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2020

DOS Updates Guidance on Confucius Institutes and J Program Sponsorship

November 20, 2020
On November 18, 2020, the Department of State (DOS) issued Guidance Directive 2020-01 - Confucius Institutes, which supersedes prior guidance on the relationship of college and university J-1 exchange programs to Confucius Institutes and associated activities at K-12 schools and universities.
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Recent H-1B Changes and Proposals

November 5, 2020
Keep track of recent Department of Homeland Security and Department of Labor rule making activity that impacts the H-1B specialty occupation category.
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NAFSA Submits Comment on DHS Proposal to Eliminate Duration of Status

October 22, 2020
On October 22, 2020, NAFSA Executive Director and CEO, Dr. Esther Brimmer, submitted a comment on behalf of NAFSA urging the Department of Homeland Security to withdraw its proposal to eliminate duration of status.
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Recent OPT Enforcement Actions

October 22, 2020
ICE announced recent OPT enforcement actions in a press release and press conference. Read about it and NAFSA's initial response on the NAFSA web site.
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NAFSA Fall 2020 Immigration Review Available for Download

October 20, 2020
The NAFSA Fall 2020 Immigration Review provides a brief overview of changes in immigration law, policy, procedure, and practice over the past 6 months. Subjects include recent policy revisions affecting F students and J exchange visitors, scholar- and employment-based updates, cross-category topics, and COVID-19-related developments. Free to NAFSA members.
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USCIS Raises Premium Processing Fee to $2500 Effective October 19, 2020

October 16, 2020
USCIS announced that effective October 19, 2020, it will it will raise the premium processing fee for Form I-140 and most Form I-129 premium processing requests from $1,440 to $2,500 as authorized by the Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act.
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H-1B Interim Final Rule Narrows Definition of Specialty Occupation

October 13, 2020
On October 8, 2020, DHS published an interim final rule (IFR) titled Strengthening the H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa Classification Program. The IFR becomes effective automatically on December 7, 2020, but there are concurrent public comment periods. Changes include revised definitions of and standards for a "specialty occupation" and "employer-employee relationship," limited petition validity for third-party placements, and other changes that make use of the H-1B category more challenging.
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DOL Interim Final Rule on NPWC Prevailing Wage Determinations

October 8, 2020
On October 8, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) published an interim final rule that changes how the DOL the National Prevailing Wage Center (NPWC) applies its four wage-level system to generate prevailing wage determinations when Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) data is used as the wage data source. This will result in higher NPWC prevailing wage determinations in each OES-based wage level. The rule is effective on the date of publication, October 8, 2020, but as an interim final rule the public is able to comment for 30 days even though the rule is already in effect. Comments are due on or before November 9, 2020.
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Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act Authorizes Expanded Premium Processing

October 1, 2020
The Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act authorizes USCIS to expand its premium processing program to include applications to change or extend nonimmigrant status and applications for employment authorization.
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Court Enjoins Enforcement of USCIS Final Fee Rule

September 30, 2020
On September 29, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued a nationwide preliminary injunction and stay on implementation of the 2020 final USCIS fee rule in its entirety. New fees and form versions associated with that rule that were to be required on October 2, 2020, as well as all other aspects of the rule, are now on hold.
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