ICE REVERSES ITS REQUIREMENT THAT F1 and M1 STUDENTS MUST LEAVE IF THEY ARE ONLY ENROLLED IN ONLINE CLASSES
On July 15, 2020, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reached an agreement with Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to allowi F-1 and M-1 students to temporarily take all courses online during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants and Nonimmigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak
On Monday, June 22, President Trump signed a proclamation suspending entry into the United States of certain immigrants and nonimmigrants who present a risk to the U.S. labor market following the coronavirus outbreak. Effective immediately, the proclamation extends the suspension of entry for certain immigrants (Presidential Proclamation 10014) through December 31, 2020. The new restrictions imposed by the proclamation are effective at 12:01 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, June 24 and expire on December 31, 2020, unless continued by the President. U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and aliens who are or were inside the United States or those holding valid nonimmigrant or immigrant visas on the effective date are not subject to the proclamation.
The proclamation suspends entry of nonimmigrants in the following categories: H-1B, H-2B, J (for aliens participating in an intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel program) and L, along with their spouses and children. No valid visas will be revoked under the proclamation. On June 29, 2020, the White House issued an amendment and made an exemption for those individuals that had a valid visa stamp on the day of the proclamation.
Presidential Proclamation 10014 and this proclamation provide exceptions to their restrictions for certain categories of immigrants and nonimmigrants. These exceptions include: certain healthcare professionals, aliens seeking to enter the United States pursuant to an EB-5 investor visa, spouses and children (categories IR1, CR1, IR2, CR2, IR3, IH3, IR4, IH4) of U.S. citizens, members of the United States Armed Forces and any spouse and children of a member of the United States Armed Forces, aliens seeking to enter the United States pursuant to an Afghan and Iraqi Special Immigrant Visa (SQ or SI-SIV), any alien seeking to provide temporary labor services essential the United States food supply chain, and any alien whose entry would be in the national interest as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees. In addition, the proclamation explicitly states that cases involving a child applicant who may age out may be considered for a national interest exception. Please refer to the text of each proclamation for a full list of exceptions.
Routine visas services continue to be suspended at U.S. posts worldwide as a result of the COVID pandemic, but as resources allow, embassies and consulates may continue to provide emergency and mission-critical visa services. Mission-critical immigrant visa categories include applicants who may be eligible for an exception under these presidential proclamations, such as: IR/CR1, IR/CR2, IR/IH-3, IR/IH-4, SQ, SI, certain medical professionals, and certain aliens providing temporary labor or services essential to the United States food supply chain, as well as cases involving an applicant who may age out of his or her visa category. While embassies and consulates may process these types of cases, their ability to do so may be limited by local government restrictions and available resources. In addition, an applicant’s ability to travel may be impacted by local laws, regulations, and travel restrictions.
The full text of the presidential proclamations are available on the White House website at:
WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced a regulatory change to deter aliens from illegally entering the United States and from filing frivolous, fraudulent, or otherwise non-meritorious claims for asylum to obtain an employment authorization document. This rule does not alter asylum eligibility criteria in any way and will be effective on Aug. 25.
This rule stems from the April 29, 2019, Presidential Memorandum on Additional Measures to Enhance Border Security and Restore Integrity to Our Immigration System, which emphasizes that it is the policy of the United States to manage humanitarian immigration programs in a safe and orderly manner, and to promptly deny benefits to those who do not qualify.
“Safeguarding the integrity of our nation’s legal immigration system from those who seek to exploit or abuse it is key to the USCIS mission,” said Joseph Edlow, the USCIS Deputy Director for Policy. “The reforms in this rule are designed to restore integrity to the asylum system and to reduce any incentive to file an asylum application for the primary purpose of obtaining work authorization. It also deters frivolous and non-meritorious applications by eliminating employment authorization for aliens who have failed to file for asylum within one year of their last entry until USCIS or an immigration judge determines the alien’s eligibility for asylum.”
The rule prevents aliens who, absent good cause, illegally entered the United States from obtaining employment authorization based on a pending asylum application. Additionally, the rule defines new bars and denials for employment authorization, such as for certain criminal behavior; extends the wait time before an asylum applicant can apply for employment authorization from 150 days to 365 calendar days; limits the employment authorization validity period to a maximum of two years; and automatically terminates employment authorization when an applicant’s asylum denial is administratively final.
For more information read the final rule, scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on June 26.
U.S. visa News
Marty & Ellis keeps you informed of the latest news regarding visas to the United States.