COVID-19 Updates and Information

Immigration Updates

This site provides information about immigration policy updates and what it means to our foreign students and scholars.

07/20/2021
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced new policy guidance that eliminates the need for individuals who have applied for a change of status (COS) to F-1 student to apply to change or extend their nonimmigrant status while their initial F-1 COS application is pending.
06/09/2021
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has issued new policy updates in the USCIS Policy Manual to clarify the criteria and circumstances for expedited processing; improve request for evidence (RFE) and notice of intent to deny (NOID) guidance; and increase the validity period for initial and renewal employment authorization documents (EADs) for certain noncitizens with pending adjustment of status applications.

 

05/18/2021
The Department of Homeland Security has issued a final rule that removes from the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) an interim final rule (IFR) issued in October 2020, which has since been vacated by a federal district court.
05/13/2021
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services 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.
04/26/2021
Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) Fall 2021 Updates
This document provides answers to frequently asked questions from Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) stakeholders about the impact of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) on SEVP-certified schools and F and M students. 

 

04/12/2021

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced that F-1 students seeking optional practical training (OPT) can now file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, online if they are filing under one of these categories:

  • (c)(3)(A) – Pre-Completion OPT;
  • (c)(3)(B) – Post-Completion OPT; and
  • (c)(3)(C) – 24-Month Extension of OPT for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students.

 

02/26/2021

USCIS today announced flexibilities for certain foreign students affected by delayed receipt notices for Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. These flexibilities apply only to applications received on or after Oct. 1, 2020, through May 1, 2021, inclusive.

 

01/28/2021
USCIS Extends Flexibility for Responding to Agency Requests

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is extending the flexibilities it announced on March 30, 2020, to assist applicants, petitioners, and requestors

 

01/12/2021
USCIS to Replace Sticker That Extends Validity of Green Cards

Starting in January, we will replace the sticker that is currently issued to lawful permanent residents (LPRs) to extend the validity of their Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card (PRC or “Green Card”), with a revised Form I-797, Notice of Action. LPRs file Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, when their Green Cards expire or are about to expire. The revised Form I-797 notice will serve as a receipt notice for the Form I-90.


01/08/2021
Filing Location Change for Certain Forms I-765 
On Jan. 8, we adjusted the filing location for certain foreign students filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.

09/24/2020
DHS Proposes to Change Admission Period Structure for F, J and I Nonimmigrants  

The Department of Homeland Security has announced a proposed rule to require a fixed period of stay for international students, exchange visitors and foreign information media representatives to encourage program compliance, reduce fraud and enhance national security.


08/25/2020
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced that the agency will avert an administrative furlough of more than 13,000 employees, scheduled to begin Aug. 30 as a result of unprecedented spending cuts and a steady increase in daily incoming revenue and receipts.


08/07/2020
SEVP issues updated guidance for the fall 2020 semester.

07/15/2020
U.S. Government agreed to rescind the policy and guidance released on July 6th and 7th.

 

07/06/2020
SEVP modifies temporary exemptions for nonimmigrant students taking online courses during the fall 2020 semester

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) announced modifications Monday to temporary exemptions for nonimmigrant students taking online classes due to the pandemic for the fall 2020 semester. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security plans to publish the procedures and responsibilities in the Federal Register as a Temporary Final Rule.


06/23/2020
USCIS Statement on Presidential Proclamation                                                                                          Monday’s presidential proclamation temporarily restricts certain categories of visas from being issued to protect jobs for American workers while our economy recovers from the effects of COVID-19. This does not affect those currently working in the U.S. on valid H-1B or similar visas.

05/29/2020
USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for Certain Petitions

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced that it will resume premium processing for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, in phases over the next month.

05/27/2020
USCIS Preparing to Resume Public Services on June 4

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is preparing some domestic offices to reopen and resume non-emergency public services on or after June 4.

05/01/2020
USCIS Extends Flexibility for Responding to Agency Requests
In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is extending the flexibilities it announced on March 30 to assist applicants and petitioners

04/24/2020
USCIS Offices Preparing to Reopen on June 4
USCIS is readying offices to reopen on or after June 4.

04/22/2020
Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak
Proclamation from President Trump regarding the suspension of visa services for specific immigrant worker categories.

04/13/2020
COVID-19 Delays in Extension/Change of Status Filings
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recognizes that there are immigration-related challenges as a direct result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

03/27/2020
USCIS Complete H1B Lottery
USCIS has received enough electronic registrations during the initial period to reach the FY 2021 H-1B numerical allocations (H-1B cap).

03/20/2020
Suspension of Routine Visa Services
In response to significant worldwide challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of State is temporarily suspending routine visa services at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates.

 


Important Websites:

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services- USCIS
https://www.uscis.gov/

U.S. Department of State
https://www.state.gov/

U.S. Department of State- Bureau of Consular Affairs
https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/newsroom.html

Department of Homeland Security- Study in the States
https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/

Student Exchange and Visitor Program (SEVP) Overview
https://www.ice.gov/sevis

White House Proclamations
https://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/immigration/