Major Immigration Updates

Court Rulings Halt Implementation of Recent H-1B/DOL/Prevailing Wage Interim Final Rules
As a result of a court ruling on December 1, 2020, the two rules affecting the H-1B and E-3 visa programs, and PERM Labor Certifications that were described in our Update…
USCIS Extends Validity of Certain Forms I-797 for I-9 Processing Due to Document Issuance Delays
On November 23, 2020, USCIS announced that it will further extend acceptance of certain Form I-797 Notices of Action for completing Forms I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification given delays in processing…
U.S.-Canada-Mexico “Non-Essential” Travel Restrictions Extended to 12/21/2020
UPDATED 11/20/2020: 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…
U.S. Department of State Posts Update to Phased Resumption of Visa Services Announcement/FAQ
On November 12, 2020, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) posted to its website an update to its announcement and FAQ on “Phased Resumption of Routine Visa Services“. The announcement/FAQ…
Chinese Consulate General Posts Guidance on New Airline/Travel Requirements for Entry to China due to COVID-19
On October 29, 2020, the Consulate General of China posted on the Chinese Embassy/Consulate websites new COVID-19 testing requirements to board flights, and entry, to China. The new requirements are…
U.S. Department of Labor (Employment and Training Administration) and U.S. Department of Homeland Security Publish New Rules on Prevailing Wages, H-1B
1. DOL Publishes Rule: “Strengthening Wage Protections for the Temporary and Permanent Employment of Certain Aliens in the United States.” On October 8, 2020, the US Department of Labor, Employment…
Summary – USDHS PROPOSED Rule Impacting Period of Admission for F, J, and I Visa Status
As we first noted on September 25, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a Proposed Rule to change the period of admission to the U.S. for F and J…
USCIS Increases Premium Processing Fee
On Friday, October 16, 2020, US Department of Homeland Security published an Announcement indicating the fee for “premium processing” of applications by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will rise…
U.S.-Canada-Mexico “Non-Essential” Travel Restrictions Extended to 11/21/2020
UPDATED 10/19/2020: USCBP announces that Non-Essential travel restriction between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico has been extended to November 21, 2020. This is an additional 30-day extension of a restriction…
USCIS Temporarily Prohibited from increasing fees on October 2, 2020
On September 29, 2020, the U.S. District Court for Northern California issued a temporary injunction and stay on implementation of the 2020 USCIS final fee rule.  The ruling temporarily prevents…
USDHS Publishes PROPOSED Rule Impacting Period of Admission for F, J, and I Visa Status
On September 25, 2020, the US Department of Homeland Security (USDHS) published a Proposed Rule to change the period of admission to the U.S. for F and J students and exchange visitors,…
REMINDER: USCIS Implements New Application Fees Increases, and certain New Form Versions, Effective October 2, 2020
As part of a final rule published by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on August 3, 2020, new application fees, and a new form version for certain applications, will apply to…
“Non-Essential” Travel Restrictions between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico Extended to October 21, 2020
On September 18, 2020, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (USDHS) Acting Secretary Chad Wolf released a statement via Twitter that restrictions on “Non-Essential” travel between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico…
New Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) available and effective August 25, 2020
As a reminder, a new version of the Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization (version 08/25/2020), used for applications for F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT), F-1 STEM OPT Extension, and…
Remote Student Appointments Performed Outside the U.S.
Letter from the MIT Office of the Vice Chancellor
U.S.-Canada-Mexico “Non-Essential” Travel Restrictions Extended to 09/21/2020
UPDATED 09/18/2020: USCBP announces that Non-Essential travel restriction between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico has been extended to October 21, 2020.* * * * On August 14, 2020, USDHS Acting…
USCIS Announces Final Fee Rule Effective 10/02/2020
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…
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)
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.…
USDHS/USICE Continues March Guidance for Fall 2020 Term
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…
USDHS Rescinds July 6 Guidance; Review Of March 2020 Guidance Impact on Fall 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…