Policy Updates

Used for immigration and visa policy changes as well as Executive Order updates. 

Government Shutdown 2019

January 7, 2019

The US government shutdown may impact certain government services until a resolution is reached. NAFSA's Government Shutdown Updates page has updated links to services which might impact student, scholar, or employment-based status holders.

Berkeley International Office is aware that Customs and Border Protection Deferred Inspections office in San Francisco has been impacted by the shutdown, and appointments for Deferred Inspection are currently unavailable.


4/18/17 - Executive Order: Buy American and Hire American

April 18, 2017
President Trump issued an Executive Order titled Buy America and Hire American, of which the "Hire American" provisions call on the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Homeland Security to "propose new rules and issue new guidance", and "suggest reforms to help ensure that H-1B visas are awarded to the most skilled or highest-paid petition beneficiaries." **However, the EO provided no specific changes to any existing regulations, rules and policies.**

USCIS Unlawful Presence Policy Effective August 9, 2018

September 24, 2018

Effective August 9, 2018, USCIS updated policy regarding Unlawful Presence, which increases potential consequences for F-1/J-1 students who violate their status. The best way to avoid these consequences is to make sure you properly maintain your F-1/J-1 status while you are a student and during any F-1/J-1 post-completion training periods. Unlawful presence days begin accruing from the day an F-1 or J-1 violates status and can impact the ability to return to the US in the future,...

USCIS Expands Policy on Initiating Removal Proceedings

October 30, 2018

A June 28, 2018, USCIS policy memorandum (PM 602-0050.1) expands conditions under which USCIS issues a Notice to Appear (NTA), the document that begins removal (deportation) proceedings. The policy now includes situations "where, upon issuance of an unfavorable decision on an application, petition, or benefit request, the alien is not lawfully present in the United States."

Due to a legal necessity...

USCIS RFE & NOID Policy Effective Sept 11, 2018

September 27, 2018

A USCIS poilcy memo issued July 13, 2018 will allow USCIS adjudictors "full discretion to deny applications, petitions, and requests without first issuing an RFE [Request for Evidence] or a NOID [Notice of Intent to Deny], when appropriate. This policy is intended to discourage frivolous or substantially incomplete filings used as 'placeholder' filings and encourage applicants, petitioners, and requestors to be diligent in collecting and submitting...

3/28/2018- Updates on H-1B Premium Processing

March 28, 2018
H1-B Premium Processing continues to be available for UC Berkeley sponsored H-1B petitions, as the University is not subject to the FY 2019 cap. Premium processing will be suspended temporarily for H-1B petitions subject to the FY 2019 cap. This suspension is expected to last until Sept. 10, 2018. For more details please see the USCIS announcement on March 20, 2018.

4/10/2018- Chad Removed from Travel Ban List

April 16, 2018

A Presidential Proclamation on April 10, 2018 , has removed Chad from the Travel Ban list effective April 13, 2018 due to a Department of Homeland Security review which found that "that Chad has made marked improvements in its identity-management and information-sharing practices."

12/04/2017 - Travel Restrictions in Effect after Supreme Court Decision

December 4, 2017

On December 4, 2017 the Supreme Court of the United States issued stayson 2 previous preliminary injunctions impacting the September 24, 2017 ...