, faculty, or staff member who is having issues related to the Executive Order?

Who should I contact if I hear of a student, faculty, or staff member who is having issues related to the Executive Order?

First, make sure that the student, faculty, or staff member is aware of the University resources available to help.

The Immigration Response Team is serving as the central hub for tracking these issues. If you are not sure who to contact, please reach out to immigration@umn.edu.

Does the Executive Order impact students who are, or will be, studying abroad?

Does the Executive Order impact students who are, or will be, studying abroad?

The Executive Order does not prohibit travel outside the U.S.; however, it does prohibit the issuing of visas to citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for at least 90 days. 

For students who are concerned about their own legal status, they should be in touch with their campus education abroad office in advance of travel to receive direction, assistance, and/or support.

Should I be concerned if I’m traveling abroad?

Should I be concerned if I’m traveling abroad?

We encourage most travelers to continue their activities as normal. According to the language of the March 6 Executive Order, individuals from the countries specifically listed in the Executive Order who have valid visas should be able to travel outside the U.S. and re-enter without issues. We recommend that individuals from the countries specifically listed in the Executive Order consult with International Student and Scholar Services or the Immigration Response Team as appropriate if they have concerns about travel.

Also, because of the campaign talk of ending DACA, students with DACA status should be aware that an executive order issued while they are out of the country could make it difficult or impossible to return to the USA. Those who have concerns about their legal status should consult with the GPS Alliance International Health and Safety team (or the appropriate education abroad office, for study abroad students) before traveling outside the U.S.

The University of Minnesota urges all University travelers to register their international travel as required by University policy, so that we may continue to provide assistance and support for all international travel.

Further, the University of Minnesota recommends that all travelers register with the U.S. embassy in the country they are visiting via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive the embassy’s most recent health and safety updates during your time abroad.

The University of Minnesota does not plan to restrict University travel or withdraw travelers from these countries at this time. However, we will continue to monitor the situation closely and post updates via this website the Emergencies Abroad News and Announcements web page.

Have a Question?

These questions specifically address the Immigration Executive Order. Other topics and questions will be added as needed. 

If you have questions or suggestions for information you'd like to see here, please email immigration@umn.edu.