USCIS Reminder about OPT
USCIS posted a reminder about OPT automatic termination when students transfer or
begin a new educational level. USCIS Notice.
SEVP Broadcast message
On 05/18/18, SEVP sent a message to all students on OPT about Volunteering during
OPT and about the 90 day unemployment rule.
USCIS Policy Change to Unlawful presence
Starting 8/9/18, USCIS is changing its policy on how unlawful presence is calculate
for people 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.
Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
DHS has set re-registration period for Honduras. 06/05/2018-08/06/2018. USCIS Notice.
DHS has set re-registration period for Nepal. 05/22/18-07/23/18. USCIS Notice.
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.
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.
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 Re-registration periods
DHS announced 60-day re-registration period for Syria TPS 3/5/18-5/4/18
DHS announced 60-day re-registration period for Haitian and El Salvadorean TPS 1/18/18 - 3/19/18.
DHS has extended Honduras TPS through 7/5/2018. Re-registration period 12/15/2017-02/13/2018.
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.
USCIS to Use Secure Mail Delivery
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
USCIS is taking amore severe interpretation of STEM OPT employer-employee relationship
and third party placements. Students completing I-983 should review new requirements.
Undeliveareable Immigration documents to be destroyed
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.
USCIS Temporarily suspends premium processing
Premium processing suspended until 9/10/18. USCIS notice.
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
Special Student Relief for F-1 students from Syria has been extended to September
30, 2019. DHS announcement
Change of Status and Bridge Applications
USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) has changed policies affecting current students who wish to change to F-1 Status. Please contact the ISSO
(isso AT_TOWSON) for more information.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
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.
FROM NAFSA: ASSOCIATION OF INTERNATIONAL EDUCATORS.
- Those currently enrolled in DACA will be able to continue working until their permits
- 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.
USCIS Renew your DACA information
DHS FAQs about Rescission of DACA
Letter from Attorney General Sessions to DHS Acting Secretary
President Schatzel's Statement on DACA
Letter from USM Chancellor Caret to MD Congressional Delegation regarding Support
American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) FAQs
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)
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.
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.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) information about applying for DACA.
American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) website includes detailed information about the history, criteria and government updates about
Residency Requirements for Undocumented/DACA Students
FAQs and Resources for Undocumented/DACA Students
Financial Aid for Undocumented/DACA Students
Presidential Proclamation September 24, 2017 based on EO 13780
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)
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
On 10/17/2017 U.S. District Court of Maryland issued a Preliminary Injunction of the
The countries subject to the Proclamation are:
- North Korea
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
Department of State Travel Alert
NEW Form I-765
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. 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.
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
- 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
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.
Timeline of injunctions and appeals
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
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
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
TRO affects 90-day entry bar and 120-day refugee entry. Other parts of EO are still
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
Department of State Notice on New 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.
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.
Tax Scam Targeting International Students Alert
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
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
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).
Executive Order Issued on 01/27/2017 will be revoked on 03/16/2017
Information about 01/27/2017 Executive Order
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
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:
- they may not be permitted to board a plane to return to the United States;
- they may be able to return to the U.S. but may be detained temporarily when they arrive
in the U.S.; or
- 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"
ISSO Statement About 1/27/2017 Executive Order
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))
TU President Schatzel's Message on Recent U.S. Immigration Guidance
President Schatzel's statement reaffirms Towson University's commitment to a welcoming and diverse campus community.
Additional Resources on Executive Order from Nonprofit Organizations
- NAFSA: Association of International Educators -NAFSA providing links, examples, and additional information about the executive order
- General information about the Executive Order from the American Immigration Lawyer Association (AILA)
- Search for immigration attorneys. (American Immigration Lawyer Association)
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
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.
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