Major Immigration Updates

July 2021

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

June 2021

U.S.-Canada-Mexico “Non-Essential” Travel Restrictions Extended to 07/21/2021
June 21, 2021

UPDATED 06/21/2021: 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 July 21, 2021). This travel restriction has been in place since March 21, 2020. A copy of the Federal Register Notice on […]

USDOS Publishes Update on COVID-19 Travel Restrictions and Exceptions (National Interest Exemptions)
June 15, 2021

Dated June 1, 2021, the U.S. Department of State updated its posting regarding the current COVID-19 Travel Restrictions and eligible exceptions/exemptions. To view the posting, click here. The June 1, 2021 is a follow-up to earlier postings to clarify eligibility for National Interest Exemptions (NIE) to the 14-day travel restrictions to the U.S. for individuals […]

May 2021

USDOS Provides Clarification on NIE for China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, India effective 08/01/2021; applies to travel on F-1 OPT/STEM OPT Extension
May 27, 2021

On May 13, 2021 (and again updated on May 27, 2021), U.S. Department of State posted an update to its posting on April 26, 2021 eligibility for National Interest Exemption (NIE) to the 14-day travel restriction to the U.S. for certain travelers from China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, Schengen Area, United Kingdom, and Ireland (including […]

U.S.-Canada-Mexico “Non-Essential” Travel Restrictions Extended to 06/21/2021
May 24, 2021

UPDATED 05/24/2021: 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 June 21, 2021). This travel restriction has been in place since March 21, 2020. A copy of the Federal Register Notice on […]

Suspension of U.S. Consular Services in Russia
May 4, 2021

The U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Russia website indicates that routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa services have been suspended. No date is given regarding the possible resumption of services. This follows a previous announcement that, effective May 12, 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow would reduce consular services including non-immigrant (F-1, J-1, H-1B) visa processing and many U.S. citizen […]

USDOS Provides Updated Guidance on National Interest Exemptions for Certain Travelers from China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, and India
May 1, 2021

On April 26, 2021, the U.S. Department of State announced that certain individuals (including those in F and M student visa status and certain J exchange visitor categories) traveling to the U.S. from China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, and Ireland may be eligible for a “National Interest Exemption” (NIE) […]

Executive Order Imposing COVID-19 Travel Restrictions to U.S. adds India
May 1, 2021

On April 30, 2021, President Biden signed a Presidential Proclamation/Executive Order adding India to the list of countries subject to COVID-19 travel restrictions for entry to the U.S. within 14 days of being physically present in India. This Executive Order restricts/suspends entry to the U.S. for “noncitizens of the United States who were physically present within […]