Government Public Comment Opportunities On Immigration Rules And Policies

May 30, 2018

 

This page lists recent opportunities for public comment to the Departments of Homeland Security, State, and Labor on government regulations and policies. Although NAFSA frequently develops and submits comment letters, NAFSA also encourages stakeholders to use these opportunities to submit their own comments directly to the government, following their institutional policies for doing so.

Recent Public Comment Opportunities

Public Comment Opportunity Agency Description Comment Due Date NAFSA's Comment

USCIS Memo: Proposed change to how DHS counts unlawful presence for F, M, J nonimmigrants

USCIS

On May 11, 2018, USCIS proposed a fundamental change to the way it would determine how an immigration status violation might lead to a finding that an F, M, or J nonimmigrant should be subject to the 3- or 10-year reentry bar provisions of INA 212(a)(9)(B). USCIS gave the public 30 days to comment on this guidance, and will accept comments until June 11, 2018. Read the USCIS memo and NAFSA's summary.

June 11, 2018

Read NAFSA's Comments

Proposed Revisions to Form DS-160

83 FR 13807 (March 30, 2018)

 

DOS-Visas

DOS proposed adding several additional questions to the Form DS-160 nonimmigrant visa application, including the past five years of the applicant's social media identifiers, telephone numbers, email addresses, and international travel. DOS will accept public comments for 60 days, until May 29,2018.

DOS also proposed adding similar questions to the Form DS-260 application for an immigrant visa, in a separate Federal Register notice published the same day at 83 FR 13806. NAFSA and a coalition of organizations submitted a comment letter on May 24, 2018, to express concerns regarding the Department of State's proposed revisions to the nonimmigrant and immigrant visa application forms.

May 29, 2018

Read the multi-association comment letter NAFSA joined

Proposed Revisions to Form I-539

82 FR 6874 (February 15, 2018)

USCIS

USCIS asked OMB to extend the authorization of Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, with revisions. Comments were due by April 16, 2018.

 

April 16, 2018

Read NAFSA's April 12, 2018 comment letter

Proposed extension with revisions to Form I-765

82 FR 47761 (October 13, 2017)

Revised proposal

82 FR 5643 (February 6, 2018)

USCIS

USCIS asked OMB to extend the authorization of Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, with revisions. One revision is to add an "in care of" line for the applicant's mailing address, and separate fields for physical address if it differs from the mailing address. Another revision would have added questions regarding race, ethnicity, and physical description of the applicant, but those questions have since been removed.

 

December 12, 2017 (original comment period end)

March 12, 2018 (revised and reopened comment period end)

Read NAFSA's December 11, 2017 comment letter

Forms I-20 and I-17 Extension Notice

82 FR 43565 (September 18, 2017)

ICE-SEVP

ICE asked OMB to extend the authorization of Form I-20 "Certificate of Eligibility" and Form I-17 "Petition for Approval of School," without change. The notice at  82 FR 43565 (September 18, 2017) gives a 60-day public comment period that ends November 17, 2017.

November 18, 2017

 

Updates to list of information that may appear in an individual's Alien File (A-file)

82 FR 43556 (September 18, 2017)

DHS Privacy Office

On September 18, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security published a System of Records Notice (SORN) that updates the list of information that may appear in an individual's Alien File (A-file) (82 FR 43556 ). One item that is being added to the types of information an A-File might contain is "social media handles, aliases, associated identifiable information, and search results." DHS gave the public until October 18, 2017 to comment on this SORN.

October 18, 2017

 

Proposed Extension of Approval of Form DS-5535

DOS-CA

On August 3, 2017, DOS published a Federal Register notice inviting public comment on its planned request that OMB extend approval of Form DS-5535  beyond its current emergency approval period. DOS will accept public comments for 60 days, until October 2, 2017. Form DS-5535 standardizes the collection of additional information, including social media usage, from immigrant and nonimmigrant visa applicants "who have been determined to warrant additional scrutiny in connection with terrorism or other national security-related visa ineligibilities."

October 2, 2017

 

Proposed Revisions to Form DS-2019

82 FR 33189 (Wednesday, July 19, 2017)

DOS-EVP

DOS proposed revisions to Form DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status. NAFSA has requested a copy of the proposed revised form. The 60-day public comment period ends September 18, 2017.

September 18, 2017

 


DOS: Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs

82 FR 32493 (July 14, 2017)

DOS

As part of its implementation of the January 30, 2017 Executive Order 13771, “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs,” the Department of State is seeking comments and information from interested parties "to assist the Department in identifying existing regulations, paperwork requirements and other regulatory obligations that can be modified or repealed, consistent with law, to achieve meaningful burden reduction while continuing to achieve the Department's statutory obligations."

August 14, 2017

 

Proposed Form DS-5535, Supplemental Questions for Visa Applicants

82 FR 20956 (05/04/2017)

DOS-ECA

DOS proposes a new form to standardize the collection of additional information, including social media usage, from immigrant and nonimmigrant visa applicants "who have been determined to warrant additional scrutiny in connection with terrorism or other national security-related visa ineligibilities." The form will be designated as Form DS-5535, Supplemental Questions for Visa Applicants. The public has until May 18, 2017 to submit comments on the proposal. See NAFSA's web page for additional information, including the proposed form's questions and a link to the Federal Register notice communicating the proposal.

May 18, 2017

Read the Joint Comment Letter

Form DS-160 Nonimmigrant Visa Application

82 FR 20527 (05/02/2017)

DOS-ECA

DOS requested an extension of Form DS-160, the standard nonimmigrant visa application. The Federal Register notice indicates that DOS has also submitted revisions to the form. NAFSA requested a copy of the revisions on May 2, 2017 but has not yet heard back from DOS. We will post a copy of the proposed revisions as soon as we receive them.

July 3, 2018

 

Form DS-3097 J Annual Report Form

82 FR 9955 (February 8, 2017)

NAFSA page

DOS-EVP

DOS proposed a slight revision to Form DS 3097 - Annual Report J - Nonimmigrant Exchange Visitor Program. DOS will accept public comments on the planned revisions to the Annual Report form until April 10, 2017. The current and proposed Form DS-3097 appear to be virtually identical, except for revised "special instructions" requesting that sponsors submit the annual report by e-mail, instead of in hard-copy.

April 10, 2017

 

DHS Retrospective Review of Existing Regulations

81 FR 70060

DHS

DHS: Retrospective Review of Existing Regulations-A Focus on Burden Reduction; Request for Public Input. DHS "is seeking comments from the public on specific existing significant DHS regulations that the Department should consider as candidates for streamlining or repeal... Input that will be most helpful to DHS is input that identifies specific regulations and includes actionable data supporting the nomination of specific regulations for retrospective review... DHS will afford significantly greater weight to feedback that identifies specific regulations, includes actionable data, or provides viable alternatives that meet statutory obligations and regulatory objectives. Feedback that simply states that a stakeholder feels strongly that DHS should change a regulation, but does not contain specific information on how the proposed change would impact the costs and benefits of the regulation, is much less useful to DHS. DHS is looking for new information and new economic data to support any proposed changes."

November 10, 2016  

SEVP Policy Guidance S1.2: Evidentiary Requirements for Schools Not Meeting Eligibility Criteria in 8 CFR 214.3 (b) and (c)

SEVP

"This guidance interprets the evidentiary requirements for the [SEVP] certification of schools that do not meet one of the three requirements in 8 CFR 214.3(b) and (c) to guide SEVP adjudicators." NAFSA note: this covers mainly private, unaccredited schools applying for initial F-1 or M-1 designation or to update their Form I-17.

December 12, 2016

 

DHS proposes international entrepreneur rule

81 FR 60129


 

DHS

A DHS proposed rule published on August 31, 2016, would allow DHS to grant "parole" on a discretionary, case-by-case basis to entrepreneurs of start-up entities who can establish the potential of their start-up to significantly benefit the public through rapid business growth and job creation. Under the proposal, parole would be for an initial stay of up to 2 years, and could be extended for up to an additional 3 years. DHS will accept public comments on the proposal until October 17, 2016. Proposed rules do not become final until the agency receives and analyzes public comment, obtains additional OMB clearance, and then publishes a final rule with an effective date in the Federal Register.

October 17, 2016

Read NAFSA's October 13, 2016 comment letter.

SEVP Interim Final Policy Guidance S13 - Form I-20 - Student and Dependent Personal Information Fields in SEVIS

 

SEVP

On August 31, 2016, SEVP Policy Guidance S13: Form I-20 - Student and Dependent Personal Information Fields in SEVIS. The guidance focuses on the student's passport as the documentation a DSO should obtain for determining the biographical information the DSO puts into SEVIS to create and maintain a SEVIS record, and states that a copy of the student's passport should be retained in the student's file. As "interim final guidance," SEVP adjudicators are now using this document in their adjudications, but SEVP will accept public comment. To comment on the interim final guidance, e-mail SEVPFeedback@ice.dhs.gov with the title of the guidance in the subject line, by October 14, 2016.

October 14, 2016

 

DHS interim final rule on petitions for rulemaking

81 FR 47285

DHS

The Administrative Procedure Act (APA) requires that each agency give interested persons the right to petition the agency for the issuance, amendment, or repeal of a rule. 5 U.S.C. 553(e). Such a petition is known as a "rulemaking petition." DHS has published an interim final rule effective August 22, 2016 that will become the exclusive procedure for interested persons to submit a rulemaking petition to DHS and its various Bureaus such as USCIS, ICE, and CBP. As an interim final rule, it is effective on August 22, 2016, but DHS will accept public comments until September 19, 2016.

September 19, 2016

 

Proposed rule to redefine "short-term, limited-duration insurance" under the ACA

81 FR 38019

IRS, HHS, EBSA


A rule proposed jointly by the Internal Revenue Service, the Employee Benefits Security Administration, and Health and Human Services would change the standards under which an insurance plan can be considered excepted from the Affordable Care Act as short-term, limited-duration insurance. Under the proposal, a plan could qualify for this exception only if the coverage offered is less than three months in duration. The current rule sets a twelve-month limit. This could impact, for example, non-ACA-compliant health insurance plans used by students studying abroad and by J exchange visitors. Comments are due by August 9, 2016. NAFSA commented on July 28, 2016.

August 9, 2016


Read NAFSA's comment letter

Proposed rule to adjust USCIS fees

81 FR 26903

USCIS

On May 4, 2016, USCIS published a proposed rule that would raise filing fees for most USCIS applications and petitions, if finalized as proposed. Public comment on the proposal is due on or before July 5, 2016. As this is a proposed rule, fee changes will not be final until USCIS receives and analyzes public comment, and publishes a future final rule with an effective date in the Federal Register.

July 5, 2016

Read NAFSA's comment letter

SEVP Draft Guidance on Year 13 Programs at Secondary Schools

 

SEVP

Draft SEVP Policy Guidance 1512-10: Secondary Postgraduate Year Program. If you are a secondary school with a "year 13" program that enrolls F-1 international students, or are considering developing such a program in the future, read the draft guidance carefully, and submit your comments to SEVP on any issues that may impact your school or school system's program or plans.

May 5, 2016

 

Proposed rule on AC21 and ACWIA

80 FR 81900

USCIS

On December 31, 2015, USCIS proposed rule entitled “Retention of EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers” would implement by regulation some provisions of the ACWIA and AC21 statutes that have primarily been implemented by policy guidance. USCIS also proposes eliminating the current requirement that obligates USCIS to adjudicate Form I-765 applications for work authorization within 90 days.

February 29, 2016

Read NAFSA's comment letter

Note: USCIS published a final rule on November 18, 2016, effective January 17, 2017. See 81 FR 82398.

Extension of Form ETA 9141

80 FR 76711

DOL- ETA

The Department of Labor posted a notice that it has requested a three year extension of Form ETA 9141, the prevailing wage determination request form. DOL is not proposing any changes to form, but interested parties may still comment.

February 8, 2016

 

Proposed changes to Form I-9

USCIS

DHS proposes to update Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification:

 

January 25, 2015

 

ADIS Notice of Privacy Act System of Records

CBP

DHS proposes "update, rename, and reissue a current Department of Homeland Security system of records titled, “Department of Homeland Security/U.S. Customs and Border Protection-021 Arrival and Departure Information System.” (ADIS)

December 18, 2015

 

 

Draft USCIS memo for comment on "same or similar" policy

 

 

USCIS

On November 20, 2015, USCIS began accepting comments on a draft policy memo entitled, "Determining Whether a New Job is in 'the Same or a Similar Occupational Classification' for Purposes of Section 204(j) Job Portability."

January 4, 2016

 

Extension of Form I-515A

ICE

Extension without change of Form I-515A, Notice to Student or Exchange Visitor, which is used to admit a student or exchange visitor for 30 days due to a documentary insufficiency at the port of entry.

December 5, 2015

 

Proposed STEM OPT Rule

SEVP

On October 19, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security published the much-anticipated proposed STEM OPT rule. Public comments were due by November 18. Many of NAFSA's longstanding priorities are addressed in the proposal, but there are also some additional obligations.

November 18, 2015

Read NAFSA's Comment Letter

F-1 Employment Draft Policy Guidance

SEVP

On August 14, 2015, SEVP published a series of five draft policy guidance documents relating to F-1 (and some M-1) employment issues, focusing on employment other than practical training. SEVP will accept public comment on the draft guidance for 45 days, until September 28, 2015.

September 28, 2015

Read SEVP's Draft Guidance and NAFSA's Comments

Retrospective Review of DOL Regulations

80 FR 11334

DOL

The Department of Labor requests public comment on how DOL can improve any of its significant regulations by modifying, streamlining, expanding, or repealing them.

March 18, 2015

NAFSA did not comment.

Modernizing and streamlining the U.S. immigration system

79 FR 78458

DHS/DOS

"On November 21, 2014, the President issued a memorandum for the heads of executive departments and agencies on the subject of modernizing and streamlining the U.S. immigrant and nonimmigrant visa system for the 21st century. The Memorandum directs the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security, in consultation with various other Cabinet secretaries and the White House, to make recommendations to streamline and improve the Nation’s legal immigration system. Such efforts should focus on reducing Government costs, improving services for applicants, reducing burdens on employers, and combating waste, fraud, and abuse in the system, while safeguarding the interests of American workers. This notice solicits public input to inform the development of those recommendations."

January 29, 2015


Read NAFSA's January 29, 2015 comment letter.


I-94, I-94W, and ESTA

79 FR 73096

   

CBP

Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record), CBP Form I-94W (Nonimmigrant Visa Waiver Arrival/Departure), and the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). CBP is proposing that this information collection be extended with a change to the burden hours and a revision to the information collected.

February 9, 2015

NAFSA did not comment.

Revisions to Form I-612

79 FR 73092  

USCIS

Revisions to Form I–612, Application for Waiver of INA 212(e) Foreign Residence Requirement. This form is used to apply for a 212(e) waiver only on the basis of exceptional hardship on the exchange visitor's U.S. citizen or LPR spouse or child, or on the basis of persecution on account of race, religion, or political opinion.

January 8, 2015


NAFSA did not comment.


Second revisions to Form DS-7002

79 FR 77589

DOS/EVP

DOS is seeking public comment on planned revisions to Form DS-7002, Training/Internship Placement Plan (T/IPP), which is required in the J-1 trainee, intern, and student intern categories. This is a second revision that follows up on comments to a prior revision (Read NAFSA's November 25, 2014 comment on the prior revisions to the DS-7002).

 

January 23, 2015

NAFSA did not comment.

I–140 and I–485 NIW supplemental info

79 FR 73093

USCIS

Extension without change of USCIS collection of supplemental documentation to determine eligibility for national interest waiver requests for physicians and to finalize the request for adjustment to lawful permanent resident status.

January 8, 2014


NAFSA did not comment.


Alien Address Change Notification Form

 79 FR 64208


USCIS

USCIS requests public comment on proposed changes to Form AR-11, Alien's Change of Address. View a table of changes comparing the proposed revisions to the current text of the form.

December 29, 2015


NAFSA did not comment.


SEVIS I-901 Fee Form

79 FR 72192

USCIS

USCIS proposes extending Form I-901, Fee remittance for certain F, J and M non-immigrants (the SEVIS I-901 Fee), without change (extension of original 60-day comment period).

Comment period extended to 30 days beyond December 29, 2015

NAFSA did not comment.

J Annual Report Form

79 FR 63206
 

DOS/EVP

The Department of State requests comments on proposed changes to the J exchange visitor program Annual Report, Form DS-3097. You can compare the current Form DS-3097 to the proposed Form DS-3097. There is a 60-day comment period starting October 22, 2014 and ending December 21, 2014.

December 21, 2014

NAFSA did not comment.

SEVP Interim Final Guidance PG 1048-01: Academic Year

ICE/SEVP

SEVP published Interim Final Guidance PG 1048-01: Academic Year, defining "academic year" for purposes of F-1 annual vacation, off-campus employment, and practical training. The guidance is effective immediately, but SEVP is giving stakeholders until November 24 to provide feedback. Once the feedback period ends, SEVP will review all comments received and may update the guidance accordingly.

November 24, 2014

Read NAFSA's November 24, 2014 comment letter

Final J Subpart A Rule

79 FR 60294

DOS/EVP

On October 6, 2014, the Department of State (DOS) published in the Federal Register a final rule amending Subpart A of the Exchange Visitor Program regulations, which governs all J exchange visitor programs. DOS originally proposed changes to Subpart A in 2009. The new rules are effective January 5, 2015, except for new exchange visitor insurance provisions, which will become effective on May 15, 2015. DOS will accept written public comments until December 5, 2014. As a final rule, the changes will go into effect as written on the stated effective dates, unless DOS receives compelling feedback that would alter that plan. See NAFSA's J Subpart A Resource Page for a summary of the rule.

December 5, 2014

Read NAFSA's December 2, 2014 comment letter

Revised DS-7002
79 FR 58400

DOS/EVP

DOS is seeking public comment on planned revisions to Form DS-7002, Training/Internship Placement Plan (T/IPP), which is required in the J-1 trainee, intern, and student intern categories.

 

November 28, 2014

Read NAFSA's November 25, 2014 comment

Draft PG 1210-03: Pathway Programs

SEVP

SEVP is seeking public comment on draft policy guidance regarding Pathway Programs. This is the third in a series of "second round" draft policy documents relating to conditional admission, bridge, and pathway programs. There are three separate documents to download, which should be read together when considering your comments - the draft policy guidance document itself and two draft supporting fact sheets that propose how a school would update its Form I-17 to add bridge programs and bridged degree programs:

  1. Draft Policy Guidance PG 1210-03: Pathway Programs
  2. Draft Bridge Programs Fact Sheet
  3. Draft Bridged Degree Programs Fact Sheet

For additional information, background, and links, see NAFSA's trending issue page on the topic. To comment on the guidance, email SEVPFeedback@ice.dhs.gov with the name of the draft guidance in the subject line.

November 10, 2014

Read NAFSA's November 10, 2014 comment letter

Draft PG 1402-07: English Proficiency Field

SEVP

SEVP is seeking public comment on draft policy guidance regarding the English proficiency field on Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status.” This is the second in a series of "second round" draft policy documents relating to conditional admission and bridge programs. For additional information, background, and links, see NAFSA's trending issue page on the topic. To comment on the guidance, email SEVPFeedback@ice.dhs.gov with the subject line “The Form I-20 and the English Proficiency Field.”

September 8, 2014

Read NAFSA's September 8, 2014 comment letter

79 Fed.Reg. 42392

DOS/EVP

DOS has posted a request for comment on changes to Form DS-2019, used to document J exchange visitors and their dependents. The notice's abstract states: "Among the changes to the collection are: A name change to ‘‘Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status (J–NONIMMIGRANT)” . . . There has been a change to the exchange visitor name field to read Surname/Primary Name and Given Name. Changes also have been made to the following fields in the electronic data gathering portion of the form: email address will be a required field at the time of validation for all exchange visitors coming to the United States under the auspices of designated Exchange Visitor Program sponsors [all categories except for International Visitors (22 CFR 62.28), Government Visitors (22 CFR 62.29), and visitors on U.S. Department of State-funded programs]; there will be an optional field for the exchange visitor’s U.S. telephone number; and there will be fields for both the exchange visitor’s mailing address and physical address. Three changes have been made to the instruction portion of Form DS–2019: Flight Trainees have been removed as an exchange category, as these are no longer part of the Exchange Visitor Program; instructions clarify who should sign the J–1 and J–2 forms; and amounts in the Insurance section have changed." The notice addresses several of the comments NAFSA submitted previously. View a copy of the draft changes to Form DS-2019, including DOS' "supporting statement" describing the changes.

August 20, 2014

Read NAFSA's comment submitted on a related comment request earlier this month. NAFSA did not comment further.

79 Fed.Reg. 42523

USCIS

USCIS is accepting comments on Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing. The notice requests comments about how the form and instructions can be improved and the burden of using it minimized. Proposed revisions are to the form's instructions, but comments can be on both the form and its instructions.

September 22, 2014

NAFSA did not comment.

79 Fed.Reg. 42503

ITA/CBP

"Opportunity To Comment on Presidential Memorandum Calling for Improving the Entry Process and Airport-Specific Plans for International Travelers to the United States. On Thursday, May 22, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum, Establishing a National Goal and Developing Airport Specific Action Plans to Enhance the Entry Process for International Travelers to the United States. The Memorandum directs the Secretaries of Commerce and Homeland Security to develop within 120 days a national goal for improving service levels for international arrivals. It also directs the Secretaries to develop airport-specific action plans that include actions from both private and public sectors to measurably improve the entry experience for international arrivals to those airports.  The Federal Register notice provides a URL to the full presidential memo referenced.

August 15, 2014

NAFSA did not comment.

Draft PG 1406-05: Conditional Admission

ICE/SEVP

After analyzing the public comments received on the first draft of guidance on F-1 conditional admission and bridge programs (2013), SEVP decided to split the guidance into several pieces, and to post a "second round" of draft guidance documents in a series of related documents. On July 11, 2014, SEVP posted the first of these, a second round of draft policy guidance focusing only on conditional admission. Comments will be accepted for 45 days, until August 25, 2014. To comment on the guidance, e-mail SEVPFeedback@ice.dhs.gov with the title of the guidance in the subject line. For additional information, background, and links, see NAFSA's trending issue page on the topic.

August 25, 2014

Read NAFSA's August 21, 2014 comment letter.

79 Fed.Reg. 36571

DOS/Waiver Review Div

On June 27, 2014, the Department of State (DOS) submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request to extend the validity of Form DS-3035, which is used to request a waiver of the INA 212(e) two-year home country physical presence requirement. Public comments will be accepted for 30 days.

July 28, 2014

NAFSA did not comment.

79 Fed.Reg. 29620

BLS

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be reviewing the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Manual for possible revision in 2018. The SOC is used for a variety of employment-based and prevailing wage purposes. BLS is accepting public comment on: the proposed revision of the 2010 SOC Classification Principles; the intention to retain the 2010 SOC Coding Guidelines; the intention to retain the 2010 SOC Major Group Structure; the correction, change, or combination of selected 2010 SOC detailed occupations, and inclusion of new detailed occupations. This review and possible revision of the 2010 SOC is intended to be completed by the end of 2016 and then released to begin use in reference year 2018.

July 21, 2014

Read NAFSA's July 21, 2014 comment letter.

79 Fed.Reg. 34768

ICE/SEVP   

SEVP submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request to extend the authorization of SEVIS as a data collection instrument, including Forms I-17 and I-20. SEVIS and these forms are used in the F and M school certification process and to document F and M students. The "information collection" notice was published in the Federal Register on June 18, 2014, and SEVP will be collecting public comments for 30 days.

July 18, 2014

NAFSA did not comment.

79 Fed.Reg. 26870

USCIS

A proposed rule entitled “Enhancing Opportunities for H-1B1, CW-1, and E-3 Nonimmigrants and EB-1 Immigrants" would do three things:

  • Add H-1B1, CW-1, and E-3 nonimmigrant categories to the list of nonimmigrant classifications that are authorized under 274a.12(b)(20), which provides a continuation of work authorization for up to 240 days while a timely-filed request for extension of stay is pending.
  • Confirm that H-1B1 and E-3 nonimmigrants are employed with a specific employer "incident to status," and describe the current extension of stay and change of status procedures for those categories.
  • The third part of the proposed rule would add a new category of evidence that can be submitted by employers filing petitions for outstanding professors and researchers in the employment-based first preference category (EB-1), to allow for the submission of comparable evidence (achievements not listed in the criteria such as important patents or prestigious, peer-reviewed funding grants) for that listed in 8 CFR 204.5(i)(3)(i)(A) through (F) to establish that the EB-1 professor or researcher is recognized internationally as outstanding in his or her academic field.
 

July 11, 2014

Read NAFSA's July 1, 2014 comment letter.

79 Fed.Reg. 26886

USCIS

A proposed rule entitled “Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses" would make employment authorization available to H-4 dependent spouses of principal H-1B nonimmigrants who are the beneficiary of an approved Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (I-140) or who have extended their H-1B status under section 104(c) or 106(a) of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000 (AC21).

July 11, 2014

Read NAFSA's July 1, 2014 comment letter.

79 Fed.Reg. 26802  

DOS-EVP

Revision of Form DS-2019. “The collection is the continuation of information collected and needed by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in administering the Exchange Visitor Program (J-visa) under the provisions of the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act, as amended (22 U.S.C. 2451 et seq.). The collection will undergo a name change to “Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status (J-Visa).” However, each completed form will continue to note whether it is for a J-1 or a J-2 recipient. In addition, there are updates to the Paperwork Reduction Act address listed on Form DS-2019 and to form usage information. Changes also have been made to the following fields in the electronic data-gathering portion: E-mail Address as a required field at the time of validation for all exchange visitors coming to the U.S. under the auspices of designated private sector exchange program sponsors; optional fields for U.S. Telephone Number and Mailing Address; and the field Current U.S. Address will be changed to Physical Address. The instruction section of Form DS-2019 also has been revised and updated to remove Flight Trainees as an exchange category, as these are no longer part of the program.” Download DOS' draft of the revised printed Form DS-2019.

July 8, 2014

Read NAFSA's comment letter.

79 Fed.Reg. 25621

DOL

The Department of Labor is soliciting comments on their plan to extend the authorization of Form ETA-9089, Application for Permanent Employment Certification, which expires August 31, 2014. The form is used by employers under the PERM program to bring foreign workers to the United States as immigrants, and in the Department of Homeland Security's National Interest Waiver (NIW) program by individuals applying for a waiver of the job offer requirement if the waiver is deemed to be in the national interest.

July 7, 2014

Read NAFSA's comment letter.

USCIS Policy for Review

USCIS

Comment on a new section added to the USCIS Policy Manual, regarding Fraud and Willful Misrepresentation Inadmissibility and Waiver. This guidance replaces the fraud and willful misrepresentation grounds of inadmissibility and waiver guidance found in Chapter 40.6.2(c)(1) of the Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM), the AFM’s related appendices, and policy memoranda. Guidance is effective on an interim basis March 25, 2014, but USCIS is interested in public comments.

April 7, 2014

NAFSA did not comment.

79 Fed.Reg. 10760

DHS

In this periodic "Retrospective Review of Existing Regulations," DHS is seeking comments from the public on "specific existing significant DHS rules that the Department should consider as candidates for modification, streamlining, expansion, or repeal.” The notice is short but instructive, and indicates how to provide high-impact comments and sets out the key questions to answer with comments. As background, you can review NAFSA's 2011 comment letter submitted in response to a prior DHS regulatory retrospective.

March 28, 2014

NAFSA commented on March 26, 2014.

78 Fed.Reg. 73233

DOS/Visas    

Published in the Federal Register on December 5, 2013. DOS "information collection" notice regarding Form DS-160, the online nonimmigrant visa application. Extension of an already-approved form without change.

February 3, 2014

NAFSA did not comment.

78 Fed.Reg. 69778

DHS/ICE/SEVP

Published in the Federal Register on November 21, 2013. ICE proposed rule to change the F-1 and M-1 school regulations to 1) Eliminate the current limit of 10 DSOs per campus; and 2) Allow F-2 and M-2 dependents of F-1 or M-1 students to study at a SEVP-certified school as long as it is less than a full course of study. Consult NAFSA's Trending Issue Page on this topic for additional information and background on this proposed rule.

January 21, 2014

NAFSA commented on January 17, 2014.

78 Fed.Reg. 72686

DHS/USCIS

Published in the Federal Register on December 3, 2013. USCIS "information collection" notice regarding Form I-539, application for change or extension of nonimmigrant status. This is a reopening of a comment period for a notice on which NAFSA had already commented on August 6, 2013.

January 2, 2014

NAFSA did not comment.
78 Fed.Reg. 71704

DOS/EVP

Published in the Federal Register on November 29, 2013. DOS "information collection" notice regarding Forms DS-3036/3037 and DS-7000, used by J exchange visitor program sponsors. The DS-3036 and DS-3037 relate to program designation, and DS-7000 is the designation used to describe the fields in J SEVIS.  NAFSA had commented on a similar prior notice on June 10, 2010.

December 30, 2013

NAFSA did not comment.
1306-02: Annual Vacation

SEVP

SEVP draft policy guidance would interpret 8 CFR 214.2(f)(5)(iii) to provide guidance on circumstances, procedures, and duration of annual vacations for F-1 students.

November 16, 2013

NAFSA commented on October 31, 2013.
1306-07: Temporary Absence

SEVP

SEVP draft policy guidance would interpret 8 CFR 214.2(f)(4), (f)(5)(iv), and (m)(4) to provide guidance on conditions and procedures regarding temporary absence outside the United States for F-1 and M-1 students, and leaves of absence for F-1 students.

November 16, 2013

NAFSA commented on October 30, 2013.
1308-02: Timely Filing

SEVP

SEVP draft policy guidance would clarify that the extra three-day period granted by 8 CFR 103.8(b) for responding to SEVP notices sent by regular mail does not apply when when SEVP serves notice to a party via email or electronically through SEVIS.

November 16, 2013

NAFSA did not comment.