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Immigration Updates

The ISSO provides information about immigration policy updates and what it means to our foreign students and scholars. 

 

Cancellation of TPS for Sudan, Haiti, El Salvador and Nicaragua on Hold

update 10/9/18

US District Court of Northern California halts DHS from terminating TPS. USCIS Notice

USCIS Policy Change to Unlawful presence

update 8/9/2018

USCIS begins counting unlawful presence for those in F, J and M status. Unlawful presence will now begin from the time that a student is terminated or grace period finishes. USCIS Notice.

NEW Form I-765

UPDATE 7/18/2018 

After 9/18/18 USCIS will only accept I-765 form with edition date of 5/18/2018. Applicationswith old versions will be rejected. 

Denied USCIS Benefits Could Lead to NTAs

update 7/5/2018

Change of Status, OPT applications and other applications that are denied by USCIS could lead to applicants receiving an NTA (Notice to Appear) in immigration court.  USCIS Notice

SCOTUS Upholds Travel Ban

Update 07/02/2018

Travel Ban 3.0 now in effect for Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen and Somalia Additional information about the ban is avaialble at NAFSA.

 

Travel Ban History and previous updates

Presidential Proclamation September 24, 2017 based on EO 13780 

UPDATE 12/5/2017

On December 4, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) stayed the preliminary injunctions issued by U.S. District Courts in Hawaii and Maryland that had partially blocked travel ban 3.0 for citizens of Chad, Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia who could demonstrate they had a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States. The SCOTUS decision allows the government to fully enforce Travel Ban 3.0 on all 8 countries within the original scope of Proclamation 9645 while appeals are pending. It also means that for now, whether a citizen of one of the 8 countries has a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States is no longer relevant in determining if he or she is subject to the travel ban. (from NAFSA)

UPDATE 10/19/2017

On 10/17/2017 U.S. District Court of Hawai'i issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)(PDF) barring enforcement of the travel ban on citizens from Chad, Ira, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.  North Korea and Venezuela (specific citizens) are not included in the TRO.

On 10/17/2017 U.S. District Court of Maryland issued a Preliminary Injunction of the travel ban.  

UPDATE 9/24/2017

The countries subject to the Proclamation are:

  1. Chad
  2. Iran
  3. Libya
  4. North Korea
  5. Syria
  6. Venezuela
  7. Yemen
  8. Somalia

5 countries from the original EO are still on the list and three new countires have been.  Each country has it's own specific exemptions, exceptions and waivers.  Please read the White House FAQ, DHS Fact Sheet and Department fo State Travel Alert for more information about each country's requirements. 

Text of Proclamation

White House FAQ

Department of Homeland Security Fact Sheet

FAQ About Executive Order

FAQ ABOUT  EXECUTIVE ORDER

How does executive order affect my immigration status in the US?

This executive order does not affection the immigration status of those who have already entered the U.S.  Change to immigration and other U.S. law takes time.  The ISSO will be closely developments will let students know of upcoming changes. 

Executive orders such as the one recently issued on January 27, can be signed by the U.S. president at any time.  We will let students know through our website, email, etc. of any sudden changes.  Please be sure to read emails sent by the ISSO.

Can I travel outside the US, and renew my visa?  

At this time of immigration uncertainty, we recommend that noncitizen and non-permanent resident students and others carefully consider travel outside the United States.  If you need to travel and/or renew your visa, please meet with an ISSO advisor to any issues or questions you may have.  

Can I travel outside the US, and renew my visa?  What if it’s an emergency?
 

At this time of immigration uncertainty, we recommend that non-citizen and non-permanent resident students and others carefully consider travel outside the U.S.  If you need to travel and/or renew your visa, please meet with an ISSO advisor to review any issues or questions you may have.  

  Can I still apply for OPT and STEM OPT?  Will H-1B work authorization still exist?
 

While there have been many rumors and some possible new proposed legislation, at this time, nothing has changed.  We encourage students and employers to apply/file on time for immigration benefits.   We will update students if there are any changes.

Where can I find support if I have immigration concerns? Support for anxiety or stress?

Visit the ISSO with any immigration concerns or questions you may have.  For more difficult questions that our advisors cannot answer, we can and will refer you to an immigration attorney.  Our advisors have all lived abroad and understand the pressure of maintaining your legal status in another country. 

Our Counseling Center is ready to assist.  TU students can access resources through the TU Counseling Center, including individual confidential counseling appointments, groups, self-help tools, and more. TU employees and Visiting Scholars should also contact the Counseling Center or the ISSO.

What can I do if I or someone I know is the target of, or witness to, a hate crime or hate-motivated act? Where can I report an incident of harassment or violence?

If you have witnessed or experienced intimidation, harassment, or violence against individuals and targeted groups you can file a Hate Crimes & Bias Incident Report Form. with the Office of Inclusion or Campus Police  These crimes are taken very seriously by Towson. #NotatTU “Hate has no place on our campus”.

How can I avoid causing any problems with my ability to stay in the US?

It is important to maintain your F-1 status or other status that you currently hold in the U.S.  We strongly recommend that you not break any federal (US), state (Maryland, Virginia, etc) or local (Baltimore City and County, etc) laws.  Even being accused may have repercussions. 

Many people across the U.S. are participating in demonstrations on university campuses and other locations.  Please be aware that being arrested and/or convicted for any crime that involves violence, drugs, or alcohol can have very serious and long-lasting impacts on current and future immigration status.  While some states now permit the recreational or medicinal use of marijuana, it is still an illegal controlled substance at the federal level. Moreover, Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs can result in fines, jail time, visa cancellation, or deportation.

If you are arrested or have any legal concerns, please contact ISSO immediately. Do not sign anything until you are able to speak with a lawyer.  We urge you to seek advice from a qualified immigration attorney.

Timeline, Information, and summary of EO 13780 signed on 03/06/17 with an effective date of 03/16/17itle

Timeline of injunctions and appeals

06/26/2017 U.S. SUPREME COURT (SCOTUS) PARTIALLY GRANTS STAY TO LOWER COURT INJUNCTIONS ON 90 DAY TRAVEL BAN WITH AN IMPORTANT EXCEPTION

SCOTUS states that those with "a credible claim of bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States", are exempt from the 90-day ban:

  • Students who have been admitted to a U.S. school (e.g. F-1 and J-1 students) are exempt from ban
  • Workers who accept an offer of employment from a U.S. employer (e.g. H-1B, O-1, TN work visa holders) are exempt from ban
  • Lecturers invited to address an American audience (e.g. B-1 visa) are exempt from ban

Department of State frequently asked questions (FAQs) on implementation of EO 13780 after SCOTUS ruling.

Department of Homeland Security frequently asked questions (FAQs) on implementation of EO 13780 after SCOTUS ruling.

05/25/2017 FOURTH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS UPHOLDS MD CIRCUIT EO PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION.

03/30/2017 EXECUTIVE OFFICE APPEALS U.S. DISTRICT COURT OF HAWAI'I COURT ORDER

03/29/2017 U.S. DISTRICT COURT IN HAWAI'I ISSUED PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION

Temporary restraining order (valid for only 14 days) now converted to preliminary injunction which continues to block enforcement of 90 day entry bar and 120 day refugee entry bar. 

03/24/2017 U.S. DISTRICT COURT IN VIRGINIA UPHOLDS EO

Temporary order from Maryland and Hawaii still overrides ruling and TRO is still in affect.

03/16/2017 U.S. DISTRICT COURT IN MARYLAND ISSUED TEMPORARY INJUNCTION

injunction affects 90-day entry bar only.

03/15/2017 U.S. DISTRICT COURT IN HAWAI'I ISSUED A NATIONWIDE TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER (TRO)

TRO affects 90-day entry bar and 120-day refugee entry.  Other parts of EO are still intact. 

 

3/6/2017 EXECUTIVE ORDER 13780 ISSUED

Department of Homeland Security Fact Sheet and Q & A on Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry to the United States Executive Order. 

A summary from NAFSA (Association of International Educators) of EO 13780: 

The new Executive Order is effective for 90 days starting on March 16, 2017 at 12:01 a.m. eastern time (10 days after the Executive Order was signed). This calculates until June 13 or 14, 2017, depending on whether you count the first and last days of the 90-day period.

The new Executive Order affects citizens of six of the seven countries that had been selected in the prior 90-day bar. Iraq has been removed from the list of countries in the new executive order.

  1. Iran
  2. Libya
  3. Somalia
  4. Sudan
  5. Syria
  6. Yemen

An Executive Order FAQ states,

"Per the Executive Order, foreign nationals from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen, who are outside the United States and who did not have a valid visa at 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on January 27, 2017, and do not have a valid visa on the effective date of this order are not eligible to enter the United States while the temporary suspension remains in effect. Thus any individual who had a valid visa either on January 27, 2017 (prior to 5:00 PM) or holds a valid visa on the effective date of the Executive Order is not barred from entry."

The new Executive Order entry bar does NOT apply to the following individuals who are citizens of one of the 6 countries:

  • U.S. lawful permanent residents in possession of a valid Form I-551 (green card) or temporary I-551 stamp
  • Holders of a currently valid immigrant or nonimmigrant visa that was either:
  • Approved prior to 5:00 eastern standard time January 27, 2017, or
  • Is valid as of March 6, 2017
  • Dual citizens of one of the 6 countries and the United States (such individuals are always considered U.S. citizens)
  • Dual citizens of one of the 6 countries and another country not on the list of 6, who will enter the United States on the basis of a valid passport issued by the country not on the list of 6

Individuals who are citizens of one of the 6 countries who do not fall within one of the above-listed exceptions, would be subject to the new entry bar.

UPDATES TO 01/27/2017 EXECUTIVE ORDER 

Information about 01/27/2017 Executive Order

03/06/2017 Executive Order Issued on 01/27/2017 will be revoked on 03/16/2017

02/27/2017 MOTION TO STAY DENIED

02/24/2017 - US GOVERNMENT MOTION TO STAY

02/09/2017 - US COURT FOR 9TH CIRCUIT UPHOLDS TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER.  CITIZENS FROM AFFECTED COUNTRIES MAY CONTINUE TO COME TO THE U.S.

02/07/2017 - US COURT FOR 9TH CIRCUIT HEARS ARGUMENTS.

02/04/2017 - WHITE HOUSE APPEALS TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER.

02/03/2017 - BASED ON LAWSUIT BROUGHT BY STATE OF WASHINGTON (LATER JOINED BY STATE OF MINNESOTA), SECTIONS OF EXECUTIVE ORDER TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED

Temporary Restraining Order issued by U.S. District Court.  Those with valid visas may enter the U.S. and refugees will also be allowed to enter.  Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has been ordered to process entry for citizens from the seven affected countries with valid visas; United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will continue processing applications submitted to the office.  The restraining order did not cover other sections of the order pertaining to required visa interviews for certain groups and requirements for foreign governments to provide information to DHS. 

02/02/2017 MARYLAND OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL (OAG) GUIDANCE ON WHITE HOUSE EXECUTIVE ORDER - "PROTECTING THE NATION FROM FOREIGN TERRORIST ENTRY TO THE UNITED STATES"

Summary of 01/27/2017 Executive Order President Trump’s January 27, 2017 Executive Order temporarily bans entry into the United States of foreign nationals from Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Libya and Yemen, including those with valid visas or green cards (lawful permanent residents). Its key provisions include the following:

  • Suspends, for 90 days from the date of the Order, entry into the United States of aliens from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen while the U.S. Department of Homeland Security develops more robust “vetting procedures” for visa issuance, but states that the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may, on a case-by-case basis, and when in the national interest, issue visas or other immigration benefits to nationals of those countries.
  • Suspends, for 120 days from the date of the Order, the admission of refugees to the United States while federal agencies review the refugee application and admission process to determine whether additional procedures are necessary to protect the security and welfare of the United States, but states that the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may, on a case-by-case basis, and when in the national interest (including when an individual in a religious minority faces persecution, or when admission of certain individuals would be consistent with a preexisting international agreement or when a person in transit would face undue hardship) admit as refugees certain individuals, if it would not pose a risk to security and welfare of the United States.
  • Suspends indefinitely the entry into the United States of aliens from Syria as refugees until the President has “determined that sufficient changes have been made” to the refugee application and admission process to ensure that admission of Syrian refugees is “consistent with the national interest.”
  • Limits the entry of refugees during FY 2017 to 50,000 (about half of those entering in FY 2016)

The January 27, 2017 Executive Order has no direct impact on citizens of those countries who are currently in the United States and do not plan to travel outside the country. But those who do plan to leave the United States may face one of the following scenarios:

  1. they may not be permitted to board a plane to return to the United States;
  2. they may be able to return to the U.S. but may be detained temporarily when they arrive in the U.S.; or
  3. they may be able to board a plane to return to the U.S. but may be detained and not permitted entry when they arrive in the U.S.

1/29/2017 - U.S. LEGAL PERMANENT RESIDENTS FROM 7 DESIGNATED COUNTRIES NO LONGER BARRED

Department of Homeland Security issues statement that the "entry of lawful permanent residents [is] in the national interest"

TU Response to travel ban 

TU President Schatzel's Message on Recent U.S. Immigration Guidance

1/29/2017

President Schatzel's statement reaffirms Towson University's commitment to a welcoming and diverse campus community. 

ISSO Statement About 1/27/2017 Executive Order

1/29/2017

On Friday January 27, 2017, President Trump announced new restrictions on immigration to the United States by citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.  The Executive Order has been both confusing and disturbing and created much concern for our students and the TU community.

Students should know that the International Student and Scholar Office (ISSO) is committed to embracing and serving all members of our community, ...(Read More (PDF)) 

USCIS Reminder about OPT

update 5/23/2018

USCIS posted a reminder about OPT automatic termination when students transfer or begin a new educational level.  USCIS Notice.

SEVP Broadcast message

update 5/22/2018

On 05/18/18, SEVP sent a message to all students on OPT about Volunteering during OPT and about the 90 day unemployment rule.  

 

Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

 

UPDATE 5/9/2018

DHS has terminated TPS designation for Honduras.  End date will be 01/05/2020. Current Honduran TPS holders should prepare to adjust to a new immigration status or prepare documents to return home. Full DHS notice

UPDATE 4/30/2018

DHS has terminated TPS designation for Nepal.  End date will be 06/24/2019. Current Nepali TPS holders should prepare to adjust to a new immigration status, if eligible return to previous status (e.g. F-1) or prepare documents to return home. Full DHS notice

UPDATE 11/27/2017

DHS has terminated TPS designation for Haiti.  End date will be 7/22/2019. Current Haitian TPS holders should prepare to adjust to a new immigration status or prepare documents to return home. Full DHS notice

11/6/2017 TPS FOR NICARAGUA TERMINATED

DHS Delayed Effective date TPS will end officially on 1/5/2019. Current Nicaraguan TPS holders should prepare to adjust to a new immigration status or prepare documents to return home. Full DHS notice

9/18/17 TPS FOR SUDAN TO TERMINATE 11/2018

9/18/17 TPS FOR SOUTH SUDAN EXTENDED TO 5/2/19

05/24/2017 TEMPORARY PROTECTED STATUS (TPS) FOR HAITIANS EXTENDED TO 01/22/2018

DHS has extended TPS for a limited six month period.  DHS Secretary will review by end of 2017. Current Haitian TPS holders must re-register by July 24 and prepare to adjust to a new immigration status or prepare documents to return to Haiti. Full DHS notice. Register as soon as possible.

05/21/2017 TPS FOR GUINEA, LIBERIA AND SIERRA LEONE TERMINATED.

Full DHS Notice. 

EXPIRED TPS UPDATES

Expired Re-registration periods

update 6/5/2018

DHS has set re-registration period for Honduras. 06/05/2018-08/06/2018. USCIS Notice.

Update 5/23/2018

DHS has set re-registration period for Nepal. 05/22/18-07/23/18. USCIS Notice.

UPDATE 3/5/2018

DHS announced 60-day re-registration period for Syria TPS 3/5/18-5/4/18

UPDATE 1/19/2018

DHS announced 60-day re-registration period for Haitian and El Salvadorean TPS 1/18/18 - 3/19/18.

UPDATE 12/20/2017

DHS has extended Honduras TPS through 7/5/2018. Re-registration period 12/15/2017-02/13/2018. 

 


USCIS to Use Secure Mail Delivery

Update 4/30/2018

USCIS will be phasing in the use of USPS secure mail delivery to send Permanent Resident cards, EAD (Employment Authorization) cards and travel Documents. Applicants will need to present photo ID to receive cards.. USCIS Notice.

Updates to STEM OPT employer requirements

update 4/24/2018

USCIS is taking amore severe interpretation of STEM OPT employer-employee relationship and third party placements.  Students completing I-983 should review new requirements. USCIS Notice.

Undeliveareable Immigration documents to be destroyed

Update 4/4/2018

USCIS announced on 4/2/18 that all Permanent Resident cards, EAD (Employment Authorization) cards and travel Documents returned to USCIS for being undeliverable will be destroyed in 60 business days. USCIS notice

 

SEVP Portal

Update 3/15/18

Students on OPT and STEM OPT may now update some of their employment and contact information online through the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) Portal.  Towson students on OPT and STEM OPT will receive an email with additional information. SEVP has created a help center to assistant students.  The Portal will go live on Friday March 23.

SSR for F-1 Syrians extended

update 3/15/2018

Special Student Relief for F-1 students from Syria has been extended to September 30, 2019. DHS announcement 

Change of Status and Bridge Applications

Update 3/9/18

USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) has changed policies affecting current students who wish to change to F-1 Status. Please contact the ISSO () for more information.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) information about applying for DACA. 


update 9/05/2017

DHS has issued an memorandum rescinding (canceling) DACA. Please read the memorandum for more information about those currently on DACA and those with applications pending.

daca 

Timeline and information

FROM NAFSA: ASSOCIATION OF INTERNATIONAL EDUCATORS.

  • Those currently enrolled in DACA will be able to continue working until their permits expire
  • DHS will no longer accept new DACA applications filed on or after September 6, 2017
  • DHS will continue to adjudicate on a case-by-base basis any new DACA applications properly filed and received by USCIS on and before September 5, 2017
  • Eligibility for DACA extensions:
-Those whose DACA permits expire by March 5, 2018, may apply for two-year DACA extensions if they apply for the extension by October 5, 2017
-Those whose DACA permits expire on and after March 6, 2018 will not be eligible to file DACA extension applications.
-DHS will continue to adjudicate DACA extension applications properly filed and received by USCIS on and before September5, 2017, even if the current DACA approval of the applicant expires after March 5, 2018.

7/24/2017

Bi-partisan Dream Act of 2017 introduced to Senate on July 20. 2017.
S. 1615: Dream Act of 2017 - Section by Section by American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)

6/16/2017

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 06/15/2017 memorandum rescinds 11/20/14 memorandum that would have expanded work authorization for DACA recipients from two to three years.  Current policy of two-year Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is still in effect. 

1/12/2017

BRIDGE (Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy) Act- bipartisan bill introduced to the Senate.  Proposed Act would prevent the removal of DACA recipients and continue employment authorization.  Still pending. AILA layperson description of BRIDGE

Update 12/5/2017 

USCIS will only accept I-765 form with edition date of 7/17/2017. Applications with old versions will be rejected. 

Social Media Information Possibly Now Part of Immigration Record

10/17/2017

Department of Homeland Security has updated the list of information that can appear in an immigrant and nonimmigrant's immigration file.  Public has until 10/18/2017 to comment on this change. 

Tax Scam Targeting International Students Alert

05/09/2017

Internal Revenue Service tax fraud continue this year.  Scammers identify themselves as  IRS agents and may have some of your personal information.  The caller ID may look like the IRS. Please read IRS fraud notice.

Guidance on Local Enforcement of Federal Immigration Law

05/05/2017

The Maryland Attorney General's Office has provided the following guidance regarding state and local law enforcement officers' interactions with federal immigration authorities. 
Press Release (PDF)
Local Enforcement of Federal Immigration Law: Legal Guidance for Maryland State and Local Law Enforcement Officials (PDF)

Immigration Scam Alert

04/26/2017

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a immigration fraud alert (PDF). Scammers have identified themselves as “U.S. Immigration” employees and have altered their caller ID to seem like the call is coming from the DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) hotline (1-800-323-8603).

New USCIS Fees and Forms

12/23/2016

USCIS implemented new fees for many services.  Also published were updated forms.  Services that increased include Optional Practical Training authorization (Form I-765) and Reinstatement and Change of Status (Form I-539). Please make sure to submit the correct fee and the most up to date form.   

New STEM OPT Extension Rules Went Into Effect May 10 2016

05/10/2016

Students on OPT who graduated with a degree in the STEM field are now eligible for 24 month STEM OPT extension.  Apply for STEM. 

immigration alerts

Inactive or Suspended 

 

12/27/2016 NEPAL TPS AND SPECIAL STUDENT RELIEF EXTENDED 

DHS announced on October 26, 2016 that TPS for Nepal has been extended for 18 months. On December 27, 2016, Special Student Relief was also extended til June 2018.  For more information about registering please visit the USCIS website. 

3/22/18 USCIS Temporarily suspends premium processing Premium processing suspended until 9/10/18.  USCIS notice.

03/03/2017 USCIS to Suspend H-1B Premium Processing effective April 3, 2017

 

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