USA – Updates for International Students

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.

SOURCE: https://www.grossmanyoung.com/

Why did I move to Ghana?

Ever since I relocated from Boston to Ghana in 2016, I regularly get asked a variation on the following question: “Why did you uproot your life and promising career path in the US and move on your own to Africa? You got your Ph.D. from MIT — I’m sure you must have had other options.”

The short answer is “Well, it certainly wasn’t my plan from the beginning! I knew embarrassingly little about Africa beforehand. I was getting attention around my work (My Ph.D. research is on exhibit at the MIT Museum– do visit if you’re in Boston!), and I did have job offers. But God challenged me to adopt a new framework for viewing the world and my role in it.”

The longer answer is multi-faceted, drawing from many aspects of my life experiences, and it continues to evolve along with the weaving of my life story. I can point to 4 main stages in my journey to/through/with Africa so far, and I’d love to take you through each of them. MORE

USA – Refus des visas aux étudiants étrangers : La Californie attaque la décision en justice

Après l’Université de Harvard, le MIT, l’Etat de Californie a déclaré vouloir poursuivre l’administration Trump devant le tribunal fédéral. L’Etat et ces universités cherchent à bloquer la directive qui priverait les étudiants étrangers de visas si les cours étaient entièrement en ligne. – Elles ont fait valoir que la mesure plongerait l’enseignement supérieur dans le chaos.

Pour rappel : – L’administration Trump a annoncé lundi qu’elle n’autoriserait pas les étudiants et élèves étrangers à rester aux Etats-Unis si leur université ou école décidait de proposer des cours uniquement en ligne à la rentrée de septembre. – Le gouvernement américain ne « donnera pas de visas aux étudiants inscrits dans des programmes intégralement en ligne à l’automne et les gardes-frontières ne les laisseront pas entrer sur le territoire », a annoncé la police de l’immigration et des douanes (ICE) dans un communiqué.

En résumé, les étudiants étrangers dont les campus ne rouvriront pas pour le semestre d’automne seront tenus de retourner dans leur pays d’origine, car leurs visas ne seront plus considérés comme valides.
IMPORTANT : Si vous êtes étudiant non-américain déjà présent sur le territoire américain, le communiqué précise : « ils doivent quitter le pays ou prendre d’autres mesures – comme s’inscrire dans une école proposant des cours « en présentiel sur site» pour conserver leur statut légal. Sinon, ils pourront « faire face à une procédure d’expulsion ».

– Quand les établissements opteront pour un modèle « hybride », avec des cours en ligne et des enseignements sur site, ils devront certifier que leurs étudiants étrangers sont bien inscrits pour des sessions assurées sur leur campus, afin que ceux-ci conservent leur droit de séjour. 
– Ces dérogations ne seront pas autorisées pour les études d’anglais ou pour des formations professionnelles.
– Les étudiants ont seulement 10 jours pour notifier le programme s’ils passent à des cours en ligne uniquement et probablement commencer le processus de quitter les États-Unis.
– La mesure concerne les visas F1 (pour des études académiques) ou M1 (pour des formations professionnelles)

Views of diverse students leaving class outside the Northwest Labs in Autumn. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer

Les cartes vertes et de nombreux visas de travail pour les Etats-Unis gelés jusqu’en 2021

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

Et aussi – Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak

15 chaines de podcasts pour progresser en anglais

Le podcast est un format en plein boom. Pourquoi ? C’est simple: rien à regarder, rien à lire, on n’a qu’à écouter, et on peut les picorer au fil de nos envies car en plus ils sont gratuits.

Les podcasts pour apprendre une langue ont les mêmes avantages : se former facilement, où que l’on soit et éventuellement en faisant autre chose en même temps. Régalez-vous donc, dans votre voiture, dans les transports en commun, en faisant votre jogging, en sortant votre lessive, en cuisinant, ou tout ce que vous voudrez !

Et par rapport aux autres outils d’apprentissage linguistique qui manquent souvent de contenus audio, les podcasts ont le mérite de vous faire travailler la compréhension orale, et d’écouter différents accents anglophones.

L’inconvénient ? Un podcast est facile à enregistrer et tout le monde peut créer son contenu et le proposer gratuitement sur une plateformes hébergeant des podcasts. Le résultat n’est donc pas toujours de grande qualité, beaucoup de séries fleurissent pour aussitôt être arrêtées, et il n’est pas évident de repérer ceux qui vous rendront accro et vous feront donc réellement progresser. Pour vous aider, nous avons sélectionné 15 chaines de podcasts vraiment intéressantes, pour tous les niveaux. SUITE

USA – Information About the Presidential Proclamation Suspending Entry of Certain Immigrants

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 proclamation.

WHO:
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

WHAT:
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.

WHERE:
As noted above, this affects only those who are outside of the United States.

WHEN:
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.

  • SOURCE – https://bromberglaw.com/

Spelman College

Spelman earned several noteworthy spots on @USNews’s 2020 list of college rankings: No. 1: HBCU for the 13th year in a row No. 6: Social Mobility No. 6: Most Innovative Colleges No. 22: Best Undergrad Teaching View all of our rankings: http://bit.ly/SpelUSN20#2019atSpelman

This year, Spelman welcomed a number of esteemed guests on campus: Former First Lady Michelle Obama visited to discuss “Becoming” with Dr. Marilyn Davis’ Black Women: Developing Public Leadership Skills class; Stacey Abrams, C’95, received the 2019 Spelman Local Community Service Award; and artist Amy Sherald’s exhibition was on view at Spelman Museum from January – May 2019. The community also welcomed the cast of the “Little” the movie for convocation and students enjoyed a pre-screening of Beyonce’s original Netflix film, “Homecoming.”

Sub-Saharan African Immigrants in the United States

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

Angela Okafor, who has a law degree from her home country of Nigeria and passed the New York bar exam, opened an immigration law practice three years ago.

Last month, Okafor made history in the larger community: The attorney and small-business owner became the first immigrant and black elected as a councilor in the small, overwhelmingly white city. Okafor’s election is part of a growing wave of women of color who are running for political office, and winning.

MORE