Major Immigration Updates

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

U.S.-Canada-Mexico “Non-Essential” Travel Restrictions Extended to 02/21/2021
January 15, 2021

UPDATED 01/22/2021: USCBP 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 February 21, 2021). UPDATED 01/15/2021: Recent media reports, and an announcement from the Canadian Prime Minister, indicate that the Non-Essential travel restriction between Canada, the U.S. […]

U.S. will require negative Covid-19 tests for international travelers entering the U.S.
January 13, 2021

Under a new federal Order that will take effect January 26, 2021, air passengers arriving to the US from a foreign country will be subject to new COVID-19 testing requirements.  Passengers will be required to get tested for COVID-19 infection no more than 3 days before their flight departs and to provide proof of the negative […]

Trump Administration Extends Two Immigration- Related Proclamations to March 31, 2021
January 5, 2021

On December 31, 2020, the Trump administration announced the extension of the following two policies: (1) Immigrant entry restriction extended to March 31, 2021: On April 22, 2020, a Presidential Proclamation narrowly restricted entry to the U.S. of certain persons outside the U.S. who have been granted immigrant visa stamps (issued by U.S. Consulates, after […]

December 2020

U.S.-Canada-Mexico “Non-Essential” Travel Restrictions Extended to 01/21/2021
December 21, 2020

UPDATED 12/20/2020: 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 no expiration date is indicated, we assume that the restriction is […]