A Chronological List of Selected Immigration Updates

In our country and our world today, questions about citizenship and immigration are hotly contested. But at Yale, we share none of this uncertainty about the critical importance of immigrant and international students and scholars. The work of the university—education and research—requires the free movement of people and ideas across national borders. On behalf of this university, I advocate for policies that will allow us to welcome students and scholars from around the world to our campus.

- President Peter Salovey
 Yale College Opening Assembly Address
August 25, 2018

COVID-19 related Immigration Changes

July 13, 2020

Please note that there have been many changes in immigration policy since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic Spring 2020. These changes have been posted on the OISS COVID-19 page.

Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak

June 22, 2020

On June 22, President Trump signed a  Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Marker Following the Coronavirus Outbreak.  The Proclamation takes effect on June 24, 2020 at 12:01am and will remain in effect through December 31, 2020 (and may be continued or modified as necessary.) 

The Proclamation “suspends the entry into the United States” of individuals who do not yet have a valid visa stamp and who are seeking entry in the following non-immigrant classifications:

  • H-1B or H-2B visas and any accompanying dependents
  • Certain J visas (and any accompanying dependents), including those participating in intern trainee teacher, camp counselor au pair or summer work travel programs. It does NOT include J-1 students, researcher scholars, professors or ECFMG alien physician categories.
  • L- visas and any accompanying dependents

The Proclamation does not include:

  • H-1B employees currently in the U.S.  (Consult with OISS if you have international travel plans)
  • H-1 B employees outside the U.S. with a valid H-1B visa stamp
  •  H-1B employees seeking to obtain a new H-1B visa who are involved in COVID-19 research or in the provision of medical care for COVID-19 patients.  However, the process to request and be approved for an exemption has yet to be tested.

F-1 Students and F-1 OPT

The proclamation does not include new restrictions for international students or international students on OPT. 

U.S. Permanent Resident Status

  • The June 22nd proclamation extends to December 31, 2020 the expiration date of the April 20, 2020 proclamation which suspended entry of certain new immigrants who do not already have an approved immigrant visa.
  • Current U.S. permanent residents (green card holders) are not affected by the proclamation. In addition, the current proclamation does not impact a green card application in process.   

Additional Measures

The proclamation asks government agencies “to take substantial measures” to ensure that those who have already been admitted, or are seeking admission, on an EB-2 immigrant visa, EB-3 immigrant visa, or H-1B nonimmigrant visa do not limit opportunity for U.S. workers. 





Presidential Proclamation

April 23, 2020

On April 22, 2020, President Trump issued a Presidential Proclamation that suspends entry for 60 days of certain new immigrants (green card applicants) who do not already have an approved immigrant visa. The proclamation does not currently impact applicants for adjustment of status to permanent residence, or nonimmigrants (such as students, exchange visitors, H-1B workers, visitors for business or pleasure, etc.). However the proclamation continues to say  “Within 30 days of the effective date of this proclamation, the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall review nonimmigrant programs and shall recommend to me other measures appropriate to stimulate the United States economy and ensure the prioritization, hiring, and employment of United States workers.” OISS continues to monitor proposed immigration changes and will report to the Yale community any factual changes as they occur. NAFSA: Association of International Educators has a good summary of the new policy as well as details about exemptions for some immigrants.

Travel Ban 4.0

March 4, 2020

On January 31, 2020, the Whitehouse issued a new Presidential Proclamation (“Presidential Proclamation 9983”.) Since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the ban in 2018 it cleared the way for the Whitehouse to update the travel ban by adding or removing countries from the list according to how they respond to U.S. security concerns. To keep up to date with the latest list of effected countries please refer to the U.S. State Department web site, or  the NAFSA: Association of International Educators website.

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Public Charge

January 30, 2020

On January 30th the Supreme Court upheld a new United States Customs and Immigration Services rule known as “public charge.” Public charge is an evaluation of whether an international visitor is likely to need help from the U.S. or state government while they remain in the United States. In other words, the U.S. wants to see that an F-1 student or J-1 scholar is not likely to need money or assistance. The new regulation will go into effect on February 24, 2020 and may effect how international students and scholars apply to change or extend their visa status.

District Court Puts "unlawful presence" on Hold Temporarily

May 3, 2019

Over the past year OISS offered a series of information sessions regarding a new and confusing policy effecting F and J visa holders known as “unlawful presence.”  The policy was challenged in the courts, and Yale and other schools went on record expressing concerns about the policy's effect on international students and scholars. On May 9th 2019 YaleNews announced that the U.S. District Court has put a temporary hold on the policy.

Supreme Court Leaves DACA in Place, for now

January 22, 2019

The U.S. Supreme Court took no action on a request from the Trump administration to review the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, meaning the program remains in place for the time being. If the court accepts the case at a later date and follows its usual procedures, the case would not be argued before October 2019, with a decision likely issued in 2020, according to the Washington Post. To understand Yale's position on the issues please go to our DACA web site

USCIS Expands Deportation Rule

October 1, 2018

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) introduced a new policy memo which addresses a change in the usage of a procedure known as Notice to Appear. Essentially this policy expands when USCIS might begin “removable proceedings” (aka deportation) for certain individuals. It does not affect employment based visas (H-1B, O-1, etc…) but could affect students and scholars trying to change visa status inside the U.S.

Interpreting the Notice to Appear memo (from NAFSA: Association of International Educators)

USCIS Unlawful Policy Memo (directed at students and researchers)

August 9, 2018

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a policy memo which dramatically changes a 20-year standing precedent on defining “unlawful presence.” For 20 year there was a separation between “violating status” and “accruing unlawful status.” In essence USCIS would have to first notify the visa holder that they were beginning to accrue unlawful presence time based on an event. F-1 students and J-1 Exchange Visitors were always exempt of this rule. With the new policy F-1 students and J-1 Exchange visitors could be barred from returning to the U.S. for three years, ten years or even permanently depending on how much unlawful presence time they accrue.

Interpreting the Unlawful Presence Memo (from NAFSA: Association of International Educators)

State Department Tightens Rules Residence Abroad

August 8, 2018

The U.S. State Department has always required that an international student or scholar applying for a visa demonstrate that they have ties to residence in a foreign country they have no intention of abandoning. The language in the Foreign Affairs Manual has been changed to ensure the Consular Officer is satisfied that the applicant intends to depart the U.S. upon completion of the program.

Interpreting the Residence Abroad Rule (from NAFSA: Association of International Educators)