IssueNet Quarterly Summary - Winter 2020

October to December 2020

Highlighting the top issues reported through NAFSA IssueNet. Prepared by Brian Groves, Chair, Exchange Visitor Subcommittee, International Student and Scholar Regulatory Practice (ISS RP) Committee.

Top Issues

  1. USCIS experiencing continued delays in issuing I-765 receipts. USCIS has issued several communications acknowledging and addressing the delays. See NAFSA's page on the USCIS Lockbox delays for details.
  2. Many reports of missing FLC wage data due to the DOL Oct. 8, 2020 interim final rule. No reports of missing wage data after Dec. 1, 2020 court decision setting aside the rule.
  3. Some consulates continued to deny F-1 visas due to lack of notation regarding in person class, as well as use of electronic I-20s, contrary to SEVP guidance. 
  4. Confusion continued with U.S. Consulates issuing inconsistent guidance and notations on national interest exemptions to the COVID-19 travel proclamations.
  5. Some PRC national students and scholars continue to receive visa denials based on Presidential Proclamation 10043, Proclamation Suspending Entry of Chinese Students and Researchers Connected to PRC “Military-Civil Fusion Strategy."
  6. We continue to receive reports of slow issuance of 212e recommendation letters from the Dept. of State’s Waiver Review Division.

We would like to collect more examples. If you have experienced a similar issue or concern and have not yet reported it, or have a new issue to report, please do so at nafsa.org/issuenet, Report an ISS Issue.

Strength in Reporting

Here is an update of recent actions taken (and some success stories):

  1. Several court rulings impacting public charge rules were issued in November, 2020 for the latest information see NAFSA's page.
  2. Renewal visa interview waivers have been expanded so if a visa expired less than 24 months ago, a renewal can be done by mail
  3. Notably, DHS did not publish the final Duration of Status rule before the January 20, 2021 change in administration.  Please see NAFSA's page and comment letter on the proposed rule.

KCISSS Resource Section

  1. IssueNet
  2. NAFSA Coronavirus Critical Resources
  3. NAFSA Adviser's Manual 360 News Feed
  4. International Scholar Advising Network
  5. International Student Advising Network