Important Immigration Updates

EXECUTIVE ORDERS, IMPLEMENTATION MEMOS, PROCLAMATIONS, FACT SHEETS AND Q&A SHEETS:

Page last updated: April 27, 2021

On April 27, 2021 the U.S. Department of State announced the National Interest Exceptions for Certain Travelers from China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, Schengen Area, United Kingdom, and Ireland.

On April 27, 2021 the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued Policy Guidance on Deference to Previous Decisions

On April 26, 2021 the U.S. Department of Homeland Security released a COVID-19:  Update on 2021-22 Academic Year Guidance bulletin.  Read the full announcement for more information.

January 13, 2021 Update

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a new order on January 12, 2021 requiring all air passengers arriving to the US from a foreign country to get tested no more than 3 days before their flight departs and to provide proof of the negative result or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 to the airline before boarding the flight. This Order will go into effect on January 26, 2021. More information about this order and frequently asked questions can be found by clicking here.

December 14, 2020 Update

A U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s SEVP spokesperson has confirmed that the SEVP COVID-19 Guidance for the Fall 2020 Term has been extended through the Spring 2021 Term. 

This means that, provided that there are no additional updates, international students who are currently in the U.S. and were in the U.S. in the F-1 immigration status as of March 9, 2020 will have the additional flexibility to enroll in any combination of in person, web conferencing or on-line courses and maintain their valid immigration status as long as they are enrolled full-time for Spring 2021.

Students who were not in the F-1 immigration status as of March 9, 2020 need to take at least one in person course for Spring 2021.

This information, based on the USDHS spokesperson statement last week that the Fall 2020 guidance will continue, updates the previous recommendation that students maintain enrollment based on the immigration regulation requirements that allow for only one online course to count towards full-time enrollment.

Additional information about this guidance can be found at: 

Any questions about this guidance can be directed to isso@unl.edu.

December 2, 2020 Update

December 2nd Update: A Federal Court has set aside the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (USDHS) rules that were resulting in higher wages and stricter interpretations of specialty occupations.  We will provide more information as we receive it but this should mean that prevailing wages for H-1Bs will return to pre-October 8, 2020 levels within a couple of days. More information can be found at the links below:

Text from the Federal Register

NAFSA Summary

September 25th Update:  Proposed Regulations for Establishing a Fixed Time Period of Admission and an Extension of Stay Procedure for Nonimmigrant Academic Students, Exchange Visitors, and Representatives of Foreign Information Media.  We are reviewing the proposed regulation and will provide updates once this review is completed.  More information can be found at the links below:

Text from the Federal Register

NAFSA Summary

July 14, 2020 Update
On July 14th the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (USDHS) rescinded the guidance and FAQs that were issued on July 6th and July 7th, 2020.   This means that we will return to the March 2020 guidance that allowed for online learning for students whether they remained in the US or left the country and for us to keep SEVIS record active provided the student registers for a full course load.  We expect that USDHS will be making an official DHS announcement soon which extends the March guidance through the Fall 2020 semester. We will continue to monitor and provide updates as this information becomes available.

 July 7, 2020 Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) announcement on new guidelines that impact F-1 international students

Message from AVC Josh Davis 7/7/2020


June 22, 2020 Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens who present a risk to the U.S. Labor Market

June 22, 2020 Proclamation

  

Suspending entry of certain Chinese graduate students and visiting scholars

On May 29, the U.S. president signed a proclamation that suspends the entry of certain F-1 and J-1 graduate students and visiting scholars from China effective June 1, 2020.

At this time, while we believe the scope of impact from this proclamation will be relatively low at UNL, there are still many unknowns regarding how this policy will be implemented. Until we are advised otherwise by the U.S. government, we will continue to process immigration documents for all F-1 and J-1 students and visiting scholars from China.

Who is NOT impacted

  • All new and continuing undergraduate students
  • All legal permanent residents
  • A spouse of a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident
  • F-1 or J-1 graduate students or visiting scholars "in a field involving information that would not contribute to the PRC’s military‑civil fusion strategy"
  • *This section of the proclamation is vague, and will be defined in the future by the U.S. Secretaries of State and Homeland Security. We do not know when they will provide further clarification. We will update this page as soon as we know more.

Who is impacted

  • New graduate F-1 or J-1 students and visiting scholars who:
    • Currently receive funding, are employed by, study at, or conduct research at or on behalf of "an entity in the PRC [People's Republic of China] that implements or supports the PRC’s 'military-civil fusion strategy'"
    • Have previously been employed at, studied at, or conducted research at or on behalf of "an entity in the PRC [People's Republic of China] that implements or supports the PRC’s 'military-civil fusion strategy'"
  • The U.S. Secretary of State shall determine if current F-1 or J-1 graduate students and visiting scholars who are in the United States and have a valid visa meet the criteria regarding involvement in "military-fusion strategy" and determine whether their visa should be revoked.

The proclamation defines "military-civil fusion strategy" as "actions by or at the behest of the PRC to acquire and divert foreign technologies, specifically critical and emerging technologies, to incorporate into and advance the PRC’s military capabilities."

We support our students and scholars from China who are here to learn from and share their knowledge with UNL. We welcome students and visiting scholars regardless of background or citizenship.

Travel Considerations

Anyone wishing to travel outside of the U.S. and needing to apply for a new visa to return should allow plenty of time for visa processing as interview wait times are expected to increase significantly or be halted altogether. We advise you to review appointment and processing times on the Department of State's website.

Additional Information and Resources

Current travel warnings

The International Student and Scholar Office (ISSO) will keep this page updated as new information becomes available. If you have any questions, please contact the ISSO for assistance at (402) 472-0324 (calls will be returned on the next business if you leave a message after hours), by e-mail at isso@unl.edu, or in person on the second floor of Seaton Hall. For emergency assistance after business hours, contact the University Operator at (402) 472-7211.

On December 4, 2017 the Supreme Court of the United States allowed the U.S. government to fully enforce the travel ban listed below. Please see this resource from NAFSA for more details on how this travel ban affects each of the countries listed.

As of September 24, 2017, President Trump issued a Proclamation pursuant to Section 2(e) of Executive order 13780 (Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States). This proclamation restricts entry for nationals of eight countries, are country-specific and tailored to the situation of each individual country: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, Somalia.

The archived text of the proclamation can be found here.

Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States

Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements