News and Announcements

March 2021

Tax Filing Resources for MIT International Students
March 1, 2021

(emailed to all MIT international students on March 1, 2021) Dear MIT International Students,Our Federal tax filing resources are now available at no cost to all MIT international students through a generous donation by the Kailath International Student Fund.  For MIT tax resources for international students, please visit the Vice President for Finance Office “Tax Guidance […]

February 2021

USCIS Extends Flexibilities to Certain Applicants Filing Form I-765 for OPT
February 26, 2021

On February 26, 2021, USCIS issued a news release “USCIS Extends Flexibilities to Certain Applicants Filing Form I-765 for OPT“, providing some support for international students who filed Form I-765 applications (F-1 Optional Practical Training, F-1 STEM OPT Extension) to USCIS lockbox centers that have faced receipt notice delays. These flexibilities only apply to applications […]

USDOS Announces New Phased Resumption of Routine Visa Services
February 25, 2021

On February 24, 2021, the U.S. Department of State (USDOS) announced additional updates to the phased resumption of routine visa services at U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad. The announcement indicates that the resumption of services will “…occur on a post-by-post basis…” and “… are unable to provide a specific date for when each mission will […]

President Biden issues Proclamation revoking immigrant visa ban
February 24, 2021

On February 24, 2021, President Biden released a Proclamation revoking the prior administration’s suspension of immigrant visas due to the 2019 corona virus outbreak (Proclamation 10014, section 1 of Proclamation 10052 and section 1 of Proclamation  10131).

U.S.-Canada-Mexico “Non-Essential” Travel Restrictions Extended to 03/21/2021
February 20, 2021

UPDATED 02/20/2021: USCBP has posted to its Twitter account that the Non-Essential travel restriction between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico has been extended for an additional period (to March 21, 2021). This travel restriction has been in place since March 21, 2020. * * * * USCBP has previously posted on its Twitter an infographic […]

USCIS Update Regarding Applicants Filing Form I-765 for F-1 OPT/STEM OPT
February 18, 2021

On February 18, 2021, USCIS issued an update regarding applicants who have long-pending Form I-765 applications for F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT) or F-1 STEM Optional Practical Training (STEM OPT). Some of the clarifications provided include: * Delays will not affect the official received date. Once receipted, the applications will reflect the received date when […]

USDOS Updates National Interest Exemption for Certain Travelers from the Schengen Area, United Kingdom, and Ireland
February 12, 2021

On February 10, 2021, the U.S. Department of State issued an update on the National Interest Exemption for Certain Travelers from the Schengen Area, United Kingdom, and Ireland. The guidance for F-1 visa holders is confirmed as follows: “Students traveling from the Schengen Area, the UK, and Ireland with valid F-1 and M-1 visas do […]

January 2021

Executive Order Extending Travel Restriction to U.S. from Iran, China, Brazil, Europe/Schengen Countries (including United Kingdom and Ireland); adding South Africa
January 26, 2021

On January 25, 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order to maintain the COVID travel restrictions for entry to the U.S. within 14 days of being physically present in Brazil and most countries of Europe (Schengen countries, including the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland). The order also confirms that the COVID travel restrictions […]

Biden Administration Revokes Trump Administration “Travel Bans”
January 26, 2021

On January 20, 2021 President Biden issued a Proclamation on Ending Discriminatory Bans on Entry to The United States. This Proclamation revokes the following Executive Orders issued by the Trump Administration, also known as the “Travel Bans”: *Executive Order 13780 of March 6, 2017:  clarifications on countries identified in Executive Order 13769 of January 27, […]

ACE Sends Letter to USCIS Addressing OPT/STEM OPT Processing Delays
January 26, 2021

On January 26, 2021, the American Council on Education (ACE) sent a letter to USDHS addressing the ongoing concerns of the higher education community on the OPT/STEM OPT processing delays at USCIS that are impacting international students across the U.S. We will be sure to update the Major Immigration Updates webpage, and the ISO Knowledge […]