ICE Urged to Drop Proposed Duration of Status Regulation

November 2, 2020 Sara Herbek

Key Points

  • ICE pressured to withdraw proposed maximum stay periods for foreign students and exchange visitors
  • In October 2020, ICE published a regulation to change duration of status to a fixed admission period
  • If implemented, the regulation would impose new requirements to maintain and extend status
  • A public comment period ended on October 26, 2020, but comments on form changes will be accepted through November 25, 2020
  • Several business and higher education groups are asking ICE to drop its duration of status regulation

Overview

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is facing pressure from business and higher education groups to withdraw a proposed regulation setting maximum periods of stay for exchange visitors and foreign students.

Background

ICE published the proposed regulation in October 2020. ICE argues that the proposed rule allows ICE officials to closely monitor whether certain visa holders, including F, J, and I nonimmigrant visa holders, are maintaining their status in the U.S.

What are the Impacts?

If implemented, DHS’s rule will modify the period of authorized stay for exchange visitors, international students, and media personnel by replacing duration of status with a finite admission period. Additionally, the rule would establish new requirements for individuals in the affected categories to maintain and extend their status. 

Opposition to the Proposed Rule

Opponents argue that ICE already has the resources to monitor visa holders’ status, and additional regulations are not necessary. On October 26, 2020, the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and several members of Congress wrote letters to DHS requesting the withdrawal of the proposed duration of status rule. They also requested the agency to maintain its current duration of status policy for certain nonimmigrant visas. They argue that the agency’s proposed regulations will deter, rather than attract, top foreign talent to the United States in the affected categories.

Looking Ahead

The 30-day comment period on the proposed regulation ended on October 26, 2020. However, ICE will continue accepting comments on form changes that the rule requires through November 25, 2020. If published, the rule will have a 60-day delayed effective date.


Envoy is pleased to provide you this information, which was prepared in collaboration with Sara Herbek, who is the Managing Partner at Global Immigration Associates, P.C. (www.giafirm.com), Envoy’s affiliated law firm.

Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an Envoy-affiliated attorney or another qualified professional.

 
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