Major Immigration Updates

October 2021

U.S. to Allow Fully Vaccinated Travelers to Enter from Canada and Mexico via Land Border and Ferry Ports of Entry
October 14, 2021

On October 12, 2021, the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security announced that, beginning in November 2021, non-essential travelers (for example, tourists, friends and family visitors) who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19, will be permitted to enter the U.S. from Canada and Mexico via land border and ferry crossings by showing appropriate documentation. No official […]

September 2021

U.S.-Canada-Mexico “Non-Essential” Travel Restrictions Extended to 10/21/2021
September 22, 2021

UPDATED 09/22/2021: USDHS/USCBP has posted to the Federal Register that the Non-Essential travel restriction at land ports of entry between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico has been extended for an additional period (to October 21, 2021). This travel restriction has been in place since March 21, 2020. A copy of the Federal Register Notice on […]

USDOS Expands of In-Person Visa Interview Waiver Eligibility for F, M, and J academic visa types
September 15, 2021

On September 14, 2021, the U.S. Department of State announced an expansion of the ability for consular officers to waive in-person interviews, under certain criteria, for F, M, or J academic visas through December 31, 2021.  There is no guarantee, however, that an in-person interview will be waived.  To view the USDOS guidance, please view […]

August 2021

U.S.-Canada-Mexico “Non-Essential” Travel Restrictions Extended to 09/21/2021
August 24, 2021

UPDATED 08/23/2021: USDHS/USCBP has posted to the Federal Register that the Non-Essential travel restriction at land ports of entry between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico has been extended for an additional period (to September 21, 2021). This travel restriction has been in place since March 21, 2020. A copy of the Federal Register Notice on […]

USDOS Updates NIE Guidance and FAQ
August 18, 2021

On August 12, 2021, the U.S Department of State has updated their website posting on National Interest Exemptions (NIE) with some additional frequently asked questions (FAQ). Of specific interest is an FAQ that states that a student would not need to get an NIE issued by the US Embassy/Consulate for each travel restricted country visited […]

Senators Ask USDOS To Speed Up Student Visa Processing
August 6, 2021

On August 6, 2021, a group of U.S. Senators, led by Senator Alex Padilla of California, sent a letter to Secretary Anthony Blinken at the U.S. Department of State to expand resources to the U.S. Embassies/Consulates to increase capacity to speed up the processing of student visas so students can arrive in time for the […]

July 2021

U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Education Release Joint Statement in Support of International Education
July 26, 2021

On July 26, 2021, the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Education released a “Joint Statement of Principles in Support of International Education” at the 2021 EducationUSA Forum. The announcement appeared on the EducationUSA website, with recorded announcements from U.S. Department of State Secretary Anthony Blinken and U.S. Department of Education Secretary Dr. […]

U.S.-Canada-Mexico “Non-Essential” Travel Restrictions Extended to 08/21/2021
July 21, 2021

UPDATED 07/21/2021: USDHS/USCBP has posted to the Federal Register that the Non-Essential travel restriction at land ports of entry between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico has been extended for an additional period (to August 21, 2021). This travel restriction has been in place since March 21, 2020. A copy of the Federal Register Notice on […]

USCIS Announces New Policy Guidance on Change of Status Applications to F-1 Student Status
July 21, 2021

On July 20, 2021, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced new policy guidance that eliminates the need for individuals who have applied for a change of status (COS) to F-1 student to submit an additional “Bridge petition” while their initial F-1 COS application is pending. Under the previous policy, applicants needed to maintain status […]

USDOS Announces NIE Issued By US Embassy/Consulate Valid for Entry to US for 12 Months, Multiple Entries
July 9, 2021

On July 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of State announced an Extension of validity for National Interest Exceptions (NIEs) for Travelers from China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and India. The extension applies to travelers subject to Presidential Proclamations restricting travel from or through China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, the […]