International Student & Scholar Services Announcements

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COVID-19 VACCINE REQUIREMENT & FAQs

ISSS Announcements

On June 30, 2021, the NCAA issued an interim policy allowing student athletes the opportunity to participate in Name, Image, Likeness (NIL) agreements.  For international students on nonimmigrant  visas engaged in college sports, the question remains of whether the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would consider compensated NIL arrangements as "employment," and if so, whether the student athlete's visa status permits such employment. Per federal regulations, nonimmigrants, including F-1 and J-1 visa holders, cannot work in the U.S. unless the employment is specifically authorized in the regulations.

At this time, CGPS is awaiting further guidance from DHS and the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) regarding any potential implications for how these changes may impact what is permitted under students’ current immigration status.  Until further guidance is provided, it is advised that students holding nonimmigrant visa status, including F-1 and J-1, not engage in NIL activities.  As a reminder, international students should always check with an immigration advisor at CGPS before accepting any type of employment, even volunteer opportunities.

CGPS continues to monitor the situation and is working closely with UD Athletics and other university offices to provide updates and guidance to international students as more information becomes available. If you are an international student considering an NIL agreement or have any questions as it relates to your visa status, please contact an immigration services advisor at CGPS to discuss your situation. For more information on NIL agreements and international students, please see the NAFSA website. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office at any time.

Department of Homeland Security officially withdraws the proposed rule to eliminate Duration of Status (D/S) 

July 9, 2021

On July 6, 2021, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officially withdrew its proposed rule to eliminate duration of status (D/S) for F students, J exchange visitors and their dependents. DHS received more than 32,000 comments during the proposal’s public comment period. In the withdrawal notice, DHS noted "More than 99 percent of commenters opposed the proposed rule with many commenters specifically requesting that DHS withdraw the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM)."  With the proposed rule officially withdrawn, the current rules on duration of status for F and J visa holders will remain in place. 


CGPS continues to monitor the situation very closely and will provide updates and guidance as new information becomes available. For more information, please see the NAFSA website. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office at any time.

Proposal to Replace Duration of Status

October 12, 2020

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has proposed a regulation to replace the current “duration of status” (D/S) policy for international students (F visa), exchange visitors (J visa), representatives of foreign information media (I visa), and their dependents. The proposed policy would set a specific expiration date for their authorized period of stay. If the proposal becomes final, F and J visa holders would be required to file an extension with USCIS and complete biometrics screening (instead of an I-20/DS-2019 extension through SEVIS with their current institution) in the event they need more time to complete their program.

The proposed policy is an uninvited change to the duration of status regulations as it might impact the educational experience of international students and scholars in the U.S. and create significant compliance and administrative responsibilities for their host institutions and program sponsors. OISS is following guidance from NAFSA: Association of International Educators, who is coordinating efforts nationally to advocate against the implementation of this complicated and burdensome policy proposal. The NAFSAduration of status page provides more information on advocacy efforts and ways you can get involved, including guidance on how to submit public comment to DHS. Public comments on the proposed policy can be submitted until October 26, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Under the proposed policy, international students and scholars would be admitted for the length of time indicated by the program end date noted on their Form I-20 or DS-2019 with the following admission periods:

F-1 and J-1 visas holders: Most F-1 and J-1s and their dependents would be admitted for up to the length of the program, including periods of practical training, not to exceed four years, plus a 30-day grace period. The following criteria, however, would limit admissions of up to two years:

  • Those born in or are citizens of countries listed on the State Sponsor of Terrorism List.
  • Citizens of countries where there is a 10% or more overstay rate for students and exchange visitors.
  • U.S. national interest. "If the DHS Secretary determines that U.S. national interests warrant limiting admission to a 2-year maximum period in certain circumstances, then it would publish an FRN to give the public advance notice of such circumstance.”
  • Those attending unaccredited institutions (F-1 only) or
  • Institutions not in good standing with not enrolled in E-Verify; and
  • Those enrolled in language training programs.

If the proposal is finalized, it would also result in a change to current policies related to unlawful presence for F, J and I visa holders. The proposed policy would make F, J and I visa holders subject to the accrual of unlawful presence should they fail to maintain their status or overstay their period of admission in the U.S. Currently, F, J and I visa holders only start to accrue unlawful presence after an immigration judge determines a status violation, or USCIS determines a status violation in the adjudication of an application/petition.

In addition to the removal of the duration of status (D/S), the proposal also seeks to make the following changes:

  • Reducing the F-1 "grace period" from 60 days to 30 days.
  • Limit on aggregate ESL study. F-1 students in a language training program would be restricted to a lifetime aggregate of 24 months of language study, which would include breaks and an annual vacation.
  • Limit on "reverse matriculation" by F-1 students. "An F-1 student who has completed a program at one educational level would be allowed to change to a lower educational level one time while in F-1 status."
  • Limit on new F-1 programs at the same educational level. Any student who has completed a program at one educational level would be allowed to change to another program at the same educational level no more than two additional times while in F-1 status, for a total of three programs for the lifetime of the student.

The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on September 25, 2020.

OISS continues to monitor the situation very closely and will provide updates and guidance to UD international students and scholars as new information becomes available. If you have any questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact OISS at any time.

Visit this page for recent updates and guidance on new Presidential executive orders relating to your immigration status at UD and in the US. CGPS is working with our campus partners and professional associations to assess this information as it continues to develop. We will make sure to communicate accurate guidance to the UD international community as soon as possible.

We are also here to remind you that, as always, you are among friends at a University that respects and truly values the diversity and unique presence that you and others bring. We remain passionately committed to the belief that our humanity brings us together and that our differences make us stronger. UD President Assanis expressed these sentiments in response to the January 2017 Executive Order here.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact CGPS for assistance.

Update: Department of State expands National Interest Exception (NIE) validity for COVID-19 travel ban. 

July 8, 2021

On June, 29, 2021 the Department of State announced it is expanding the validity of national interest exceptions (NIEs) granted under the regional COVID-19 travel bans. NIEs will be valid for 12 months from the date of approval and for multiple entries, as long as they are used for the purpose under which they were granted. Please note that the policy remains that F-1 students are automatically granted NIEs who have been present in Brazil, China, India, Iran or South Africa for programs that begin on or after August 1, 2021. For F-1 students that meet the August 1,2021 or later program criteria, they do not need to obtain NIEs in advance from a consular section. 


If you have any questions, please contact an immigration services advisor at CGPS for further guidance. Additional information on travel, visa and entry requirements is available on the NAFSA website.

Presidential Proclamation for COVID-19 Travel Ban adds India; Certain exceptions to the ban for India, China, Iran, Brazil, and South Africa have been updated

May 14, 2021

On April 30, 2021, President Biden signed a proclamation effective May 4, 2021, which bars entry of travelers coming from India. This same type of travel ban is already in effect for Brazil, China, Iran, Ireland, countries in the European Schengen Area, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. Starting at 12:01 am EDT on May 4, 2021, foreign nationals who have been physically present in India within 14 days of travel to the United States will be barred from entry, unless they qualify for an exception.  

Please note that the U.S. Department of State has determined that the following individuals are eligible for a National Interest Exception (NIE) to travel while the ban remains in place:

  • Students and certain academics covered by exchange visitor programs. Students subject to these geographic COVID proclamations due to their presence in India, China, Iran, Brazil, or South Africa, may qualify for a National Interest Exception only if their academic program, including optional practical training (OPT), begins August 1, 2021 or later. Students with valid F-1 and M-1 visas intending to begin or continue an academic program commencing August 1, 2021 or later do not need to contact an embassy or consulate to seek an individual National Interest Exception to travel. They may enter the United States no earlier than 30 days before the start of their academic studies. 

Please note that students are still required to have a valid F-1 visa to enter the U.S. and should check the status of visa services at the nearest embassy or consulate in order to apply for a visa. 

Students and scholars on J-1 visas should contact their local consulate or embassy before traveling for more information on eligibility requirements to apply for the NIE as well as for J-1 visa appointments. For more information, please review the ISSS COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

CGPS continues to monitor the situation very closely and will provide updates and guidance as new information becomes available. If you are considering making travel plans, please contact an immigration services advisor at CGPS to discuss your situation. For more information on the COVID-19 Travel Bans, please see the NAFSA website. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office at any time.

Expired: Presidential Proclamation Suspending Entry of Certain H, J, and L Visa Holders

April 2, 2021

Presidential Proclamation 10052, which temporarily suspended the entry of certain H-1B, H-2B, J (for certain categories within the Exchange Visitor Program), and L nonimmigrants, expired on March 31, 2021.

Visa applicants who have not yet been interviewed or scheduled for an interview will have their applications prioritized and processed in accordance with existing phased resumption of visa services guidance. Visa applicants who were previously refused visas due to the restrictions of Presidential Proclamation 10052 may reapply by submitting a new application including a new fee.

While there are no visa classification-based nonimmigrant travel bans in effect, several COVID-19 public health bans remain in place and may impede visa issuance and travel. In addition, reduced operations and backlogs at U.S. consulates abroad may significantly delay scheduling of H, L and J visa appointments

For more detailed information, please see the NAFSA website and DOS: Update on Presidential Proclamation 10052. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact CGPS at any time.

President Biden Reinstates COVID-19 Travel Ban

January 25, 2021

U.S. President Biden has issued an executive order reinstating the COVID-19 travel bans in place for Brazil, European Schengen Countries, Ireland and the United Kingdom effective January 26 at 12:01 am EST. These restrictions will also be applied to travellers from South Africa, effective January 30 at 12:01 am EST.

Foreign nationals who have been physically present in one of these countries within 14 days of travel to the U.S. will be subject to the COVID-19 travel restrictions and barred from entry into the U.S., unless they qualify for an exception.

All international travelers over the age of two will be required to take a COVID-19 test prior to flying to the U.S., beginning tomorrow (January 26, 2021).

CGPS recommends ALL international travelers check with their airline for specific travel requirements prior to departure for the U.S.

CGPS continues to monitor the situation very closely and will provide updates and guidance as new information becomes available. For more information on the COVID-19 Travel Bans, please see the NAFSA website. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office at any time.

Presidential Proclamation Revoking the 2017 Travel Ban 

January 22, 2021

On January 20, 2021, President Biden issued a Presidential Proclamation revoking the 2017 Travel Ban that was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2018. International students, scholars, employees, and other foreign nationals are no longer subject to the 2017 Travel Ban:

  • North Korea and Syria: Immigrant (permanent resident) and nonimmigrant visas are no longer suspended.
  • Venezuela: Certain Venezuelan government officials and their immediate family members, as nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas are no longer suspended.
  • Iran: Immigrant and nonimmigrant visas are no longer suspended (F and J visas were always exempt).
  • Somalia: Immigrant visas are no longer suspended.
  • Yemen and Libya: Immigrants visas and nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas are no longer suspended.

For more information on travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, please see the COVID-19 Updates & FAQs.

CGPS continues to monitor the situation very closely and will provide updates and guidance as new information becomes available. For more information on the revoked Travel Ban, please see the NAFSA website. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office at any time.

National Interest Exceptions to Presidential Proclamations Suspending the Entry of Certain H, J and L Visa Holders 

August 14, 2020

On August 12, 2020 the U.S. Department of State posted guidance on National Interest Exceptions under Coronavirus Proclamations for certain H, J and L visa holders. Please note that the original proclamation does not apply to F-1 students, J-1 Students, Research Scholars, Short-Term Scholars and Specials or H-1Bs holders already in the U.S. and H-1B holders in possession of a valid visa.

Exceptions for certain travel in the national interest by nonimmigrants may include the following for H-1B applicants:

  • For travel as a public health or healthcare professional, or researcher to alleviate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, or to conduct ongoing medical research in an area with a substantial public health benefit (e.g. cancer or communicable disease research).
  • Travel supported by a request from a U.S. government agency or entity to meet critical U.S. foreign policy objectives or to satisfy treaty or contractual obligations.
  • Travel by applicants seeking to resume ongoing employment in the U.S. in the same position with the same employer and visa classification.
  • Travel by technical specialists, senior level managers, and other workers whose travel is necessary to facilitate the immediate and continued economic recovery of the U.S. Consular officers may determine that an H-1B applicant falls into this category when at least two of the following five indicators are present:

    1. The petitioning employer has a continued need for the services or labor to be performed by the H-1B nonimmigrant in the U.S. Labor Condition Applications (LCAs) approved by DOL during or after July 2020 are more likely to account for the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the U.S. labor market and the petitioner’s business.

    2. The applicant’s proposed job duties or position within the petitioning company indicate the individual will provide significant and unique contributions to an employer meeting a critical infrastructure need.

    3. The wage rate paid to the H-1B applicant meaningfully exceeds the prevailing wage rate by at least 15 percent (see Part F, Questions 10 and 11 of the LCA) by at least 15 percent.

    4. The H-1B applicant’s education, training and/or experience demonstrate unusual expertise in the specialty occupation in which the applicant will be employed. For example, an H-1B applicant with a doctorate or professional degree, or many years of relevant work experience, may have such advanced expertise in the relevant occupation as to make it more likely that he or she will perform critically important work.

    5. Denial of the visa pursuant will cause financial hardship to the U.S. employer.

Please note that individual circumstances can vary, as can the interpretations of consular officials and immigration inspectors. Foreign Nationals who need advice on whether the proclamation or exceptions apply to them should contact CGPS before making any travel plans.

For more detailed information, please see the NAFSA website and DOS: National Interest Exceptions. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact CGPS at any time.

Amendment to Presidential Proclamation Impacting Employment-Based Non-Immigrants 

July 3, 2020

On June 29, 2020, the U.S. President issued an amendment to the June 24 proclamation to clarify that foreign nationals are exempt from the proclamation if they hold a valid visa in one of the restricted categories (H, J, or L) and are seeking entry to the United States pursuant to that visa.

Those holding a valid visa in another category – such as F-1 or B-1 – will not be able to obtain a new H, L or J visa while the proclamation is in force, though changes of status within the United States (including changes of status to H-1B) should not be affected.

Foreign nationals outside the United States with an expired visa may be unable to renew or obtain a new H, L or J visa without a waiver, even if they had a valid visa on the effective date of the proclamation (June 24).

At this time, CGPS does not recommend international travel for foreign nationals who are in the United States with an expired visa as they may experience difficulty or delays obtaining a new H, L or J visa.

Canadian citizens, who are generally exempt from the visa requirement, should likely be exempt from this proclamation because they are not "seeking entry pursuant" to an H, J, or L visa. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) issued a practice alert on June 24, 2020 confirming this interpretation with Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

For more information, please see the NAFSA Proclamation Suspending Entry of Certain H, J, and L Nonimmigrants.

New Presidential Proclamation Impacting Employment-Based Non-Immigrants

June 22, 2020

This is an update about the new Presidential Proclamation that goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on June 24, 2020. It suspends the entry of H-1B, H-2B, H-4, L-1, L-2, and certain J-1 visa holders who are currently outside the U.S. and do not have a visa that is valid on the effective date of this proclamation.   

This proclamation does not apply to:          

  • F-1 Students and those on OPT and STEM OPT

  • J-1 Students, Research Scholars, Professors, Short-Term Scholars, and Specialists

  • H-1B/L-1 visa holders physically present in the U.S.

  • H-1B/L-1 visa holders already in possession of a valid visa

  • TN, B-1, E-3, O-1 and other temporary work visa holders

  • Any U.S. lawful permanent resident

  • Spouses and children of U.S. citizens

Foreign nationals planning to travel outside the U.S. are encouraged to consult with CGPS before finalizing their plans. At this time, we do not know how this Proclamation will affect Canadian nationals who do not require any of the above-named visas to enter the U.S.   

You can read the full proclamation here.  

CGPS continues to monitor this developing situation very closely and will send updates as new information becomes available. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office at any time. We can be reached by phone at (302) 831-2115 or by email at oiss@udel.edu.  

New Proclamation Suspending Entry of Certain Students and Researchers from China

June 1, 2020  

This is an update about the new Presidential Proclamation that suspended entry of certain students and researchers from the People’s Republic of China into the U.S. Please know that CGPS is monitoring the developing situation very closely and will continue to send updates as more information and details are announced. If you should have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office at any time. We are here to assist you and we can be reached by phone at (302) 831-2115 or by email at oiss@udel.edu.  

The Presidential Proclamation went into effect June 1, 2020, at 12:00 p.m. EDT and remains in effect until terminated by the President of the United States.  

 

Who is Affected? 

The proclamation suspends and limits the entry of Chinese nationals on an F-1 or J-1 visa at the graduate or post-doctoral level who both: 

  1. Are outside of the United States on the effective date of this proclamation and
  2. Currently or previously receives(ed) funding from or is (was) employed by, studies(ed) at, or conducts(ed) research at or on behalf of an entity in the PRC that implements or supports the PRC’s "military-civil fusion strategy.” 
     

 Who is Not Affected? 

The proclamation provides exemptions for certain categories, including, but not limited to:  <ul class="exception       

  • Undergraduate students
  • Lawful U.S. permanent residents
  • Spouses of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents
  • Members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their spouses or children


How Will Students and Scholars in the U.S. be Affected? 

Currently, the order only covers individuals applying for entry into the U.S. The U.S. Secretary of State must consider whether to revoke the existing F or J visas of Chinese nationals in the U.S. who meet criteria 2 above. If your visa is revoked, it does not impact your current status within the U.S., but you would not be able to return to the U.S. after international travel.  


Additional Resources:  

Update from Goldblum & Pollins Immigration Law 

Update from NAFSA: Association of International Educators

U.S. Department of State Fact Sheet on Military-Civil Fusion and the People's Republic of China

CGPS continues to monitor the situation and will communicate with you as soon as updates are available. We encourage you to contact our office if you have any questions about the impact of this proclamation on your immigration status in the U.S. 

Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry as Nonimmigrants of Certain Students and Researchers from the People’s Republic of China

May 29, 2020

On May 29, 2020, President Trump signed a Presidential Proclamation suspending entry into the U.S. for F or J visas to study or conduct research at the graduate level or as a researcher “who either receives funding from or who currently is employed by, studies at, or conducts research at or on behalf of, or has been employed by, studied at, or conducted research at or on behalf of, an entity in the PRC that implements or supports the PRC’s “military-civil fusion (MCF) strategy”. This is not expected to affect other students and scholars. Undergraduate students are also exempt from this proclamation, which goes into effect on June 1, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. eastern daylight time. 

Please know that the Office for International Students & Scholars continues to monitor the situation and will communicate with you as soon as updates are available.

Find additional information from Goldblum & Pollins Immigration Law. 

If you should have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office at any time. We can be reached by phone at (302) 831-2115 or by email at oiss@udel.edu.

Presidential Proclamation Suspends Entry for a Limited Group of Green Card Applicants for 60 Days

April 23, 2020

On April 22 2020, President Trump signed a presidential proclamation to temporarily suspend the entry of certain green card applicants for 60 days, with a number of exceptions. The suspension takes effect at 11:59pm EDT on April 23, 2020 and will be in place for 60 days, with the possibility of extensions in the future.

The proclamation affects a limited group of prospective immigrants that:

  • Are outside the U.S. on April 23, 2020

  • Do not have an immigrant visa that is valid on April 23, 2020; and

  • Do not have an official travel document other than a visa (such as a transportation letter, an appropriate boarding foil, or an advance parole document).

At this time, the proclamation does not apply to international students, scholars, and foreign nationals on F, J, H, TN, O, E, and L visas. It does not affect those already holding a valid immigrant visa or similar travel document, or applicants for adjustment of status to permanent residence in the U.S., along with the following exceptions:

  • U.S. lawful permanent residents (current green card holders);

  • Foreign nationals seeking to enter on an immigrant visa as a physician, nurse or other healthcare professional, as well as their spouse and unmarried children under 21;

  • Applicants for EB-5 immigrant visas;

  • Spouses of U.S. citizens;

  • Children under 21 of U.S. citizens and prospective adoptees in the IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications;

  • Foreign nationals whose entry would further important U.S. law enforcement objectives;

  • Members of the U.S. armed forces and the spouses and children of such individuals;

  • Foreign nationals seeking to enter as Special Immigrants in the SI or SQ classification, and the spouse and children of such individuals; and

  • Foreign nationals whose entry is in the U.S. national interest.

You can read the full details of the presidential proclamation here. Additional information can be found on the NAFSA website

If you should have any questions or concerns in the coming days, please do not hesitate to contact our office at any time. We can be reached by phone at (302) 831-2115 or by email at oiss@udel.edu.

Updated: Proposed Executive Order to Temporarily Suspend Immigration

April 22, 2020

The Office for International Students and Scholars is monitoring reports following President Trump’s announcement on April 20, 2020 that an executive order will be signed to temporarily suspend U.S. immigration. In a press briefing on April 21, the President declared that the forthcoming executive order will suspend green card issuance for 60 days, with possible exceptions. At this time, it is not yet known whether the order will affect applications for adjustment of status for green card seekers in the United States, immigrant visa issuance at U.S. consulates abroad, or both. According to some reports, H-1B, L-1 and other nonimmigrant worker programs would not be immediately affected. 

OISS is following the situation closely and will update you as additional information becomes available. If you should have any questions or concerns in the coming days, please do not hesitate to contact our office at any time. We can be reached by phone at (302) 831-2115 or by email at oiss@udel.edu.

Proposed Executive Order to Temporarily Suspend Immigration

April 21, 2020

The Office for International Students and Scholars is monitoring reports following President Trump’s tweet on April 20, 2020 about signing an executive order to temporarily suspend U.S. immigration. At this time, no details of the scope, timing, or duration of the suspension had been provided. OISS is following the situation closely and will update you as additional information becomes available. 

If you should have any questions or concerns in the coming days, please do not hesitate to contact our office at any time. We can be reached by phone at (302) 831-2115 or by email at oiss@udel.edu.

Travel Ban Update: 6 Additional Countries to Be Added

January 23, 2020

Dear international students & scholars,

You may have heard in the news this morning that President Trump is planning to add 6 additional countries to the executive order relating to U.S. immigration enforcement. These countries are Belarus, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania. While these details are not yet official, we wanted to let you know that OISS is monitoring the situation carefully and will communicate with you as soon as updates are available. Until full details of this update are released, we do not know its implications.

If you should have any questions or concerns in the coming days, please do not hesitate to contact our office at any time. We can be reached by phone at (302) 831-2115 or by email at oiss@udel.edu.

As always, it is a privilege to serve you.

 

Sincerely,

Ravi Ammigan, Ph.D.

Associate Deputy Provost, UD Global

Assistant Professor, School of Education

University of Delaware

(302) 831-2115

June 26, 2018

Supreme Court Upholds Travel Ban

On Tuesday, June 26, 2018, the Supreme Court upheld the Travel Ban which restricts nationals from seven countries from entering the US. The Travel Ban includes travel limitations and restrictions unique to each country:

North Korea and Syria: Immigrant (permanent resident) and Nonimmigrant visas (including students and scholars on F and J visas) are suspended.

Venezuela: Certain Venezuelan government officials and their immediate family members, as nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas are suspended.

Iran: Immigrant and nonimmigrant visas are suspended, except valid student (F and M) and exchange visitor (J) visas. F, M, J visa holders will be subject to enhanced screening and vetting requirements.

Somalia: Immigrant visas are suspended. Additionally, visa processing of nonimmigrant visas will be subject to additional scrutiny.

Yemen and Libya: Immigrants visas and nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas are suspended.

For additional resources, please see the NAFSA Association of International Educators website. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office at any time.

April 10, 2018

A Presidential Proclamation of April 10, 2018 removed Chad from the list of countries subject to Travel Ban 3.0, after a March 20, 2018 report from the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of the Department of State, concluded "that Chad has made marked improvements in its identity-management and information-sharing practices." Chad is no longer subject to Travel Ban 3.0 effective April 13, 2018.

For additional resources, please see the NAFSA Association of International Educators website. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office at any time.

December 8, 2017

U.S. State Department to implement new Travel Ban

The State Department has announced that they will begin to fully implement the third travel ban effective December 8, 2017. The Travel Ban in effect from the Sept. 24, 2017 Proclamation includes travel limitations and restrictions unique to each country:

North Korea and Syria: Immigrant (permanent resident) and Nonimmigrant visas (including students and scholars on F and J visas) are suspended.

Venezuela: Certain Venezuelan government officials and their immediate family members, as nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas are suspended.

Iran: Immigrant and nonimmigrant visas are suspended, except valid student (F and M) and exchange visitor (J) visas. F, M, J visa holders will be subject to enhanced screening and vetting requirements.

Somalia: Immigrant visas are suspended. Additionally, visa processing of nonimmigrant visas will be subject to additional scrutiny.

Chad, Yemen and Libya: Immigrants visas and nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas are suspended.

Visas already issued will not be revoked regardless of the date of issuance. Foreign nationals from restricted countries should still be able to travel to the United States using a previously-issued valid visa, but may face increased scrutiny on entry.

As the situation remains fluid, OISS is closely monitoring the situation and will post any new updates on this page. For additional resources, please see the NAFSA Association of International Educators website. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office at any time.

December 5, 2017

Supreme Court allows administration to fully enforce new Travel Ban

On December 4, 2017, the Supreme Court issued an order allowing the Presidential Administration to implement its newest travel ban while lower courts continue to consider challenges to it. The travel ban had been partially blocked 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 US. The new Supreme Court order now allows the government to fully enforce the Travel Ban announced on Sept. 24, 2017 on all 8 countries, while appeals and further proceeding continue in the lower courts. The Supreme Court orders also mean that for now, whether a citizen of one of the 8 countries has a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the US is no longer relevant in exempting them from the travel ban.

As the situation remains fluid, OISS is closely monitoring the challenges to the travel and will post any new updates on this page. For additional resources, please see the NAFSA Association of International Educators website. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office at any time.

November 13, 2017

Travel Ban Partially in Effect

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has issued an order that will temporarily enforce the travel restrictions against certain nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen, but will exempt travelers with a bona-fide relationship to a person or entity in the United States. A bona-fide relationship includes:

Close family member in the United States, such as immediate family as well as grandparents, grandchildren, brothers/sisters-in law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

A U.S. entity, such as a sponsoring employer, where the relationship is documented, formal, and not formed for the purposes of evading the ban.

The travel ban put in place on Sept. 24, 2017 on North Korea and Venezuela continues to remain in effect.

OISS is closely monitoring the situation and will post any new updates on this page. For additional resources, please see the NAFSA Association of International Educators website and U.S. Department of State. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office at any time.

October 17, 2017

New Travel Ban Partially Blocked

On Oct. 17, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TPO) blocking the government from enforcing the newest the travel ban against foreign nationals from Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Chad and Somalia. The travel ban for North Korea and government officials from Venezuela were not included in the TPO and will remain in effect.

As the situation remains fluid, OISS is closely monitoring the challenges to the Travel Ban and will post any new updates on this page. For additional resources, please see the NAFSA Association of International Educators website. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office at any time.

September 24, 2017

On September 24, 2017 the President signed a new proclamation stating a travel ban will apply to Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen as the prior 90-day entry ban has expired. Removed from the previous ban is Sudan while North Korea, Venezuela, and Chad have been added. Also, the new ban no longer permits exemptions for foreign nationals that have a bona fide relationship with a person (such as a family member) or entity in the US. The new ban will take effect October 18th, 2017 with the following travel limitations and restrictions unique to each country:

North Korea and Syria: Immigrant (permanent resident) and Nonimmigrant visas (including students and scholars on F and J visas) are suspended.

Venezuela: Certain Venezuelan government officials and their immediate family members, as nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas are suspended.

Iran: Immigrant and nonimmigrant visas are suspended, except valid student (F and M) and exchange visitor (J) visas. F, M, J visa holders will be subject to enhanced screening and vetting requirements.

Somalia: Immigrant visas are suspended. Additionally, visa processing of nonimmigrant visas will be subject to additional scrutiny.

Chad, Yemen and Libya: Immigrants visas and nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas are suspended.

 

Please note that visa suspension refers to visa processing for those who are OUTSIDE of the U.S. effective October 18th, 2017. For foreign nationals already in the US, their visa status should be considered valid. It is highly recommended that students and scholars from the above countries contact OISS before making any travel plans outside the U.S.

As the situation remains fluid, OISS is closely monitoring the implementation of, and challenges to the Proclamation and will post any new updates on this page. For additional resources, please see the NAFSA Association of International Educators website and the U.S. Department of State. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office at any time.

June 27, 2017

Supreme Court allows parts of the Travel Ban to take effect

On June 26, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court partially granted the government’s Travel Ban to go into effect. The ban, however, will only apply to individuals from the six countries who DO NOT have a bona fide connection to a U.S. family member or U.S. entity.  Importantly, the court provided the following examples of individuals with bona fide connections to the U.S. who are NOT subject to the bans:

a foreign national with a close familial relationship seeking to enter the U.S. to live with or visit a family member;

 

a formal, documented relationship with a U.S. entity made in the ordinary course of business, e.g.,

  • a student admitted to a U.S. college or university,

  • a worker who accepted an offer of employment from a U.S. company

  • or a lecturer invited to address a U.S. audience;

a refugee who can credibly claim a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the U.S.

 

While students and scholars should continue to be exempt from the Travel Ban, nationals of the six restricted countries should be prepared for the possibility of lengthy security checks during the visa application process and increased scrutiny at U.S. ports of entry. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office at any time. More details can also be found on the NAFSA Association of International Educators website.

June 1, 2017

Administration asks the Supreme Court to allow implementation of the Travel Ban

On June 1, 2017, the Justice Department filed an appeal asking the Supreme Court to uphold the travel ban. The administration is asking that the Supreme Court overturn the injunctions issued by the District Courts. The government has filed:

An application for an emergency stay of the injunctions, which, if granted, would reinstitute the travel ban immediately.

 

A full appeal to overturn the lower courts’ decisions.

 

The Supreme Court will first consider the application for an emergency stay, and could make that decision within about two or three weeks. If the Court agrees to grant the request, it could reinstate the entry ban as early as this month. The Court then will decide whether to hear the government’s full appeal. If the Court accepts the full appeal, the administration is asking that it be heard at the start of the Court’s next term in October.

OISS continues to monitor the situation and will post any new updates on this page. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office at any time.

May 25, 2017

Federal Appeals Court Upholds Suspension of Travel Ban

On May 25, 2017, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld a nationwide injunction on President Trump's revised travel ban. The decision means that at this time the Travel Ban Executive Order remains suspended. Nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen can continue to apply for visas and enter the United States provided they are otherwise admissible. If the administration wants to challenge the Fourth Circuit's decision, they may petition the US Supreme Court for review. While the travel ban remains suspended, nationals of the six restricted countries should be prepared for the possibility of lengthy security checks during the visa application process and increased scrutiny at U.S. ports of entry.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office at any time. More details can also be found on the NAFSA Association of International Educators website.

April 20, 2017

"Buy American and Hire American" Executive Order

On April 18, 2017, the president signed the "Buy American and Hire American" Executive Order which directs federal agencies to propose tougher eligibility standards for the H-1B and other employment-based immigration programs. The executive order states that government agencies shall, “as soon as practicable, suggest reforms to help ensure that H-1B visas are awarded to the most-skilled or highest paid petition beneficiaries." However, the executive order does not enact any definitive change in the H-1B visa program since the proposed changes would likely require new legislation or regulations. OISS continues to monitor the situation and will post any new updates on this page.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office at any time. More details can also be found on the NAFSA Association of International Educators website.

March 15, 2017

Travel Ban Temporarily Blocked

A federal district judge in Hawaii has issued a nationwide temporary restraining order (TRO) that prohibits the U.S. government from enforcing an executive order that sought to suspend the entry of many nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and refugees from all countries. The entry suspensions were set to be implemented at 12:01am EDT on Thursday, March 16, but are now on hold.

The TRO means that foreign nationals who would have been subject to the executive order should be able to apply for visas and enter the United States provided they are otherwise admissible. However, since the situation remains highly fluid, our conservative recommendation for individuals from those six countries is to refrain from traveling outside of the United States.

OISS continues to monitor the situation and will post any new updates on this page. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office at any time.

March 6, 2017

New Travel Ban Announced

On March 6, 2017, the White House announced a new travel ban impacting nationals and citizens of six countries: IRAN, LIBYA, SOMALIA, SUDAN, SYRIA, AND YEMEN, effective as of 12:01 AM EDT on March 16, 2017. The Executive Order (EO) excludes Iraq from the original list of countries, although travelers from Iraq may experience longer delays in visa issuance.

This EO affects only those from the 6 countries who are currently outside the U.S. and do not have a valid U.S. visa.

For foreign nationals from one of the six restricted countries who are currently in the United States, traveling internationally is highly inadvisable under current circumstances. Please consult with an OISS advisor if you have any questions.

Foreign nationals who are not from one of these countries planning to travel outside of the U.S. should make sure they have the necessary travel documents and valid visa before departing from the U.S. Always check with OISS whenever in doubt.

This new EO DOES NOT APPLY to:

Lawful permanent residents of the United States (“green card” holders);

Any foreign national who has a document OTHER than a visa, valid on March 16, 2017 (or issued thereafter), that permits him or her to travel to the United States and seek entry or admission (e.g., an Advance Parole document);

Any dual national of a designated country when traveling on a passport issued by a non-designated country;

Any foreign national traveling on designated diplomatic visas; OR

Any foreign national who has been granted asylum, any refugee who has already been admitted to the United States, or any individual who has been granted withholding of removal, advance parole, or protection under the Convention Against Torture. Waivers of the travel ban may be available on a case-by-case basis.

OISS continues to monitor the situation and will post any new updates on this page. If you have any questions or concerns in the coming days, please do not hesitate to contact our office at any time.

February 13, 2017

Forum on the Executive Order-- Recordings available online

Recordings of the two-session open forum on the Executive Order can now be heard online. Session one, an information session, was led by Goldblum & Pollins' Kristen Repyneck Dennis. Session two, an academic forum, featured:

Kassra Oskooii (Political Science & International Relations)

Stuart Kaufman (Political Science & International Relations)

Ikram Masmoudi (Languages, Literatures and Cultures)

Paul Brewer (Communication)

Scott Stevens (English Language Institute)

Janica Cimo (Office for International Students & Scholars)

Kristen Repyneck Dennis (Goldblum & Pollins)

February 10, 2017
Travel ban remains lifted, but caution advised


On February 9 a Federal appeals court did uphold the decision to suspend the travel ban. Individuals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen are able to enter the U.S. We remind you that the situation continues to be highly fluid and could still change at any moment. Our conservative recommendation for individuals from these seven countries is to refrain from traveling outside of the United States. UD students and scholars who are currently outside of the United States are reminded to check in with OISS and to remain cautious when making travel plans.

For more details, please visit NAFSA's travel advisory page. As always, those with questions or concerns are welcome to contact OISS by phone at (302) 831-2115 or by email at oiss@udel.edu.

February 4, 2017
Executive Order temporarily overturned


On Friday, Feb. 3, a federal judge in Washington issued a ruling that overturned the Executive Order nationwide. While reports indicate that U.S. Customs and Border Protection have instructed airlines to board travelers as usual, not all issues surrounding the travel ban have been immediately resolved. We therefore strongly recommend against any travel outside the U.S. for individuals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen until we receive more information on the issue. USCIS has released a statement suggesting that they will resume adjudication of petitions and applications filed by or on behalf of individuals from the designated countries.

If you are a foreign national from one of the seven restricted countries and are currently in the United States, traveling internationally is highly inadvisable under current circumstances. If the Government obtains an emergency stay of the Temporary Restraining Order and the executive order is reinstated, you may be unable to return to the United States for the duration of the entry ban.

If you are a foreign national from one of the seven restricted countries and are outside the United States, contact OISS ASAP before traveling or making plans to travel to the United States. We will work with our immigration counsel to advise you accordingly. Traveling remains risky. If the Government obtains an emergency stay of the Temporary Restraining Order, the entry ban may once again be in effect when you land at a U.S. port of entry and you may not be admitted.

February 2, 2017

Important Update: No current plans to expand travel ban beyond current countries
According to the University's immigration counsel, there is no addendum, annex, or amendment now being worked on to expand visa revocations or the travel ban to countries other than those currently implicated in the Executive Order. This includes Colombia and Venezuela, which have been widely rumored to be under consideration. The Department of State and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) have confirmed that there is no information that supports such a rumor at the moment.

However, entry to the U.S. by nonimmigrant and immigrant visa holders bearing passports from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen is still barred. US citizens and lawful permanent residents are not subject.
Please contact OISS if you have any questions about travel outside the U.S.

January 30, 2017

On Friday, January 27, 2017, a Presidential executive order was signed to prohibit foreign nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen from entering the United States for 90 days. The order was put in place immediately and resulted in some level of confusion at U.S. ports of entry and abroad. The U.S. government has since provided some limited guidance on the implementation of the executive order, and federal courts have issued orders that limit the ban to some extent. Please be aware that policies are not being implemented consistently on the ground, and that the situation may change at any time.
Below is a summary of the latest updates provided by the University’s immigration counsel, Goldblum & Pollins Immigration Law, regarding the implementation of the Order for those abroad and in the United States:

  • Foreign Nationals in the U.S. from the designated countries:Refrain from traveling internationally. If emergency travel is necessary, it is recommended to consult with an immigration attorney if you plan to re-enter the US. 

  • Be aware that reports indicate that US Citizenship & Immigration Services has suspended adjudication of immigration benefits sought by individuals from the specified countries.

  • Foreign Nationals outside the U.S. from the designated
    countries:Nonimmigrant visa holders (e.g., F, J, H, O): It is likely that you will be denied boarding of flights, and may find that your visa has been revoked.

  • Visa Applicants: US Consular offices are cancelling scheduled visa interviews and issuance of visas to individuals from the designated countries.

  • Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs or Green Card holders): According to the DHS press release issued on January 29, 2017, LPRs who are nationals of the specified countries will be permitted to return to the United States. Please consult with an immigration attorney to discuss how and where to seek re-entry to the US. Expect significant delays in secondary inspection, and be mindful of your social media activity, as reports indicate Customs & Border Officers have requested to see such accounts. Returning LPRs should not automatically surrender their green cards if asked to do so. Form I-407 must be signed voluntarily. An LPR who refuses to sign Form I-407 will be issued a Notice to Appear (NTA) so that an immigration judge can determine whether they have lost their LPR status.

  • Foreign Nationals of ALL OTHER countries outside the U.S.:
    The Visa Interview Waiver Program has been immediately suspended. Previously, some visa holders were permitted to renew their visas without appearing at the U.S. Embassy for an interview. This program has now been suspended. Please note that The Visa Waiver Program is still in place as it has been.

  • Expect significant delays and changed procedures at all US Consular Offices. You should allow plenty of time for visa processing as interview wait times are expected to increase significantly. You can review the appointment and processing times at the Department of State’s website.

  • Expect that Visa Interview appointments will become more difficult to obtain, delaying travel plans and your re-entry.

  • Be aware: The list of designated countries may be expanded following review by the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security.

The Office for International Students and Scholars continues to monitor the situation regularly and will post any new updates on this page. If you have any questions or concerns in the coming days, please do not hesitate to contact our office at any time.

January 28, 2017

The new Presidential executive order that was signed yesterday imposes a temporarily ban, for a period of at least 90 days, on entry to the United States for foreign nationals from seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. While we are still assessing the complete nature of this order’s implications, we offer you with some immediate guidance below.

  • For citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen:If you are currently outside of the United States, please email OISS immediately at oiss@udel.edu to let us know your current location.

  • If you are currently in the United States, we recommend that you refrain from any international travel for the forseeable future.   

  • We also advise that you and your family members carry a valid form of identification with you at all times.

 
Please also know that the Office for International Students & Scholars continues to monitor the situation regularly and will communicate with you individually as soon as additional updates are available. If you should have any questions or concerns in the coming days, please do not hesitate to contact our office at any time.
We can be reached by phone at (302) 831-2115 or by email at oiss@udel.edu. The Center for Counseling & Student Developmentalso offers resources to those seeking support and can be reached by calling (302) 831-2141 during normal business hours.

For more information on the Executive Order, please see NAFSA's Travel Advisory.

January 27, 2017

Dear international students & scholars,

You may have heard that President Trump signed an additional executive order relating to U.S. immigration enforcement. Until full text of this order is released, we do not know its implications.

Please know that the Office for International Students & Scholars continues to monitor the situation regularly and will communicate with you as soon as updates are available.

If you should have any questions or concerns in the coming days, please do not hesitate to contact our office at any time. We can be reached by phone at (302) 831-2115 or by email at oiss@udel.edu.

As always, it is a privilege to serve you.
Sincerely,
Ravi Ammigan, Director

Please visit this page regularly for recent updates and guidance on scams targeting our international community. CGPS has developed this scam tip sheet. If you ever receive suspicious emails, phone calls or letters, please do not hesitate to contact us for assistance.

Related resources:
• Reporting immigration scams
• How to recognize a government imposter
• Information on tax phishing scams
• Social Security scams
• Video: IRS scams

June 7, 2021

Our office has been made aware by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) of a spoofing scam involving individuals using an SEVP Response Center (SRC) phone number (703-603-3400) or a Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) office phone number (757-441-6533) to target international students. Fraudulent callers are claiming to be SEVP representatives and asking students to provide their immigration information, such as their Alien Registration Number or Form I-94 (“Arrival/Departure Record”) information, or face deportation.

We are reaching out to you to alert you of this scam. If you or someone you know has received this spoof call, please report the incident to the HSI tip line. If you are unsure about the validity of a call that you have received from an SEVP official and need guidance on how to proceed, please contact our office at oiss@udel.edu or 302-831-2115 to speak to one of our immigration advisors. 

SEVP Tips:

  • NEVER divulge personal, immigration, or financial information to unknown callers.
  • SEVP officials will NEVER ask you to provide credit/debit card/gift card numbers, wire transfers, or bank routing numbers, or to make bitcoin deposits for any purpose.
  • Report all suspicious calls to the HSI tip line.
  • If you are unsure about the validity of a call, please contact an immigration advisor at CGPS for guidance.

March 18, 2021

The Delaware Division of Public Health is warning people about reports of a phone scam in which scammers are claiming to be from the State of Delaware offering the COVID-19 vaccine for a cost of $75.  This is false, as vaccines are being offered by the state for free. DPH advises people to hang up and not to provide any personal or financial info. They also encourage anyone receiving such a call to report it to the Department of Justice Consumer Protection Unit at de.gov/consumer or by phone at (800) 220-5424. Read more about the scam and find details about where and when you will be eligible to receive the vaccine on the state's COVID-19 website.

March 17, 2021

CGPS has been made aware of a scam in which a caller pretended to be from another university offering admission to the school in exchange for payment. This is a reminder to never share your personal or bank information over the phone. Universities and governments do not operate this way or demand payment over the phone. Note that scammers are able to “spoof” phone numbers in order to appear legitimate.

February 25, 2021

CGPS has been made aware of a scam in which a caller, whose caller ID shows "Financial Assis", requests that the international student complete the AR-11 Alien Change of Address form and threatened if they did not provide this information then government officers would come to the student's house to check.

As a reminder, U.S. government agencies do their business via mail and officials will never call and request personal information or money in exchange for lawful immigration status or other immigration or government services. Note that scammers are able to “spoof” phone numbers in order to appear legitimate.

December 10, 2020

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has been made aware of a spoofing scam involving individuals using the SEVP Response Center (SRC) phone numbers (703-603-3400 and 800-892-4829) and claiming to be SRC representatives. The fraudulent callers are inquiring about Form I-94 documents and asking students to provide information regarding monetary transactions.

If you are a victim of this spoof call, you are encouraged to report the incident to the HSI tip line. If you are unsure about the validity of a call from an SEVP official, please do not hesitate to contact CGPS for more information.

Things to remember:

  • SEVP officials will NEVER ask stakeholders to provide credit/debit card/gift card numbers, wire transfers, or bank routing numbers, or to make bitcoin deposits for any purpose.
  • NEVER divulge personal or financial information to unknown callers.
  • Report all suspicious calls to the HSI tip line and if you are unsure about the validity of a call from SEVP officials, please contact CGPS.

November 12, 2020

The Career Center provides several resources to help students avoid potential fraudulent or improper practices by employers. Students who are applying for or accepting any position are encouraged to be prudent and use common sense and caution throughout the application process. Students who have any concerns about a prospective employer can refer to their Fraudulent Employer & Job Posting Warning & Disclaimer webpage that provides resources and information about these topics.

November 4, 2020

CGPS has learned from the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) that there is an active scam campaign targeting international students around the country. It is reported that individual ICE imposters have been impersonating ICE Agents and are demanding money to solve a fake immigration issue. These imposters specifically target international students who have valid status. Imposters will use very convincing lingo and descriptions to falsely claim that your immigration status is in jeopardy. They make demands of money or merchandise to solve the fraudulent issue.

Please be aware that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and other U.S. government agencies do their business via mail and officials will never call and request personal information or money in exchange for lawful immigration status or other immigration or government services. Note that scammers are able to “spoof” local ICE phone numbers.

Read more from ICE about this scam.

Please do not hesitate to contact CGPS should you have any questions.

September 4, 2020

CGPS has been informed of several scams targeting international students in the U.S. and on campus this fall. Students reported receiving scam calls, emails, and social media posts related to immigration, employment and even package deliveries. In at least one scam, the caller posed as an immigration official and demanded large amounts of money using threats about the student’s visa status. Other students have reported false or misleading information about international student employment on social media.

As a reminder, U.S. government agencies do their business via mail and officials will never call and request personal information or money to be transferred to an individual. They will also never request that items or gift cards be purchased and shared.

January 15, 2020

CGPS has been informed of a scam targeting international students on campus. In at least one scam, the caller posed as an ICE agent and demanded gift cards be purchased and shared with the caller.

As a reminder, U.S. government agencies do their business via mail and officials will never call and request personal information or money to be transferred to an individual. They will also never request that items or gift cards be purchased and shared.

If you have been the victim of this or any other scam, please do not hesitate to contact CGPS for assistance.

October 29, 2019

The Department of State's Exchange Visitor Progam has seen an increasing number of phone and email scams affecting exchange visitors. These include housing and rental scams that demand that exchange visitors transfer money to a fradulent relator or landlord before they start their program. Other scams involve phone calls from alledged government representatives demanding personal information and money with threats of deportation from the U.S.

Read more about these scams:
• Housing Scams
• Imposter Scams

If any J scholars, or anyone else at UD, have been a victim of one of these scams, please contact CGPS for guidance.

October 28, 2019

CGPS has been informed of a scam targeting Taiwanese and Chinese students abroad. A fake organization is selling an online certificate course called "Neuro-Linguistic Programming" and claiming it is offered by the University of Delaware. This is not a program offered by UD.

Summer Travel Reminders:

Read email sent to international scholars

Read email sent to international students

If you are planning to travel abroad this summer, now is the time to make sure you have your immigration documents in order. Before you travel, please make sure to complete the following:  

  • Check your visa expiration date: In order to re-enter the U.S., you must have a valid visa in your passport. If your visa has expired you will need to apply for a new visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy abroad.

  • Check whether you have a valid travel signature on your I-20 or DS-2019: Travel Signatures cannot be more than one year old (six months for OPT students and J-1 short term scholars) on the date of re-entry to the U.S.

    • F-1 Students: Current SEVP guidance allows DSOs to temporarily issue electronic I-20s. Please fill out the Student Request for Travel Signature and one will be emailed or shipped depending on your preference. The emailed copy can currently be used for visa appointments and at the port of entry (airports).

    • J-1 Students: Current U.S. Department of State guidance does not permit the use of electronic DS-2019s for “formal processing” such as visa appointments or travel. Please complete the Student Request for Travel Signature and one will be mailed to your current location.

    • J-1 Scholars: If your travel signature expires before your planned date of re-entry to the U.S. please complete the Scholar Request for Travel Signature.

  • Remember to bring your most current I-20 or DS-2019: When entering the U.S., you will need to show your immigration documents, including an I-20 or DS-2019.

  • Check your passport expiration date: Please ensure that your passport will not expire sooner than six months after your re-entry date. Upon arrival to the U.S., if your passport expires in less than six months, you may be denied re-entry.
  • H-1B status holders: Prepare the following documents for entry to the U.S.:
    • Original I-797 (attached to the H-1B approval packet).
    • Photocopy of the I-129 application for H-1B.
    • Copy of your LCA (Labor Condition Application).
    • Current letter from your department indicating that you are currently employed / latest paystub.
  • Be aware of the current travel ban: The current travel ban prohibits foreign nationals that have visited certain countries or areas in the past 14 days from entering the U.S. 

    • China

    • Iran

    • European Schengen area

    • United Kingdom

    • Ireland

    • Brazil

    • South Africa 

    • India

Please note that there are certain exceptions to the ban for F-1 and J-1 visa holders. For more information on the exceptions, please see the CGPS COVID FAQs.
 

What to expect at the U.S. Consulates and re-entry into the U.S.:

  • Visa application process: If you need to renew your visa before you return to the U.S., please review the application requirements and process from the U.S. embassy or consulate in your country.

  • Plan for possible visa issuance delays at U.S. consulates: U.S. consulates overseas are busier than ever and may have reduced hours. 

  • Plan for possible delays during the visa application process: If you will apply for a new visa before returning to the U.S., be prepared for lengthier wait times and the possibility that your application will be flagged for enhanced security checks. 

  • At the U.S. port of entry, be prepared for enhanced security screening procedures: You may be subject to increased questioning about your immigration status, travel history, the purpose of your visit, background, employment and other issues. 

  • Obtain your Form I-94 arrival record: After your arrival in the U.S., please review and print your I-94 online for accuracy. Access your I-94 online.
     

For more information:

If you have any questions, regarding travel and re-entry to the U.S., please do not hesitate to contact our office

We wish you a wonderful summer break!

Update 5/17/21

Effective May 17, 2021, USCIS will temporarily suspend the in-person biometrics requirement for certain H-4, L-2, and E visa holders. The policy will remain in place through May 17, 2023, unless extended or revoked. During this time, H-4; L-2; and E-1, E-2, E-3 visa holders filing Form I-539 for an extension of stay or change of status will not be required to attend a USCIS biometrics appointment. Applicants who receive a biometrics notice before May 17, 2021 should still attend their scheduled appointment. For more information, please see the USCIS website.

New Version of Form I-539 and I-539A Plus Biometric Fee and Appointment

USCIS announced that starting March 11, 2019 it will require applicants filing Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status to use a new version of that Form, which will also require them to pay an additional $85 biometrics fee, and attend an appointment that will be scheduled at a USCIS Applicant Support Center (ACS) where biometrics such as fingerprints will be collected.

USCIS states that the agency "will publish the revised form on our website on March 11, 2019. Starting on March 11, 2019, we will only accept the revised Form I-539 with an edition date of 02/04/19. We will reject any Form I-539 with an edition date of 12/23/16 or earlier.”

The revised Form I-539 includes the following significant changes: 

  • Every co-applicant (dependent) included on the primary applicant's Form I-539 must submit and sign a separate Form I-539A. Parents or guardians may sign on behalf of children under 14 or any co-applicant who is not mentally competent to sign.

  • Every applicant and co-applicant must pay an $85 biometric services fee, except certain A, G, and NATO nonimmigrants.

  • Every applicant and co-applicant will receive a biometric services appointment notice, regardless of age, containing their individual receipt number. The biometric services appointments will be scheduled at the Application Support Center (ASC) closest to the primary applicant's address.

International students, scholars and their dependents applying for an extension of stay, reinstatement or for a change of visa status in the U.S. will be required to use the new form and complete the biometric appointment.  For more information on these changes, please see NAFSA Association of International Educators website and USCIS Form I-539. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office at any time.

May 14, 2021

On May 13, 2021, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced that it will delay the effective date of the regulation that would increase prevailing wage minimum rates for the H-1B and PERM program.  The rule which was set to take effect on May 14, 2021 has been delayed until November 14, 2022. Once (and if) it goes into effect, the rule will impact prevailing wage determinations in both the H-1B and permanent (PERM) programs for non-Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) petitions at UD.  

At this time, employers sponsoring foreign nationals as part of the H-1B or PERM program will remain subject to DOL’s current prevailing wage rules, levels and rates.  A transition period to the new wage levels will begin on January 1, 2023, with further increases on January 1, 2024, January 1, 2025, and January 1, 2026.

The Department of Labor is currently accepting comments in response to a Request for Information on sources of data and methodologies used in calculating wage levels. It is possible that DOL could make additional changes to the regulation in response to feedback and further analysis of the rule. For more information on the DOL final rule, please see the NAFSA website.

CGPS continues to monitor the situation very closely and will provide updates and guidance to UD international students, scholars and departments as new information becomes available. If you have any questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.

January 15, 2021

The Department of Labor (DOL) has revised and published a prevailing wage final rule that increases wage minimums for H-1Bs and the PERM program. The revised final rule includes a multi-year transition period to give employers time to meet the wage increases and makes accommodations for H-1B workers who are pursuing employment-based permanent residence. The final rule is effective March 15, 2021, with the first phase of prevailing wage increases set to begin on July 1, 2021.

At this time, it is expected that the final rule is likely to face challenges in court. It is also possible that the Biden Administration may pause this and other upcoming Trump Administration rules in order to review their contents and determine whether they will move forward. For more information on the final rule, please see the NAFSA website and AILA.

CGPS continues to monitor the situation very closely and will provide updates and guidance to UD international students, scholars and departments as new information becomes available. If you have any questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.

December 7, 2020

The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued guidance on how the agency will comply with the federal court orders which block implementation of the October 8, 2020 rule which significantly increased prevailing wage levels for H-1Bs and PERM. Starting December 9, employers should be able to submit Labor Condition Applications (LCAs) using the pre-October 8 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) wage data. On December 15, DOL will resume issuance of Prevailing Wage Determinations (PWDs) with the pre-October 8 OES wage data.

Employers who were issued PWDs under the now blocked rule will have through January 4, 2021 to ask DOL to review and reissue a determination using the pre-October 8 wage data. Additional information on the DOL rule is available on the NAFSA website.

CGPS continues to monitor the situation very closely and will provide updates and guidance to UD international students, scholars and departments as new information becomes available. If you have any questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.

December 2, 2020

On December 1, 2020, a federal district court set aside the fast-tracked Departments of Labor (DOL) and Homeland Security (DHS) rules that significantly increased prevailing wage levels and tightened H-1B eligibility criteria. This currently stops both rules from being enforced or implemented.

The court found that DOL and DHS did not have good cause to bypass notice and comment rulemaking procedures. While the block is effective immediately, the government is expected to appeal the decision. Additional information on the ruling is available on the NAFSA website.

CGPS continues to monitor the situation very closely and will provide updates and guidance to UD international students, scholars and departments as new information becomes available. If you have any questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.

October 8, 2020

On October 8, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) published an interim final rule on how DOL's National Prevailing Wage Center (NPWC) applies its four wage-level system to generate prevailing wage determinations. The new rule will impact prevailing wage determinations in both the H-1B and permanent (PERM) programs for non-Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) petitions at UD. While the regulation will take effect immediately, DOL will accept public comments for 30 days.

The prevailing wage rate is defined as the average wage paid to similarly employed workers in a specific occupation in the geographic area of intended employment. The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) prevailing wage is divided into four wage levels, ranging from entry level to experienced.

Under the new rule, OES prevailing wage minimums will significantly increase at all four levels. For example, under the previous rules, the Level I (entry level) wage minimum is set at the 17th percentile of the average wage for the occupation. As part of the new rule, the entry-level minimum wage will increase to the 45th percentile. The following table illustrates how the interim final rule impacts OES based prevailing wage determinations filed on or after October 8, 2020.

 

Wage Level

Previous Percentile

New Percentile

Level I 17 45
Level II 34 62
Level III 50 78
Level IV 67 95



DOL states that the rule will only apply to currently pending and future OES-based applications, including:

  • prevailing wage determination pending as of the effective date of the regulation;
  • prevailing wage determinations filed on or after the effective date of the regulation; and
  • LCAs filed on or after the effective date of the regulation where the OES survey data is used and where the employer did not obtain the PWD prior to the effective date of the regulation.

The rule will not affect previously approved NWPC prevailing wage determinations. Additional information on the new rule is available on the NAFSA website.

CGPS continues to monitor the situation very closely and will provide updates and guidance to UD international students, scholars and departments as new information becomes available. If you have any questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has announced that they will extend the guidance originally issued in  March 2020 for the 2021-2022 academic year. No changes to the original guidance have been made, thus allowing schools and students to continue to engage in distance learning beyond the regulatory limits during COVID-19.  For more information, please see the SEVP Study in the States website.  As a reminder, under the SEVP March 2020 Guidance:

  • Continuing F-1/J-1 Students: F-1 and J-1 students with active I-20/DS-2019 SEVIS records are permitted to enroll in online only courses as long as they are otherwise maintaining status.

  • New (Initial SEVIS Status) F-1/J-1 Students outside the U.S.: International students are eligible to start their academic program online while outside the U.S. but your F-1/J-1 status will not be activated until you arrive in the U.S. for in-person coursework. ISSS is required to defer your immigration record (I-20/DS-2019) until your program has a “physical presence” requirement in the U.S.

  • New (Initial SEVIS Status) F-1/J-1 entering the U.S.: You may not enter the U.S. for a program that is 100% online. You will need to enroll in at least one in-person course in order to be eligible to enter the U.S.

    • New (Initial) Graduate students on a Graduate Contract: will need to enroll in one in-person/hybrid course outside of their graduate contract to be eligible to enter the U.S.

    • New (Initial) Graduate students on Sustaining Status: Most sustaining students should already be active in SEVIS. However, if you are returning from a leave of absence and have finished all your coursework requirements, you should be permitted to enter the U.S. in sustaining status if you have research that requires your physical presence in the U.S. to complete your degree program.

For more information on how the COVID-19 March 2020 guidance relates to your program at UD, we invite you to read our list of COVID-19 ISSS Frequently Asked Questions. Our immigration advisors are available Monday - Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to schedule an appointment over Zoom. 

CGPS continues to monitor the situation very closely and will provide updates and guidance as new information becomes available. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office at any time.

March 11, 2021

Expanded 2019 Public Charge Rule No Longer in Effect

On March 9, 2021, DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced that the government will no longer defend the 2019 public charge rule.  As a result, the 1999 Interim Field Guidance on the public charge inadmissibility provision (i.e., the public charge policy that was in place before the 2019 public charge rule) is now in effect. 

As a result of the announcement, USCIS will apply the Public Charge inadmissibility statute based on the 1999 Interim Field Guidance.  Applicants for adjustment of status are no longer required to submit Form I-944, Declaration of Self Sufficiency, or any evidence or documentation required by Form I-944 when they file their Form I-485. Also, applicants and petitioners for extension of nonimmigrant stay and change of nonimmigrant status should not provide information related to the receipt of public benefits on Form I-129, Form I-539 and Form I-539A. 

CGPS continues to monitor the situation very closely and will provide updates and guidance to UD international students, scholars and departments as new information becomes available. If you have any questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.

 

September 29, 2020

USCIS Resumes Nationwide Application of Public Charge Regulation

On Sept. 11, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a decision that allows DHS to resume implementing the Public Charge Ground of Inadmissibility final rule nationwide, including in New York, Connecticut and Vermont.

Starting October 13, 2020, USCIS will reject any adjustment of status application filed without Form I-944 and related documentation. Applications for extension of stay and changes of status (including for F-1, J-1 and H-1Bs) filed on Forms I-129 and I-539 do not appear to be granted a grace period by USCIS. At this time, it is recommended that international students and scholars completing these forms should answer public benefits condition questions out of an abundance of caution.

For more information, please see the Sept. 22nd USCIS Notice and the NAFSA Public Charge Website. OISS will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates as the situation develops. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact OISS.

 

August 20, 2020

Court appeals allows DHS to implement Public Charge rule in most U.S. states

On August 12, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit partially stayed the injunction ordered on July 29, 2020, ordering that the injunction cover only the states within the second circuit: Connecticut, New York, and Vermont. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will again be permitted to implement its public charge rule in all U.S. states except for Vermont, Connecticut, and New York. Public charge is a term used to refer to a person who is primarily dependent on the government for support. Under the new public charge rule, it expands the definition of who is considered a public charge.

DHS is expected to issue guidance regarding the filing of immigration applications impacted by the new limited injunction. It is expected that these applications must again adhere to the new public charge regulation form and documentation requirements. 

Please note that this injunction does not affect the court order barring implementation of the Department of State public charge rule, which part of a separate lawsuit.

For more information, please see NAFSA: Final Rules on Public Charge. OISS will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates as the situation develops. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact OISS.

 

July 29, 2020

Injunction Blocking Implementation of Public Charge Rules

On July 29, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York issued two nationwide preliminary injunctions that block implementation and enforcement of the current USCIS and DOS public charge rules and policies during the declared national emergency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. This means that USCIS will not apply its 2019 public charge regulation to applications for adjustment of status or nonimmigrant changes or extensions of status that are adjudicated on or after July 29, 2020, the date of a federal court order blocking the agency from applying the regulation.

USCIS will issue guidance regarding the use of affected forms. In the interim, USCIS will not reject any Form I-485 on the basis of the inclusion or exclusion of Form I-944, nor Forms I-129 and I-539 based on whether Part 6, or Part 5, respectively, has been completed or left blank.

OISS will continue to monitor the situation and will post any updates on this page.

For more information, please see USCIS: Injunction of the Inadmissibility on Public Charge and NAFSA: Final Rules on Public Charge. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact OISS at any time.

 

January 31, 2020

Update on Public Charge Rule

On Monday, January 27, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may proceed with the implementation of the new public charge regulation, which will start on February 24, 2020 in all states except Illinois.

  • Foreign nationals seeking permanent residence through the adjustment of status process will be subject to significantly increased information and documentation requirements, and more intense scrutiny of their personal circumstances, if their applications are postmarked on or after February 24. They will be required to provide financial and credit documentation.

  • Nonimmigrants seeking an extension or change of status will not be subject to the full impact of the rule, but, as of February 24, must satisfy a new public charge condition to be deemed eligible for their requested immigration benefit. They will be required to disclose certain public benefits they receive or are expected to receive on or after this date.

OISS recommends that international students and scholars do not seek the public benefits referenced in the August 14, 2019 update below. If you are considering public assistance, please make an appointment with OISS so we may discuss how it may impact your immigration status.

We will continue to monitor the situation and will post any new updates on this page. For additional resources, please see the USCIS statement on the public charge rule and the NAFSA resource page.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact OISS at any time.

 

October 14, 2019

Update on Public Charge Rule

On October 11, 2019, a federal district court judge issued a nationwide preliminary injunction blocking the enforcement of the DHS public charge rule, which had been set to go into effect on October 15, 2019. The court order blocks DHS and USCIS from enforcing, applying or treating as effective the DHS public charge policy. The order also stops DHS from implementing or requiring the use of any new or updated forms (I-129, I-1539, etc.) whose submission would have been required under the Rule. If the public charge rule later goes into effect, the Rule's stated effective date of October 15, 2019 shall be replaced with a date after the injunction has ended. For more information, please see NAFSA’s Final Rules on Public Charge Determinations. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office at any time.

 

August 14, 2019

Update on Public Charge Rule

On August 14, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a final rule related to public charge in the Federal Register. The rule will not take effect until October 15, 2019. Additionally, many organizations have stated they will file lawsuits challenging the rule which could delay implementation.

Public charge is a term used to refer to a person who is primarily dependent on the government for support. The new rule expands the definition of who is considered a public charge. Under the new rule, a foreign national may be considered a public charge if he or she has received one or more certain public benefits for more than a combined 12 months within any 36-month period. Benefit programs considered for public charge are:

  • Federal, state, local or tribal cash benefits for income maintenance (including Supplemental Security Income or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families);

  • The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps);

  • Certain federal housing benefits, including Section 8 Housing Assistance or Project-based Rental Assistance; and

  • Medicaid (with some exceptions)

Also, USCIS will create a new form, Form I-944 Declaration of Self-Sufficiency that I-485 adjustment of status (green card) applicants will have to complete to provide information on receipt of public benefits. The final rule will also require USCIS to update the following forms, in addition to others, with questions about receipt of public benefits:

  • Form I-129 (H, L, O, TN, etc. petition)

  • Form I-539 (application to extend/change nonimmigrant status)

  • Form I-539A (co-applicants of I-539 principal applicants)

  • Form I-485 (adjustment of status to permanent residence)

OISS recommends that international students and scholars do not seek the above public benefits. If you are considering public assistance, please make an appointment with OISS so we may discuss how it may impact your immigration status.

We will continue to monitor the situation and will post any new updates on this page. For additional resources, please see the NAFSA Association of International Educators website and Fact Sheet: Changes to Public Charge. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office at any time.

Find everything you need to know, including free tax service offered by UD partner Sprintax on the CGPS Taxes webpage.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued a message noting that a significant increase in filings in recent weeks and facility capacity restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are causing significant delays for processing receipt notices. Please expect delays in receipt notice issuance if you have filed forms and applications with the USCIS Lockbox. For more information on the status of your case or steps you can take to decrease processing times, please follow these updates from the USCIS Lockbox.

Please take into consideration this new information about delays when filing OPT, STEM OPT, or other applications with USCIS. Additional information can be found on the NAFSA website. CGPS will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates as new information becomes available. If you have any questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.

READ OUR LATEST ISSS E-NEWS

ISSS Disclaimer: The information contained on this web site is provided as a service to international students, faculty, staff, employees, and administrators at the University of Delaware, and does not constitute legal advice on any immigration, tax, or other matter. As legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and laws are constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of official counsel. For assistance on your immigration status, we encourage you to contact an ISS advisor for specific guidance at oiss@udel.edu.

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