To help young and seasoned professional who advise international students and scholars in the U.S. on immigration matters, Region XI offers the assistance of experts through two regulatory ombudspersons, one specifically for issues regarding students and another for scholars.

The regulatory ombudspersons are volunteers who provide case intervention and regulatory problem solving when appropriate. Specifically, both:

  • Serve as a regulatory resource for the region and provide assistance to members on regulatory questions.
  • Provide case intervention when appropriate with USCIS Service Centers through the Get Liaison Help system.
  • Engage in USCIS stakeholder conference calls and meetings.
  • Report trends and disseminate information to the region regarding regulatory updates and the interpretation of agency practices.
  • Provide NAFSA staff with practitioner feedback on new and proposed policies, guidance, and regulations.
  • Assist with Regional Conference Planning and the Spring Immigration Workshop, with specific responsibility for government agency representation on conference panels.
  • Encourage members to report issues to NAFSA through Report an Issue to help identify trends and areas of concern that NAFSA staff can address with government agencies through liaison efforts. 

The current Region XI regulatory ombudspersons are:

Johanna Bliss, student issues
[email protected]
Amherst College

The scholar Regulatory Ombudsperson position is currently vacant. 

Also, Region XI boasts the Government Regulatory Advisory Committee (GRAC), which assists professionals with case specific questions and regulatory issues.