A flurry of confusing pandemic-related changes to immigration policy have international students struggling to understand how their visas and, ultimately, academic careers may be impacted by these troubling directives. This alert clarifies the most current policies impacting international students and which visa categories may be affected. As always, GYH attorneys are available for consultations to answer any questions you have about your immigration process.
Good News: Online-only Course Loads Allowed for International Students The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on July 6th issued a directive that would have required international students to have at least some in-person classes in order to stay in the country. Last week, a swift lawsuit by Harvard and MIT, which argued the directive forced schools to choose between sacrificing international students and risking public health and safety, forced DHS to rescind the order. The rescission of the directive restores the March 13 guidance permitting current students on F-1 visas to remain in the U.S. while taking online-only only course loads. Unfortunately, newly enrolling international students are still not allowed to take online-only course loads but the case remains open and it is expected that the Trump Administration will also be asked to defend the restrictions facing newly-enrolled international students.
National Interest Exceptions to Schengen Travel Ban The Department of State (DOS) announced that some students in the Schengen area, UK, and Ireland may qualify for a National Interest Exception (NIE). Students with valid F-1 or M-1 visas traveling from the Schengen Area, the UK and Ireland have been granted a blanket exception and do not have to take any special action to travel. Students travelling from these areas on J-1 visas should contact the nearest embassy or consulate to request a NIE. Note that consular closures, which have been in place for months, largely remain in effect. Some posts are reportedly opening but, for the most part, we have seen little movement from these posts and few visas are being issued at this point.
A growing number of colleges and universities have announced plans to file amicus briefs in support of Harvard and MIT, including the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell, Princeton, and Northeastern. MORE
Donald Trump vient de prendre une énième
décision au nom de la lutte contre le chômage. En campagne pour sa
réélection le 3 novembre, le président américain a décidé, lundi
22 juin, de donner un nouveau tour de vis migratoire avec le gel des
cartes vertes et de certains visas de travail jusqu’en 2021.
Confronté à la destruction brutale de millions d’emplois en raison des mesures de confinement, le président républicain avait décidé il y a deux mois de suspendre pour soixante jours la délivrance des Green Cards, qui offrent un statut de résident permanent aux Etats-Unis, sans toucher aux visas de travail temporaires. SUITE
Yesterday evening the President issued a proclamation suspending
the entry of immigrants for a period of 60 days. The measure was first
announced in a tweet sent out by the President on Monday night. Because
we know that many of you are concerned as to whether and how this may
affect you, we want to provide the following summary of the
The proclamation suspends entry of those seeking immigrant visas from
outside of the United States. It DOES NOT affect individuals that are
in the United States and applying for adjustment of status. It also
does not apply to those seeking entry as non-immigrants, such as
visitors (B-1/B-2), employees of intergovernmental organizations (G-4),
students (F-1/J-1) and temporary workers (H-1B). There are several
EXCEPTIONS to the proclamation for:
Lawful permanent residents
Physicians, nurses, or other healthcare professionals coming to perform medical research or other research intended to combat the spread of COVID-19; or to perform work essential to combating, recovering from, or otherwise alleviating the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak and their any spouses and unmarried children under 21 years old
EB-5 Immigrant Investors
Spouses of a United States citizen
Children under 21 years old of a United States citizen
Members of law enforcement
Members of the United States Armed Forces and any spouse and children of a member of the United States Armed Forces
Special Immigrant Visa holders in the SI or SQ classification,and their spouse and children
Anyone whose entry would be in the national interest
Individuals who have already been issued an immigrant visa
The proclamation is a temporary suspension on entry. It is anticipated
that application and processing steps that occur prior to the issuance
of such immigrants will continue. Once the proclamation is lifted or
expired, those individuals will be allowed to enter the United States.
It should be noted that most US Consulates have already been closed and
unable to conduct interviews due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As noted above, this affects only those who are outside of the United States.
The proclamation went into effect at 11:59 PM April 23rd and is set to
expire in 60 days. It may be continued if deemed necessary.
Early one morning in April 2015, Christina Goldbaum
was pounding on locked metal doors at the mostly closed Jomo Kenyatta
International Airport in Nairobi. She was trying to find an airline with
a flight that would take her to the Kenyan city of Garissa, where
terrorists had killed more than 145 people and wounded dozens more at a
After hearing sketchy news reports of the
attack, she had driven three hours to the airport from the small town
where she had been working on a documentary for a nongovernmental
organization. As she drove, she frantically emailed an editor she knew
at Agence France-Presse (AFP) and learned that the international news
agency did not have another freelancer available to cover the mass
With the few flights to Garissa
already full, Goldbaum was able to snag a spot on a four-seat charter
flight booked by a South African news crew. When she arrived in Garissa,
she got to work, shooting video while under curfews and dealing with
regular power outages and unreliable internet access.
was so important that journalists be there on the ground to show that
those killed were so much more than statistics,” says Goldbaum, now a
reporter for The New York Times. “People hear about terrorist attacks
and they don’t connect” to the victims.
While it’s common for American journalists to start their careers by covering local news, Goldbaum, now 27, found her journalistic footing overseas. The Bethesda native, who graduated in 2010 from St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Potomac, got her first reporting job at the Cape Times in Cape Town, South Africa, at the age of 22 after graduating from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. She then spent four years in Africa as a freelance foreign correspondent and field producer for outlets including AFP, The Atlantic and Foreign Policy, shooting her own photos and video as she covered stories ranging from political upheaval in Burundi to a massive truck bombing in the Somali capital of Mogadishu in October 2017 that killed more than 550 people and injured more than 300. MORE
First of all, though USCIS has announced numerous operational changes (including a temporary reprieve from the requirement for wet ink signatures, and the – not unexpected – suspension of premium processing) at this time they have not announced any changes to the cap lottery and filing timeline.
Here’s what you can expect: March 31: Date by which USCIS intends to notify selected registrants. April 1: The earliest date that FY 2021 H-1B cap-subject petitions may be filed. Registration Selection Notifications USCIS intends to notify registrants (employers) and their representatives (attorneys) with selected registrations via their USCIS online accounts no later than March 31, 2020. A registrant’s USCIS online account will show one of the four following statuses for each registration: Submitted: A registration status may continue to show “Submitted” after the initial selection process has been completed. “Submitted” registrations will remain in consideration for selection until the end of the fiscal year, at which point all registration statuses will be Selected, Not Selected or Denied. Selected: Selected to file an FY 2021 H-1B cap-subject petition. NotSelected: Not selected for this fiscal year.
Please note that a registration will not reflect a status of NotSelected until
the conclusion of the fiscal year. In the event that USCIS determines
that it needs to increase the number of registrations projected to meet
the H-1B regular cap or the advanced degree exemption allocation, USCIS
will select from registrations held in reserve to meet the H-1B regular
cap or advanced degree exemption allocation.
The same registrant or representative submitted more than one
registration on the beneficiary’s behalf for the same fiscal year. All
registrations the registrant or representative submitted on behalf of
the same beneficiary for the same fiscal year are invalid.
cap-subject beneficiaries, including those eligible for the advanced
degree exemption, must have a “Selected” registration notification in
order for a registrant or representative to properly file an H-1B
cap-subject petition for FY 2021. Registrants and representatives will
not receive non-selection notifications until the conclusion of the
fiscal year. Until that time, the status of registrations not selected
as part of any initial random selection process and not denied will
remain as “Submitted.”
As always, feel free to contact us with any questions, to schedule a consultation, or to initiate an H-1B filing.
The World Bank Group aims to scale up its presence in Fragile, Conflict and Violence (FCV) settings, filling over 100 positions by June 30, 2020. On February 3, we will hold our first FCV Job Fair in Washington D.C. RSVP to attend here. https://lnkd.in/gBNxnm5
Slightly more than 2 million immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa lived
in the United States in 2018. While this population remains small,
representing just 4.5 percent of the country’s 44.7 million immigrants,
it is a rapidly growing one. Between 2010 and 2018, the sub-Saharan
African population increased by 52 percent, significantly outpacing the
12 percent growth rate for the overall foreign-born population during
that same period.
There were very few sub-Saharan Africans in the United States just a few decades ago, with under 150,000 residents in 1980. Since then, immigrants from some of the largest sub-Saharan countries, such as Nigeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Somalia, and South Africa, have settled in the United States. Overall, more than 2 million immigrants have come from the 51 countries that comprise sub-Saharan Africa, making up 84 percent of the 2.4 million immigrants from the entire African continent. The remainder are from the six countries of North Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, and Tunisia. MORE