Trump’s Administration’s Spring 2019 Agenda of Regulatory Actions – Changes to Immigration Rules and Regulations

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A few changes to immigration rules and regulations are set to be coming down the pipeline in the next few months.

On May 23, 2018, the current administration released their Spring Regulatory Agenda that included a summary of several immigration changes. Some of these changes have already been in the works and are really close to being implemented, others are still in the proposal phase and will take a few more steps before they can be fully implemented.

PLEASE NOTE: these are not current rules or regulations; they are a summary of proposals by DHS and other agencies with plans to make changes in the future. 

No changes are being implemented at the time of posting this blog.

Summary Of Proposal, Current Stage of Proposal, and Proposed Implementation Date

Establishing a Maximum Period of Authorized Stay for F-1 and Other Non-immigrants

Generally, when F-1 holders (among certain other non-immigrant visa holders) enter the U.S, they are typically not given an expiration date. Rather, their period of authorized stay is what is called “duration of status” (D/S). This means that, as long as the student remains in status somehow, they can legally remain in the country.

Now DHS, in conjunction with ICE, wants to modify that period of authorized stay from duration of status to a maximum period of stay, with options to extend. That means there will be now be an expiration date for your visa as an international student.

This Rule is still in the Proposal stages and expected implementation date is February, 2020.

View Proposal Here

Practical Training Reform 

Most international students are unable to work off campus while on F1 status, with some exceptions. Currently, these students have the option of working  for pay after the four year course through the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program. This program typically last for up to a year with the option to extend, and with certain exceptions for STEM students.

DHS, in conjunction with ICE, will propose this rule to revise the practical training options available to non-immigrant students on F and M visas.

It is unclear at this time if the intent of the revision is to widen the options that are currently available or to make the regulations more stringent.

This proposal is still in the Notice of Proposed Rule Making and time of implementation is undetermined.

View Rule Here

Fee for Registration Requirement for Petitioners Seeking To File H-1B Petitions

After DHS, in conjunction with USCIS, announced its new requirement for H-1B employers to register for the H-1B visa lottery, no fee requirements were included for the registration stage.

Now this rule proposes to include a fee requirement for the registration process. 

View Proposal Here

Collection of Biometric Data From Aliens Upon Entry To and Exit From the United States

Current regulations provide that DHS may require certain aliens to provide biometrics when entering and departing the United States. They only authorize DHS to collect biometrics from certain aliens upon departure under pilot programs at land ports and at up to 15 airports and seaports

DHS, in conjunction with CBP, is now proposing to require biometric collection from ALL immigrants at the time of entry into  the country and/or upon exit. This means that they may now require that all immigrants be photographed and possibly finger-printed, among other things.

This proposal is in the final rule stage and is expected to be implemented by July, 2019.

View Rule Here

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Fee Schedule

DHS, in conjunction with USCIS, change the fees for applying for immigration benefits. There will be a few of those that may be coming than the pipeline. 

This proposal is still in the proposal phase but expected implementation date is August, 2019.

View Proposal Here

Enhancing the Integrity of the Affidavit of Support 

The affidavit of support is required for most family-based immigrants and some employment-based intending immigrants to show that they have adequate means of financial support and are not likely to become a public charge. 

Basically, it is a contract between the sponsor and the U.S. Government, and on the affidavit the sponsor must show that they have sufficient income to maintain the intending immigrants and the rest of their household and that they will use their resources to support the immigrants as agreed if it becomes necessary.

This new proposal is DHS’s way of strengthening its permanent residency applications through marriage, and other family based benefits, in hopes of making it less fraudulent

This proposal is still in the Notice of Proposed Rule Making and time of implementation is undetermined.

View Rule Here

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