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2021

USCIS Conducts Second Lottery of Previously Submitted Unselected H-1B Cap Registrations

July 29, 2021
USCIS announced that on July 28, 2021 it conducted a second random selection process on previously submitted electronic H-1B cap registrations that had not been selected in the first lottery. The H-1B petition filing period based on the July 28, 2021 random selection process will begin on August 2 and close on November 3, 2021.
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NAFSA Applauds Joint Statement of Principles on International Education

July 26, 2021
In a Joint Statement of Principles, the Departments of State and Education announced their shared commitment to promoting international education and outlined the benefits of global academic engagement for all Americans. NAFSA Executive Director and CEO, Dr. Esther D. Brimmer, described the Joint Statement of Principles as "a welcome initiative that signals an exciting advancement in rebuilding and restoring U.S. engagement with the world."
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NAFSA Asks DHS and SEVP to Grant Special Student Relief to F-1 Students From Haiti

July 22, 2021
On July 22, 2021, NAFSA Executive Director and CEO Esther D. Brimmer, DPhil, asked the Department of Homeland Security's Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) to facilitate a grant of Special Student Relief (SSR) to F-1 students from Haiti.
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CBP Extends Canada-Mexico Land Port of Entry Restrictions Through August 21, 2021

July 21, 2021
On June 22, 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will publish Federal Register notices extending through August 21, 2021 the COVID-19 entry restrictions that that allow entry through land ports of entry along the U.S.-Canada and U.S. Mexico borders for "essential travel" only.
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DHS Notice Will Establish Special Student Relief Benefits for Eligible F-1 Students from Somalia

July 21, 2021
DHS/ICE will establish Special Student Relief for Somali F-1 students in a Federal Register notice to be published on July 21, 2021, but effective September 18, 2021 through March 17, 2023. Note the future effective date! Benefits under the Somalia notice are not available before the effective date.
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USCIS Rescinds COS to F-1 "Bridge Application" Policy

July 20, 2021
Effective July 20, 2021, USCIS has eliminated its prior policy that had required applicants applying to change their status to F-1 student to file "bridge" applications while their change of status (COS) to F-1 applications were pending. NAFSA has requested elimination of the bridge application policy for years, most recently in its 2021 Recommendations to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The revised policy has been codified in a new section of the USCIS Policy Manual.
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Texas Court Enjoins Approval of New DACA Applications

July 17, 2021
On July 16, 2021, a U.S. District Court in Texas ruled that the 2012 DACA program begun by the Obama administration was unlawful, and vacated the June 15, 2012 DHS memorandum that created it. The court also issued a nationwide injunction prohibiting DHS from approving new DACA applications. However, the injunction does not affect DACA benefits already granted, or renewal of already granted DACA protection.
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Change of Physical Mailing Address at Atlanta National Processing Center Effective August 25, 2021

July 16, 2021
The physical mailing address of the Department of Labor's Atlanta National Processing Center (ANPC) will change beginning August 25, 2021, with the exception of mail associated with the processing of applications requesting permanent labor certification subject to supervised recruitment. On the Notice of Filing (NOF) that must be posted when employers file a Form ETA-9089, Application for Permanent Employment Certification, the correct new ANPC address must be used if the required 10-day posting period for a NOF commences after September 5, 2021.
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NAFSA Meets With Department of State Regarding Consular Operations

July 13, 2021
On July 12, 2021, Esther Brimmer, DPhil, NAFSA’s executive director and CEO, met with U.S. State Department Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs, Edward Ramotowski, to discuss growing concerns regarding limited visa appointment availability and processing delays affecting international students and scholars planning to arrive on U.S. campuses this fall. NAFSA members can read a meeting summary.
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DHS Notice Will Establish Special Student Relief Benefits for Eligible F-1 Students from Yemen

July 8, 2021
DHS/ICE will establish special student relief (SSR) for Yemeni F-1 students in a Federal Register notice effective September 4, 2021 until March 3, 2023. Benefits under the Yemen notice are not available before the effective date.
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