en Vaccine Requirement at Land or Ferry Ports of Entry Now Fully in Effect <p>In a pair of Federal Register notices published on January 24, 2022 but effective January 22, 2022, CBP announced the end of the prior "essential travel" restrictions on entry through a land or ferry port of entry at the Canadian and Mexican borders, replacing those restrictions with a vaccine requirement virtually identical to the one that governs entry through air ports of entry.</p> NAFSA Adviser's Manual 360 9f3188d3-8660-4f5d-9321-68bed47a97e7 DOS Designates Third-Country Posts for Processing F, M, J Visas for Russian Residents <p>On January 21, 2021, the Department of State announced that it had designated consular offices at "Mission Kazakhstan and U.S. embassies Belgrade and Yerevan" to accept applications from residents of Russia applying for F, M, and J visas, "due to the severely limited consular operations in Moscow." DOS also said "This designation does not prevent Russia-based F, M, and J applicants from applying at another post where they are physically present."</p> NAFSA Adviser's Manual 360 334b2509-f13e-4d9d-bb64-aa4beaff3165 New Biden-Harris Administration Immigration Policies to Attract New Talent in STEM Fields <p>On January 21, 2022, the Biden-Harris White House messaged its continuing commitment to attracting new talent in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), and that "the Departments of State and Homeland Security are announcing new actions to advance predictability and clarity for pathways for international STEM scholars, students, researchers, and experts to contribute to innovation and job creation efforts across America."</p> NAFSA Adviser's Manual 360 86efbad3-2603-4f83-867e-7d5058624d71 DHS Adds 22 Fields to STEM Designated Degree Program List <p>DHS announced that effective January 21, 2022, it will add "22 qualifying fields of study and a corresponding Department of Education Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code for each" to the DHS STEM OPT Designated Degree Program List that governs eligibility for a 24-month STEM OPT extension.</p> NAFSA Adviser's Manual 360 33e48375-5726-4e5d-8cac-9a26438809fb Comments on Revisions to Form I-129H1 Due <p>USCIS is giving the public until February 18, 2022 to comment on revised I-129H1 form and instructions. USCIS still plans to separate Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, into several individual forms, including stand-alone I-129 petitions for H-1B, TN, and O classifications. Comments on the original changes were due October 18, 2021. The new comment period is for comments on revisions to the I-129H form and instructions in response to comments from the prior notice, and the removal of elements that would have been required by the H-1B selection rule that was withdrawn on December 22, 2021.</p> NAFSA Adviser's Manual 360 ebc33785-fb05-403e-ab38-9705d882be9e Lifting of the Proclamation 10315 Southern Africa Entry Ban <p>On December 28, 2021, President Biden signed "A Proclamation on Revoking Proclamation 10315," which revokes the southern Africa COVID-19 entry ban effective 12:01 a.m. eastern standard time on December 31, 2021.</p> NAFSA Adviser's Manual 360 dcfa61bb-3296-429e-bc0e-e80267716184 DOS Proposes Sharp Increases to Visa and 212(e) Waiver Fees <p>In a December 29, 2021 proposed rule, the Department of State (DOS) proposes sharp increases to key visa and processing fees. For example, the Machine Readable Visa (MRV) fee for F-1, J-1, and other non-petition-based visas would see a 53% hike, and the MRV fee for petition-based categories such as H-1B and O visas would jump 63%. Also included in the fee hike proposal is a whopping increase of 325% for applications for a waiver of the INA 212(e) two-year home residence requirement that many J-1 exchange visitor participants are subject to. Public comments on the proposal are due by February 28, 2022.</p> NAFSA Adviser's Manual 360 2c7c4efb-d936-42cd-90f7-1d7b8a9908bf DOS Expands Visa Interview Waivers for H-1, H-3, H-4, L, O, P, and Q as Well as F, M, and Academic J Nonimmigrants <p>A December 23, 2021 DOS announcement expands visa interview waiver authority until the end of 2022 and includes H-1, H-3, H-4, L, O, P, and Q nonimmigrants in addition to F, M, and Academic J nonimmigrants.</p> NAFSA Adviser's Manual 360 d49a145b-2747-4e47-9d64-0c7e276ea2d1 DOS Restores Helpful F Student Residence Abroad Guidance to FAM <p>On December 20, 2021, DOS updated the FAM to restore helpful distinctions to the residence abroad requirement for F students. Restoration of this guidance was one of NAFSA's specific recommendations to DOS.</p> NAFSA Adviser's Manual 360 a56bb489-1d7c-491c-a615-ab5c4b9a50d3 DHS Withdraws January 8, 2021 H-1B Lottery Rule <p>Effective December 22, 2021, DHS withdrew the January 8, 2021 rule that would have replaced the current random selection process for H-1B cap-subject registrations with a system that gave preference to higher wage earners.</p> NAFSA Adviser's Manual 360 bcc1c324-7f92-46e1-aa2e-afc09db34988