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2020 IMMIGRATION POLICY UPDATES

 

 

Fall 2020 Updates:

12/31/2020: President Extends Suspension of H-1B Visa issuance Due to COVID Labor Market

  • On 12/31/2020 the President extended his earlier Proclamation 10052 (Suspension of Entry of Immigrants and Nonimmigrants Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market...), which prohibits the issuance of immigrant and certain nonimmigrant (including H-1B) visa stamps to those outside of the U.S. and without valid visa stamps in the affected classifications as of the effective date of the initial proclamation.
  • The current extension runs through 3/31/2021; read the full text of the proclamation.
  • This only affects persons currently outside of the U.S. without valid H-1B visa stamps; departments can still sponsor persons for H-1B status who are currently inside the U.S. or had valid H-1B visa stamps as of June 24, 2020.

12/29/2020: Expansion of Renewal Visa Interview Waiver

  • On December 29, 2020, the Department of State extended until March 31, 2021 the temporary expansion of statutory and regulatory provisions that allow consular officers to waive the in-person interview requirement for individuals applying to renew a visa in the same nonimmigrant visa classification and category if not more 24 months have passed since the prior visa expired. See DOS site for additional details .

12/09/2020: Extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and TPS-Related Documentation for El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua and Sudan

  • On December 9, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and the validity of certain TPS-related documentation for beneficiaries under the TPS designations for El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua and Sudan, provided that the beneficiaries remain eligible for TPS through October 4, 2021.
  • These documents include: Form I-766, Employment Authorization Documents (EADS); Forms I-797, Notice of Action; and Forms I-94, Arrival/Departure Record.
  • Beneficiaries of this TPS designation may also apply for new EADs if they wish.
  • See the USCIS website for additional details.
  • Visit United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website for more information about TPS.
  • ISPO recommends consulting with an experienced immigration attorney when applying for or extending TPS. See ISPO’s Legal Resources page for guidance in finding an immigration attorney.

12/01/2020: Court Decision Blocks Implementation of DOL and DHS H-1B Rules

  • On December 1, 2020, a U.S. District Court ruling blocked both recent interim final rules of the Department of Labor ("Strengthening Wage Protections...") and the Department of Homeland Security ("Strengthening the H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa Classification"), stating the agencies did not have just cause to promulgate the rules without notice and comment.
  • The DOL rule, which was effective immediately upon publication, can no longer be enforced, and the DHS rule, with effective date of Dec 7th, can no longer be implemented. The federal agencies have the option to appeal or republish these rules with comment periods, but there is not much time left for the current administration to pursue these options.

11/30/2020: Legal Decision Supporting Optional Practical Training (OPT/STEM OPT) Program

  • On November 30, 2020, the Washington D.C. federal court hearing the Washtech v. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) case ended, at least for now, the challenge against Optional Practical Training (OPT). While this judgment cannot be considered final, it is another good legal decision in support of the OPT program. Refer to this Forbes story for more context.

10/28/2020 DHS Proposes To Replace H-1B Cap Random Selection Process With Wage-Based Selection Process

  • On Wednesday, October 28 the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced a proposed rulemaking to amend regulations governing the process by which U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) selects H-1B registrations for filing of cap-subject petitions.
  • Currently, USCIS uses a lottery to select the 85,000 H-1B petitions it is allowed by statute to process each year (the "cap"); if this rule is finalized, H-1B cap-subject petition selections would be based on the highest prevailing wage level that the offered salary equals or exceeds for the occupational classification and area of intended employment, rather than a random selection process.
  • This rulemaking will not directly impact cap-exempt higher education institutions in their filings of H-1B petitions but could impact those persons seeking H-1B employment in cap-subject private industry.

10/07/20 U.S. Departments of Labor (DOL) and Homeland Security (DHS) Publish New Interim Final Rules on the H-1B Classification

  • On October 7, 2020, the U.S. Departments of Labor (DOL) and Homeland Security (DHS) issued interim final rules (DOL and DHS) regarding the H-1B classification, and on Oct. 8th DOL made public the new prevailing wage rates in it OES database, which are considerably higher than previous wage rates. The DOL rulemaking focused on prevailing wage rates, and the DHS rulemaking focused on tightening regulatory definitions and procedures. While these are interim final rules with a 30-day public comment period, the DOL rule is effective immediately, and the DHS rule effective 12/7/2020.
  • The new prevailing wage rates do not apply retroactively to already approved H-1B petitions and Labor Condition Applications (LCAs) supporting them; only those LCAs and H-1B petitions moving forward. Also, salary scales based on collective bargaining agreements take precedence over published prevailing wage rates in OES. If a department is sponsoring a non-represented employee for a new or extension H-1B petition, we strongly encourage you to reach out to your IFSO immigration advisor who will be handling the case for an in-house prevailing wage rate determination prior to making an offer.
  • The DHS regulations will limit H-1B approval periods to one-year only for workers placed at worksites not owned/leased/operated by the employer.
  • The International Faculty & Scholars Office (IFSO) and the International Students & Programs Office (ISPO) are working with its UC Federal Government Relations colleagues and NAFSA: Association of International Educators to report the challenges UC San Diego faces with this new ruling and will be exploring what alternatives to the OES database may exist for problematic wage rate determinations.

09/29/2020 Injunction on Implementation of Final USCIS Fee Rule

On September 29, 2020, the U.S. District court for Northern California issued a nationwide preliminary injunction and stay on implementation of the 2020 final USCIS fee rule in its entirety. New fees and forms associated with implementation of the rule on October 2, 2020, are now put on hold, as are other aspects of the rule, including the Premium Processing time change from 15 calendar days to 15 business days. Current fees and forms should continue to be used pending final adjudication of the matter.

09/25/2020 Proposed Rule to Eliminate Duration of Status (D/S) for F and J Students

  • On September 25, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a Proposed New Rule to eliminate the current duration of status (D/S) policy for international students in F-1 and J-1 status and international researchers and scholars in J-1 status and replacing the policy with a set expiration date for authorized stay.
    Under the current D/S policy, students and researchers have the flexibility to make approved changes to their plan without having to depart the United States or undertake a long and complicated government process to extend their status. If approved, key changes to the policy may include:
    • Limiting the period of authorized stay for F or J status (students, researchers, scholars and their dependents) to 2 to 4 years.
    • Reducing the F-1 grace period allowed to remain in the U.S. after completing a program of study from 60 to 30 days.
  • Please keep in mind that this is still a proposed rule. It is not in effect at this time. ISPO is strongly opposed to these changes. We are monitoring the situation and working with UC-wide advocacy efforts.
  • We will send updates via the iStudents listserv when new information becomes available.

 


Older 2020 Updates:

9/18/2020 Canada-Mexico "Essential Travel" Restrictions Extended

The restrictions that allow entry to the United States through land ports of entry along the U.S.-Canada and U.S. Mexico borders for "essential travel" only have been extended through October 21, 2020.

09/14/2020 DHS and TSA Terminate Designated COVID-19 Airport Restrictions

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) published notices in the Federal Register that terminate COVID-19 designated arrival airport restrictions, effective September 14, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The restrictions had required all flights to land at one of 15 designated U.S. airports if they carried persons who within the last 14 days traveled from, or were otherwise present within, one of the countries designated in the five country-specific Presidential Proclamation coronavirus bans. The country-specific coronavirus proclamations themselves remain in place, however, subject to specific exemptions.

09/11/2020 USCIS Extends COVID-19 RFE Response Flexibility unitl January 1, 2021

On September 11, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) extended until January 1, 2021 the COVID-19 flexibilities it established for responses to Requests for Evidence (RFEs) and other similar response-based notices and requests, and filing date requirements for filing Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion.

09/11/2020 Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds Final Rule Back in Effect (Injunction Stayed)

On September 11, 2020, The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a decision that stays the prior injunction to these regulations; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published information on their website on September 22 indicating how they will apply the regulations retroactively to February 24, 2020. If you have a pending I-129 petition filed on your behalf and/or a pending I-539 application as of the September 22 notice date and which was filed after the July 29th injunction date, USCIS may ask for missing evidence prior to adjudication. USCIS will not readjudicate any petitions/applications that have already been approved following the injunction date and prior to the September 22nd notice date. Read the final rule here.

08/27/2020 Expansion of Visa Renewal Interview Waiver Eligibility

  • To reduce the potential transmission of COVID-19 to consulate staff and other visa applicants, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) announced on August 25th that it has temporarily expanded the ability of consular officers to waive the in-person interview requirement for individuals applying for a nonimmigrant visa in the same classification. Previously the waiver was allowed only for those applicants whose visas had expired within 12 months; the new expiration period has now been extended to 24 months. The policy is in effect until December 31, 2020. The DOS Foreign Affairs Manual instructs consular officials to apply additional requirements for F and J nonimmigrants as follow:
    • SEVIS status indicates "initial" or "active".
    • F students: renewing visa to continue participation in the same major course of study even if at a different institution OR attend the same institution even if in a different major course of study.
    • J exchange visitors: renewing visa to continue participation in the same program, with the same SEVIS number from the previously issued visa.

07/29/2020 Injuction of the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds Final Rule

  • On July 29, 2020 a U.S. District Court instructed the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security (USDHS) that they cannot enforce the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds Final Rule for any period during which there is a declared national health emergency in response to COVID 19 (see U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announcement).
  • This applies to all petitions and applications adjudicated after July 29, 2020. The Forms I-129 and I-539 will not require additional information regarding receipt of public benefits, nor will the Form I-944 be required for Adjustment of Status petitions. In any public charge inadmissibility determination, USCIS will follow prior public charge guidance

07/24/2020 Fall 2020 SEVP Guidance Update

  • On July 24, 2020, the Student & Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) posted a Broadcast Message on the Immigration & Immigration & Customs Enforcement website to clarify certain aspects of applying the March 2020 SEVP guidance in the context of Fall 2020 term. In addition, SEVP posted Clarifying FAQs for Fall 2020.

  • With these announcements, SEVP stated the following: 

    1. Continuing Students: Students holding an active SEVIS record, including those who are outside the United States, are eligible to enroll in a fully remote course load for the Fall quarter, maintain their F-1 status, and seek re-entry into the U.S. In addition, they will be permitted to temporarily count online classes towards a full course of study in excess of the regulatory limits. 
    2. New Students: Admitted students, who are outside of the U.S., will likely not be able to obtain an F-1 visa or enter the United States to enroll in a U.S. school if they are taking a fully remote course load.

07/22/2020 Canada-Mexico "Essential Travel" Restriction Extended

  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) extended once again the initial March 24, 2020 Federal Register announcements (Canada and Mexico) that temporarily only allow entry along the U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico borders for "essential travel."
  • Essential travel includes attendance at educational institutions and traveling to work in the U.S. but does not allow for tourism. U.S. citizens and permanent residents may return to the U.S. and persons may also travel for emergency response and public health purposes. See the CBP FAQ for more information; this current extension runs through August 20th, 2020.

07/16/2020 National Interest Exception for Certain Travelers from the Schengen Area, United Kingdom, and Ireland

  • The U.S. Department of State announced on Thursday, July 16th a " National Interest Exception for Certain Travelers from the Schengen Area, United Kingdom, and Ireland" that allows students with valid F-1 visas to travel from these locations to the U.S. without seeking a national interest exception.
  • Those students traveling on a J-1 visa should contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to initiate an exception request prior to traveling.
  • The announcement also mentions "academics" as qualifying for the exception, which may reference J-1 scholars, as suggested by individual posts' announcements (see 07/14/2020 U.S. Department of State Announces Phased Resumption of Visa Services in the list below). We encourage J-1 scholars to contact their nearest embassy or consulate for additional instructions or to request an exception prior to traveling. Additionally, no similar statement from U.S. Customs and Border Protection has yet been issued indicating that these travelers will be admitted to the U.S.

07/14/2020 The Rescisssion of the July 06 SEVP Guidance for Fall 2020

  • On July 14, 2020, the July 6, 2020 SEVP Guidance for Fall 2020 was rescinded. At this time, ISPO is evaluating how the rescission may impact students in the Fall 2020 term and expect that there may be forthcoming guidance from SEVP. Please continue to check this FAQ page regularly as we receive further guidance from SEVP.
  • Per the guidance that is now in place, current students in F-1 active status are eligible to retain an active SEVIS I-20 record if you meet the following conditions:
  • For more information, including information regarding enrollment, travel, employment and more, visit the Coronavirus Information for International Students FAQ pages .
  • Please continue to check those pages regularly as we receive further guidance from SEVP.

07/14/2020 U.S. Department of State Announces Phased Resumption of Visa Services

  • On July 14, 2020, the U.S. Department of State announced the phased resumption of routine visa services, to occur on a post-by-post basis as post-specific conditions permit. Visa applicants are instructed to review individual consulate websites for information regarding operating status.
  • Note that the five geographic COVID-19 presidential proclamations (summarized in the latest: 10041 ) and two COVID-19 labor market proclamations supsending entry of certain nonimmigrants ( 10014 , 10052 ) remain in effect.
  • According to several embassies in the Schengen area, however, Washington announced on July 10th that certain travelers from Schengen area countries could resume traveling to the U.S. if they qualify as a National Interest Exception (NIE), as determined by a Consular Officer, including those traveling as F-1 students and J-1 students/researchers. Posts announcing this policy include Bern , Bratislava , Ljubljana , Luxembourg, Reykjavik , and Vienna .
  • We encourage you to contact your consulate regarding this policy and the procedure for boarding aircraft and subsequent admission to the U.S. at the port of entry in light of the current travel restrictions.
  • Please bear in mind that the San Diego county health order will require a 14-day quarantine period upon arrival from any international location.

07/14/2020 Executive Order on Hong Kong Normalization

On Tuesday, July 14th the administration issued an executive order on "Hong Kong Normalization" that suspends or eliminates different and preferential treatment for Hong Kong as compared to China. This order will eliminate the "preference for Hong Kong passport holders as compared to PRC passport holders,"  revoke export licensing exceptions and suspensions (export control realm), and terminate the reciprocal Fulbright exchange program between the U.S. and China/Hong Kong.

07/06/2020 Fall 2020 SEVP Guidance Regarding COVID-19

  • The July 7th guidance from SEVP addressed UC San Diego's ability to issue and ‘activate’ SEVIS records for newly admitted students in the Fall 2020 quarter if they are registered for in-person courses. UC San Diego’s Fall 2020 course offerings follow a ‘hybrid model’, a mixture of remote and in-person courses. 

  • SEVP announced that it would no longer provide the same exemptions it allowed in the Spring and Summer for international students taking online classes due to the pandemic during the fall 2020 quarter. The guidance from SEVP addresses in-person, remote and hybrid enrollment in the Fall 2020 term and what actions students and institutions need to take to maintain F-1 recordsICE also indicated the rule will be published in the Federal Register as a Temporary Final Rule. 
  • Continuing students with Active SEVIS records who enroll and remain enrolled in a minimum of one in-person course to meet the 12-unit full-time requirement will be eligible to remain in the U.S. or seek entry into the U.S. and be eligible for activation of their SEVIS record.

  • Continuing students who are outside the U.S. may take a fully remote course load. Students who are only taking remote courses must remain outside the U.S. 
  • Continuing students currently inside the U.S. must enroll in a minimum of one in-person or hybrid course to meet the 12-unit full-time requirement or must depart the U.S. or take other measures to maintain their non-immigrant status such as transferring to another school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status in the U.S.

  • Newly-Admitted students who are outside the U.S. and are unable to enroll in a minimum of one in-person or hybrid course will not be eligible to seek entry into the U.S. or be eligible for activation of their SEVIS record.

  • Newly-Admitted students who are inside the U.S. and enroll and remain enrolled in a minimum of one in-person or hybrid course to meet the 12-unit full-time requirement will be eligible to remain in the U.S. and be eligible for activation of their SEVIS record.

  • By August 4, 2020, ISPO must reissue new Form I-20s to all students enrolled in at least one in-person course with an updated SEVIS I-20 with a statement in the Form I-20 Remarks field that "the school is not operating entirely online, that the student is not taking an entirely online course load for the Fall 2020 quarter, and that the student is taking the minimum number of online classes required to make normal progress in their degree program." ISPO will be migrating to digital signatures so students can receive their updated documents in a timely manner. Additional information will be available in the next 1-2 weeks about this new document issuance process and for newly-admitted students who have not yet registered for FA20 courses.

  • UC San Diego must update their operational plans with the Student & Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP): Schools that will be entirely online or will not reopen for Fall 2020 must notify SEVP no later than Wednesday, July 15, 2020. Schools that will offer an in-person or hybrid program for Fall 2020 must notify SEVP of their plans by August 1, 2020.

  • If UC San Diego changes their operational plan to fully remote at any time for Fall 2020 term because of Center for Disease Control or San Diego County Public Health guidance, then students cannot take a full online course load and remain in the U.S.
    International students with Active SEVIS records who are in the U.S. will need to take alternative steps to maintain their non-immigrant status such as depart the U.S. or transfer to a school offering in-person instruction.

06/22/2020 Presidential Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market

On Monday, June 22, President Trump issued a " Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak " that goes into effect on June 24 (12:01 am, EDT) and principally affects the H-1B and H-4 classifications. The J-1 classification's subcategories that were impacted are not typically seen on university campuses, and the F-1 OPT/STEM OPT category was not mentioned.

The proclamation limits the entry to the U.S. of individuals in H-1B status and their H-4 dependents who were outside of the U.S. as of the effective date of the proclamation AND who have no valid visa stamp as of the effective date (or other valid document, such as an advanced parole document). It is in effect through 12/31/2020 with the possibility of extension. Exceptions exist if deemed in the national interest as determined by the Departments of State/Homeland Security (such as national defense, medical care to hospitalized COVID patients, and COVID research).

If you are present inside the U.S. on June 24 or are outside the U.S. but have an H-1B visa stamp valid for June 24, then you will not be subject to the conditions imposed by this proclamation.

06/15/2020: U.S. Department of Transportation Notice Modifies June 3 Order Regarding Chinese Air Carriers

On Monday, June 15, 2020, the U.S. Department of Transportation modified the June 03 order limiting scheduled passenger operations of all Chinese air carriers to and from the United States.

The Chinese air carriers can continue to fly 4 weekly flights between China and the United States. See the modified order here.

05/29/2020 Presidential Proclamation Suspending Entry of Certain Students and Researchers from The People's Republic of China

On Friday May 29th, the administration issued a presidential proclamation suspending entry of "certain students and researchers from the People's Republic of China (PRC)." The proclamation applies to all F-1 and J-1 international students and researchers who are:

  • Chinese nationals,  and
  • Affiliated with any institution that "implements or supports" the PRC's " military-civil fusion strategy " (past or present affiliation), to include employment, study, conducting research, and/or receiving funding from these institutions.

Undergraduate students are excluded from this proclamation. Additional exclusions include:

  • U.S. permanent residents or spouse/children of permanent residents
  • "Any alien who is studying or conducting research in a field involving information that would not contribute to the PRC's military-civil fusion strategy"
  • Law enforcement/national interest objectives

 

INTERPRETATION

The proclamation lacks clarity and suggests measures to be carried out in the future, both of which make it difficult to assess the impact on individuals at this time:

  • The entities that implement or support the "military-civil fusion strategy" are not specified in the proclamation, nor in the Dept of State fact sheet referenced above; we do not know which entity affiliations may result in future visa denials.
  • The proclamation gives discretion to the Department of State to revoke visas of F-1/J-1 graduate students/researchers currently in the U.S. The literal interpretation of "visa revocation" would be cancellation of the visa stamp in one's passport; such action would not negatively impact one's legal status while remaining inside the U.S., but upon exit, would prevent re-entry to the U.S. without a new visa stamp being issued.
  • The proclamation gives discretion to the Departments of State and Homeland Security to "take action to further mitigate the risk posed by the PRC's acquisition of sensitive United States technologies and intellectual property" and requests that the Secretaries of these departments report to the President within 60 days of any planned and executed actions.


The International Students & Programs Office remains committed to supporting our student population during these challenging times. Please contact an International Student Advisor if you have any questions about how this may impact you directly.

05/24/2020 Proclamation on Suspension of Entry ... of Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting Novel Coronavirus

  • On May 24, The Administration updated the 04/22/2020 Presidential Proclamation imposing travel restrictions into the United States. It now suspends entry into the United States by certain non-U.S. citizens, who were physically present within Brazil during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the U.S.
  • Impacted Countries: Brazil, China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau), Iran, Ireland, United Kingdom, and the Schengen Area of Europe (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland).
  • Travel and Visa Restrictions for students in F-1 and J-1 non-immigrant status in effect until further notice:
    1. The May 24, 2020 Proclamation on Suspension of Entry ... of Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting Novel Coronavirus mentioned above restricting travel to the U.S.
    2. The March 20, 2020 Suspension of U.S visa services at U.S. embassies and consulates around the world.

03/19/2020 The U.S. Department of State Global Level 4 Health Advisory – Do Not Travel

The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. U.S. citizens who live abroad should avoid all international travel.

Many countries are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and implementing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, closing borders, and prohibiting non-citizens from entry with little advance notice.

Airlines have cancelled many international flights and several cruise operators have suspended operations or cancelled trips. If you choose to travel internationally, your travel plans may be severely disrupted, and you may be forced to remain outside of the United States for an indefinite timeframe.”

03/11/2020 Expanded Travel Ban Due to COVID-19

On March 11th, President Trump expanded the current travel ban on CDC-designated level 3 Travel Health Notice countries (mainland China excluding Macao and Hong Kong and Iran) to include the following European countries:

  • Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
The expanded ban will go into effect after 11:59 pm, March 13th EST. Although the President stated in spoken remarks that the restriction would last 30 days, the Proclamation itself states that it “shall remain in effect until terminated by the President.”

02/06/2020 Nationwide Injunction of Accrual of Unlawful Presence 2019 Memo

On February 6, 2020, a federal district court issued a permanent nationwide injunction blocking the  August 8th, 2019 USCIS policy memo that sought to change how days of unlawful presence are counted following a violation of F, M, or J nonimmigrant status. This forces the immigration service to apply prior policy guidance based on its unlawful presence memo issued on May 6, 2009, under which unlawful presence does not begin accruing until an immigration judge finds a status violation, or an immigration officer finds a violation of status in the course of an application for an immigration benefit.

02/02/2020 Presidential Proclamation on Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus

On February 2, 2020, the Presidential Proclamation on Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus went into effect, banning entry of immigrants and nonimmigrants who were physically present within the People's Republic of China (excluding Macau and Hong Kong) during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the U.S. Exceptions will be made for lawful permanent residents and family members of U.S. citizens or permanent residents. The ban is in effect until cancelled.

Guidance on travel restrictions to and from China are rapidly evolving. If you have any travel emergencies or questions about future travel plans, please contact ISPO for guidance.

01/27/2020 Supreme Court Lifts Injunction Against DHS’s Public Charge Rule

On January 27, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court lifted an October 11 2019 nationwide preliminary injunction that had prevented the administration from enforcing its public charge rule.  The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is now permitted to implement and enforce its public charge rule while litigation continues in lower courts. For a short summary of this rule, see the 2019 posting in the archived drawer below.