Major Immigration Updates

July 2020

USCIS Announces Final Fee Rule Effective 10/02/2020
July 31, 2020

On July 31, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), announced a final fee rule that will adjust fee amounts for certain applications filed with USCIS. The new fee levels will be effective October 2, 2020. New fee costs will impact applications filed with Form I-129 (including H-1B and O petitions), Form I-765 employment authorization […]

USDOS Publishes National Interest Exceptions To Presidential Proclamations Limiting Entry to U.S. by Immigrant and Certain Nonimmigrant Employment Statuses (H, L, and certain J categories)
July 30, 2020

On July 30, 2020, the U.S. Department of State (USDOS) published a list of National Interest Exceptions to the Presidential Proclamations that suspended visa issuance and travel to the U.S. for immigrants (P.P. 10014) and certain nonimmmigrant statuses including H, L, and certain J categories (P.P. 10052) that “present a risk to the U.S. Labor […]

USDHS/USICE Continues March Guidance for Fall 2020 Term
July 29, 2020

On July 24, 2020, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), a division of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (USICE), issued a Broadcast Message and FAQ confirming that their March 2020 guidance regarding international students and online instruction for the Spring 2020 and Summer 2020 terms will continue to be in effect for the Fall […]

USDHS Rescinds July 6 Guidance; Review Of March 2020 Guidance Impact on Fall 2020
July 18, 2020

On July 14, 2020, following a legal challenge by MIT and Harvard, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (USDHS) rescinded its July 6 directive and July 7 FAQ on F-1 students and online learning.  As a result of this decision USDHS’s March 2020 guidance and Spring term FAQs will continue to apply.  Based on the Spring […]

U.S. Travel Restriction from Schengen Area, United Kingdom, and Ireland Lifted for Certain Visa Types
July 17, 2020

On July 16, the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs officially announced that individuals traveling to the U.S. from the Schengen area, United Kingdom, and Ireland in certain visa statuses may enter the U.S. with a “National Interest Exception” to the Presidential Proclamations that created the 14-day travel restrictions from these countries. Student […]

USDOS Provides Details on Phased Resumption of Routine Visa Services
July 15, 2020

On July 14, 2020, the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs has posted on its website more detailed information, and an FAQ, on the phased resumption of routine visa services at U.S. Embassies/Consulates ( Students are advised to monitor the U.S. Embassy/Consulate website ( for confirmation of when services will resume at their […]

USICE Rescinds July 6 Guidance on International Students and Online Learning
July 14, 2020

On July 14, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (USICE), a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (USDHS) rescinded its guidance issued on July 6, 2020 on international students in F and M visa status and limits to online learning for the Fall 2020 semester. MIT and Harvard had filed a lawsuit against the […]

MIT President Op-Ed: I’m the President of MIT. America Needs Foreign Students
July 14, 2020

Following the lawsuit filed by MIT and Harvard University, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (USICE) rescinded their July 6 guidance that would have dramatically impacted international students in the U.S. MIT President L. Rafael Reif wrote an op-ed that was published in The New York Times on July 14 reflecting on the importance of the […]

U.S. Department of State Twitter Indicates Embassies/Consulates Begin Phased Reopening July 15, 2020
July 13, 2020

While we do not see an official posting on the U.S. Department of State (USDOS) webpage, the official Twitter page for the USDOS Bureau of Consular Affairs posted this morning (9:57am, Monday, July 13, 2020) the following: “US embassies and consulates are beginning the phased resumption of routine visa services. The dates for each embassy […]

USDHS Guidance for Fall 2020 – Current Updates – Awaiting Court Decision
July 13, 2020

We are all anxious about the recent USDHS guidance, and, as I indicated on Friday, we had hoped to be able to provide you with some answers to your questions today.  However, we are continuing to monitor developments, including a decision in the lawsuit MIT and Harvard filed, which we expect on Wednesday, July 15.  Once we […]