USCIS Temporarily Suspends Biometrics Requirement for Certain Form I-539 Applicants

May 14, 2021

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced today that effective May 17, 2021, we will temporarily suspend the biometrics submission requirement for certain applicants filing Form I-539, Application To Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, requesting an extension of stay in or change of status to H-4, L-2, and E nonimmigrant status.

Klasko Immigration Law Partners: Embassies and Consulates in India Limit Visa Services as COVID Rates Rise

May 3, 2021

On April 26, 2021, the U.S. Consular Mission to India announced significant limitations to visa and other services due to rising COVID rates and for the safety and protection of its consular staff and customers. Although no travel restrictions from India have been announced, individuals traveling to or otherwise present in India who require a visa should expect significant delays in visa issuance, including through the interview waiver (or “drop box”) program.

U.S. Embassies and Consulates in India Limit Visa Services as COVID Rates Rise

April 28, 2021

From Klasko Immigration Law Partners, LLP:

Biden Administration Extends Border Restrictions Through April 21, 2021

April 13, 2021

Ogletree Deakins Law Firm:
On March 18, 2021, the Biden administration extended ongoing travel restrictions along the United States-Canada and United States-Mexico land ports of entry through April 21, 2021. The restrictions, which were previously set to expire on March 21, 2021, prohibit all “non-essential” travel from entering the United States to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These restrictions have been in effect since March 21, 2020.

Expansion of Interview Waiver Eligibility

March 12, 2021

March 11, 2021 National Association for Foreign Student Advisors (NAFSA): U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has temporarily expanded the ability of consular officers to waive the in-person interview requirement for certain nonimmigrant visa applicants until December 31, 2021. Previously the waiver was only available to individuals applying in the same nonimmigrant classification if their visa expired within the past 24 months. Now the expiration period is extended to 48 months. We hope this is a sign of more visa processing policy changes to come!

DHS Withdraws Proposed Rule to Rescind H-4 Work Authorization Program

February 10, 2021

On January 25, 2021, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

NAFSA signs on to letter requesting swift action to support international students

February 3, 2021

NAFSA joined 47 other higher ed groups in signing on to a February 3 letter to the newly-confirmed secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas requesting swift action to support international students, including addressing the severe receipt notice processing delays for OPT-related filings at USCIS lockbox locations

Biden extends Europe, Brazil travel restrictions, adds South Africa

January 25, 2021

(Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden signed an order on Monday barring most non-U.S. citizens who have recently been in South Africa from entering the United States, effective Saturday.

Requirement for Proof of Negative COVID-19 Test

January 19, 2021

January 15, 2021 Requirement for Proof of Negative COVID-19 Test or Recovery from COVID-19 for All Air Passengers Arriving in the United States

If you plan to travel internationally, get tested before you travel by air into the United States (US), or be prepared to show proof of a recent positive viral test and a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel.

Trump Administration Extends Visa Bans to March 31, 2021 (Ogletree Deakins Law Firm)

January 6, 2021

On December 31, 2020, the Trump administration issued a

Federal Guidance on Foreign Students Remains Same for Spring

December 9, 2020

Federal guidance for enrolling international students in programs operating in hybrid or online modes due to the pandemic remains the same for the spring term, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program said Tuesday.

Continuation of Documentation for TPS Beneficiaries for Six Countries; Documents Auto-Extended Through Oct. 4, 2021

December 7, 2020

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced a Federal Register notice (FRN) extending the validity of Temporary Protected Status (TPS)-related documentation for beneficiaries under the TPS designations for El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua and Sudan.

Judge: Trump administration must take new DACA applications

December 7, 2020

The Trump administration must accept new applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that protects some young immigrants from deportation.

District Court Invalidates New DOL and DHS H-1B Regulations

December 1, 2020

On December 1, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted a motion for summary judgment in favor of the plaintiffs that had requested to set aside two new regulations from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The two rules, both published as interim final rules, changed the way Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) prevailing wages are calculated and changed the definition of a “specialty occupation”.

Judge’s Order Will Save OPT For International Students

December 1, 2020

In a victory for employers, universities and international students, a lawsuit aimed at preventing foreign students from working on Optional Practical Training (OPT) is over. A federal district court judge announced he plans to issue an order against the group that brought the lawsuit and grant motions for summary judgment to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and trade associations that intervened in the case on behalf of international students.

Public Safety SCAM Alert Posted by the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility

November 3, 2020

There is an active scam campaign targeting international students. Individuals are impersonating ICE Agents across the country this week and specifically targeting international students who have valid status. The scammers spoof a local ICE phone number and tell the student’s their status is in jeopardy and they can either proceed to a specific ICE location or pay X amount to solve the issue. Apparently the scammers are familiar with immigration lingo and can be very convincing.

Chamber of Commerce v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security

October 23, 2020

U.S. Chamber leads coalition in filing motion for preliminary injunction and partial summary judgment against DHS and DOL rules that would fundamentally undermine the H-1B visa program for employers.

DHS Arrests International Students, Threatens College Leaders for ‘Willful Ignorance’ of Student-Visa Program

October 21, 2020

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security today announced the arrest of 15 international students as part of an investigation into fraud in optional practical training, or OPT, the work program for international graduates. Another 1,100 will lose their work authorizations.