News and Announcements

November 2020

U.S.-Canada-Mexico “Non-Essential” Travel Restrictions Extended to 12/21/2020
November 20, 2020

UPDATED 11/20/2020: USCBP announces via Twitter that Non-Essential travel restriction between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico has been extended. The posting is not as definitive as past notices, referring to “land border ports of entry”, but it indicates the restriction “remains in effect”. While expiration date is indicated, we assume that the restriction is extended […]

U.S. Department of State Posts Update to Phased Resumption of Visa Services Announcement/FAQ
November 14, 2020

On November 12, 2020, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) posted to its website an update to its announcement and FAQ on “Phased Resumption of Routine Visa Services“. The announcement/FAQ can be viewed here. For updates on visa services and processing at a specific U.S. Embassy/Consulate, please check the DOS website (http://usembassy.gov).

ISO Updates
November 9, 2020

ISO Update: November 9, 2020 Contents Travel Guidance No USDHS Update on F-1 Five-Month Temporary Absence Rule Waiting for USDHS Guidance on International Student Enrollment for Spring 2021 MIT Spring Academic Calendar Change – Impact on New Student Visa Documents Massachusetts Announces New COVID-19 Response Policies – Effective November 6, 2020 ISchO/ISO Open Forum on […]

October 2020

Chinese Consulate General Posts Guidance on New Airline/Travel Requirements for Entry to China due to COVID-19
October 29, 2020

On October 29, 2020, the Consulate General of China posted on the Chinese Embassy/Consulate websites new COVID-19 testing requirements to board flights, and entry, to China. The new requirements are effective November 6, 2020. To read the full announcement, please see the posting on the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China here.

U.S. Department of Labor (Employment and Training Administration) and U.S. Department of Homeland Security Publish New Rules on Prevailing Wages, H-1B
October 21, 2020

1. DOL Publishes Rule: “Strengthening Wage Protections for the Temporary and Permanent Employment of Certain Aliens in the United States.” On October 8, 2020, the US Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration published an Interim Final Rule that changes the way the “prevailing wage” is determined in a wide array of occupations and fields/disciplines. […]

Summary – USDHS PROPOSED Rule Impacting Period of Admission for F, J, and I Visa Status
October 20, 2020

As we first noted on September 25, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a Proposed Rule to change the period of admission to the U.S. for F and J students and exchange visitors, and I status for representatives of foreign media, from Duration of Status “D/S” (the duration of the academic program or media […]

U.S.-Canada-Mexico “Non-Essential” Travel Restrictions Extended to 11/21/2020
October 19, 2020

UPDATED 10/19/2020: USCBP announces that Non-Essential travel restriction between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico has been extended to November 21, 2020. This is an additional 30-day extension of a restriction that has been in place since April 20, 2020.* * * * On October 19, 2020, USDHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf released a statement via […]

USCIS Increases Premium Processing Fee
October 19, 2020

On Friday, October 16, 2020, US Department of Homeland Security published an Announcement indicating the fee for “premium processing” of applications by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will rise from $1440 to $2500 effective October 19, 2020. USCIS’ increase in the Premium Processing fee is required by the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other […]

September 2020

USCIS Temporarily Prohibited from increasing fees on October 2, 2020
September 30, 2020

On September 29, 2020, the U.S. District Court for Northern California issued a temporary injunction and stay on implementation of the 2020 USCIS final fee rule.  The ruling temporarily prevents U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) from charging new fee rates and requiring some new application form versions that were supposed to go into effect […]

USDHS Publishes PROPOSED Rule Impacting Period of Admission for F, J, and I Visa Status
September 25, 2020

On September 25, 2020, the US Department of Homeland Security (USDHS) published a Proposed Rule to change the period of admission to the U.S. for F and J students and exchange visitors, and I status for representatives of foreign media, from Duration of Status “D/S” (the duration of the academic program or media assignment) to a fixed […]