Faculty & Staff

Faculty Staff Immigration Services (FSIS) serves the international faculty, staff, their families as well as hiring units on the University of Michigan's Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses. We facilitate intercultural and international education and aim to foster a global campus community through comprehensive, high-quality immigration advisement; case preparation and case management; compliance and risk management guidance; programming; and advocacy at all levels.

FSIS is the University's official and authoritative source of immigration advice for all international employees requiring employment-based immigration sponsorship and, in consultation with the Office of General Counsel (OGC), is charged with the responsibility of representing all University campuses on employment-based immigration matters and managing the country's largest, academic H-1B program. As such, FSIS prepares and files all employment-based immigration petitions with the appropriate government agencies. However, note that our office does not provide legal advice. If legal advice on immigration-related matters is required, FSIS will, in consultation with OGC, refer the matter to an immigration attorney outside of the University. Also, FSIS may, after review and at its discretion, assign an immigration petition to outside Retained Immigration Counsel.

In addition, FSIS conducts large and small group workshops on a variety of topics for interested international faculty and staff as well as all university units; we are always happy to come to units to conduct a presentation. FSIS also serves as a resource to improve international and intercultural awareness for faculty and staff and provides consultations on a broad array of topics, including policy development and implementation pertaining to serving the international population.

When you have any question or concern, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Important News

  • 10/25/2021: The White House issued a Proclamation confirming that the country-specific travel restrictions would be lifted effective 11/8/2021 and would replaced by a general requirement that international air travelers be fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated travelers must continue to comply with existing CDC requirerements, e.g. a pre-arrival test, taken in the 3 days before departure. Air travelers who are not fully vaccinated may be able to enter the US if they can meet certain exceptions and conditions.
  • 10/20/2021: The US Department of Homeland Security announced that the travel restrictions for the land borders with Canada and Mexico will be extended until 1/21/2022, but that "[these] restrictions also can be modified by the Secretary at any point prior to January 21, 2022 to allow non-essential travel through land ports of entry and ferry terminals for individuals who are fully vaccinated and have appropriate proof of vaccination."  It was previously announced that these changes will take effect 11/8/2021.
  • 10/15/2021: Today, the Biden administration announced that, effective 11/8/2021, fully vaccinated foreign national travelers will be able to enter the US. Details remain to be determined.
  • 10/13/2021: On 10/12/2021, the Department of Homeland Security announced it would be lifting the land border restrictions in two phases.  Effective early November -- date to be determined -- fully vaccinated individuals will be able to enter the US for non-essential purposes at the land border. Effective early January 2022, individuals entering the US at the land border for essential purposes will also need to be fully vaccinated.
  • 9/22/2021: The Biden Administration announced on 9/20/2021 that it will be lifting the country-specific travel bans, effective early November.  However, many of the details, including the exact implementation date and or specific testing requirements have not yet been announced.
  • 9/22/2021: CBP announced that the temporary land border restrictions between the US and Canada and the US and Mexico will be extended until 10/21/2021.
  • 8/25/2021: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that, effective 10/1/2021, green card applicants will be required to be vacinated against COVID-19.  For more information and possible exceptions, refer to the CDC website.
  • 8/23/2021: CBP announced that the temporary land border restrictions between the US and Canada and the US and Mexico will be extended until 9/21/2021.
  • 7/21/2021: CBP announced that the temporary land border restrictions between the US and Canada and the US and Mexico will be extended until 8/21/2021.
  • 6/21/2021: CBP announced that the temporary land border restrictions between the US and Canada and the US and Mexico will be extended until 7/21/2021.
  • 6/11/2021: CBP announced that it will no longer issue paper I-94 cards to individuals entering the US via the land border. Instead, they can download their electronic I-94 from the CBP website.
  • 6/4/2021: on 7/1/2021, FSIS will be co-hosting a free presentation on Naturalization/ US Citizenship. This session is open to all UM community members who are currently green card holders. Registration is required via Sessions.

May 2021

  • 5/21/2021: The temporary land border restrictions between the US and Canada and the US and Mexico will be extended until 6/21/2021.
  • 5/13/2021: DOL announced that it will delay implementation of its new Prevailing Wage Determination rule by 18 months, until 1/1/2023, pending further review of the regulation.
  • 5/5/2021: USCIS declared that, with an expected effective date of 5/17/2021, it would temporarily (for a 2 year period) suspend the biometrics requirement for Form I-539 applications for the H-4, L-2, E-1, E-2 and E-3 categories that are 1.) pending on that date and have not yet received a biometric services appointment notice and 2.) new applications received by USCIS after the effective date.
  • 5/3/2021: Effective Tuesday 5/4/21, India has been added to the list of countries with COVID-19-specific travel restrictions. With limited exceptions, individuals who were physically present in India or the other listed countries during the 14-day period before seeking admission to the US, are prohibited from entering the US. For more information on the National Interest Exception process, see here and here.

April 2021

  • 4/20/2021: The temporary land border restrictions between the US and Canada and the US and Mexico will be extended until 5/21/2021.
  • 4/5/2021: The Trump-era Presidential Proclamation 10052, which temporarily suspended the entry of certain H-1B, H-2B, J (for certain categories within the Exchange Visitor Program), and L nonimmigrants, expired on March 31, 2021 and is no longer in effect.

March 2021

  • 3/18/2021: The temporary land border restrictions between the US and Canada and the US and Mexico will be extended until 4/21/2021.
  • 3/12/2021: On 3/11/2021, the Department of State announced it is temporarily expanding the ability of consular officers to waive the in-person interview requirement for individuals applying for a nonimmigrant visa in the same classification. Visa applicants whose previous visa (in the same classification) expired within the past 48 months may qualify for a waiver of the interview when applying for a new visa. Refer to the US consulate website where you intend to apply for more information.
  • 3/10/2021: On 3/9/2021, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it has found that the Public Charge rule is "neither in the public interest nor an efficient use of limited government resources. Consistent with that decision, the Department of Justice will no longer pursue appellate review of judicial decisions invalidating or enjoining enforcement of the 2019 Rule." USCIS confirmed that it is no longer applying the 2019 Public Charge rule.

February 2021

  • 2/24/2021: On 2/24/2021, USCIS announced that, effective immediately, it will expand its Premium Processing service to E-3 petitioners.
  • 2/21/2021: The temporary land border restrictions between the US and Canada and the US and Mexico have been extended until 3/21/2021.
  • 2/16/2021: As of 2/15/2021, "all travellers, with some exceptions, arriving to Canada by land, will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test result taken in the United States within 72 hours of pre-arrival, OR a proof of a positive test result within 14 and 90 days prior to arrival. [...] Essential workers such as truckers and emergency service providers, as well as cross border communities, will be exempt from this requirement." See the Public Health Agency of Canada announcement for more information.
  • 2/16/2021: On 2/10/2021, the Department of State announced that "[certain] business travelers, investors, treaty traders, academics, students, and journalists may qualify for national interest exceptions under the Presidential Proclamation (PP) covering travelers from the Schengen Area, United Kingdom, and Ireland." Please see the Department of State website for more information.

January 2021

  • 1/28/2021: On 1/25/2021, USCIS withdrew the proposed regulation to end the availability of EADs for certain spouses in H-4 status. As a result, EADs will continue to be available for certain spouses in H-4 status.
  • 1/25/2021: On 1/25/2021, the Biden administration issued a Presidential Proclamation (Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Non-Immigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting Coronavirus Disease), limiting entry into the United States of individuals who have been physically present in Brazil, Ireland, South Africa , the UK as well as the 26 countries within the Schengen Area within the 14 day period before seeking admission to the US. Note that the travel restrictions for people who were physically present in China and Iran also remain in effect.
  • 1/21/2021: On 1/20/2021, the Biden administration issued a Presidential Proclamation (Proclamation on Ending Discriminatory Bans on Entry to The United States) withdrawing the Trump administration's Executive Order 13780 (Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States), and Proclamations 9645 (Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats), 9723 (Maintaining Enhanced Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats), and 9983 (Improving Enhanced Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats).
  • 1/19/2021: On 1/18/2021, the Trump administration issued a proclamation ending the COVID-related travel restrictions for individuals who were physically present in Brazil, Ireland, the UK and the Schengen Area within the 14 day period before seeking admission to the US, effective 1/26/2021. However, the incoming Biden administration has stated that it will reverse this new proclamation and retain the existing travel restrictions.
  • 1/14/2021: The Department of Homeland Security will extend the closure of the land borders with Canada and Mexico until 2/21/2021.
  • 1/13/2021: On 1/12/2021,  the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) issued an order requiring all air passengers arriving in the US from a foreign country to be tested no more than 3 days before their flight departs and to provide proof of the negative result or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 to the airline before boarding the flight. This order will go into effect on January 26, 2021, and the CDC has posted an FAQ page which explains the new requirement. This new requirement is in addition to the existing physical presence bans limiting travel.
  • 1/4/2021: On 12/31/2020, the Trump Administration, extended until 3/31/2021 the June 22, 2020 proclamation limiting entry of certain applicants into the US, which was set to expire on 12/31/2020. Please note that there is a wide range of exceptions to this proclamation. For an overview, please refer to the US Department of State.

December 2020

  • 12/22/2020: The Department of Homeland Security announced that the closure of the land borders with Canada and Mexico has been extended until 1/21/2021.
  • 12/22/2020: On 12/14/2020, in a legal challenge - which the University of Michigan joined as a plaintiff - against the Department of Labor's (DOL) Interim Final Rule (IFR) that substantially raised prevailing wage determinations, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia granted the plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgement. As a result, the DOL IFR has been set aside.
  • 12/9/2020: As a result of several court challenges, the recently promulgated interim final rules regarding the minimum eligibility standard for H-1B petition as well as prevailing wage determinations have been set aside. The Department of Homeland Security regulation, which was scheduled to take effect on 12/8/2020, will not take effect. The Department of Labor will revert to its previous prevailing wage determination calculation methodology.

November 2020

  • 11/23/2020: The Department of Homeland Security announced that the closure of the land borders with Canada and Mexico has been extended until 12/21/2020.

October 2020

  • 10/30/2020: In response to the most recent Department of Labor (DOL) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations affecting the H-1B program -- see our 10/8/2020 announcement below -- the University of Michigan has joined Purdue University as well as several other universities and trade organizations as a plaintiff in the legal challenge against the DOL regulation. A separate lawsuit, spearheaded by several other universities and trade organizations, challenges the DHS and DOL regulations. In the DOL lawsuit in which UM is a party, the plaintiffs filed a motion for preliminary injunction this week seeking to prevent the DOL Interim Final Rule from taking effect. The court has ordered the government to respond and will decide whether or not the government had good cause to bypass the notice and comment portion of the rulemaking process. It is expected that arguments will be heard in November and a decision will be made soon thereafter. For more information, see here, here and here
  • 10/21/2020: On 10/19/2020, the Department of Homeland Security announced that the travel restrictions for Mexico and Canada will be extended until 11/21/2020.
  • 10/16/2020: On 10/16/2020, USCIS announced that effective Monday 10/19/2020, the filing fee for Premium Processing (for existing case types) will increase from $1,440 to $2,500 as required by the the “Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act," which was passed by Congress on 9/30/2020.
  • 10/8/2020: On 10/6/2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the US Department of Labor (DOL) announced new, interim final regulations. The DHS rule alters certain key regulatory definitions in an effort to limit H-1B eligibility and to limit H-1B sponsorship for 3rd party placements. The DOL rule would result in higher prevailing wage determinations unless employers rely on external wage data. We are still reviewing and analyzing these regulations, but believe that, as written, they contain substantial ambiguities that will need to be clarified. Note that the DOL regulation will take effect immediately; the DHS rule will take effect in 60 days. Please see FSIS email announcement on this topic for additional insight on this topic.

September 2020

  • 9/30/2020: On 9/29/2020, the Federal District Court for the Northern District of California issued a preliminary national injunction against the enforcement of the new fee rule, which was scheduled to take effect on 10/2/2020. As a result, while the injunction remains in effect, the USCIS fees will not change and the processing time for Premium Processing remains at 15 calendar days instead of 15 business days. See our fees and checks page for more information.
  • 9/20/2020: On 9/18/2020, the Department of Homeland Security announced that the existing travel restrictions at the land borders with Canada and Mexico were again extended until 10/21/2020.

August 2020

  • 8/20/2020: On 8/14/2020, the Department of Homeland Security announced that the existing travel restrictions at the land borders with Canada and Mexico will be extended until 9/21/2020.
  • 8/14/2020: FSIS email announcement on new IC hours, USCIS fees, Premium Processing, LCA posting process, DOS waiver criteria, green card requests and the new termination/transfer form.
  • 8/13/2020: On 8/12/2020, the US Department of State further expanded its list of exceptions to and national interest waiver eligibility criteria for the 6/22/2020 Presidential Proclamation to include applicants seeking to resume ongoing employment and technical specialists, senior level managers and other workers whose travel is necessary to facilitate the immediate and continued economic recovery of the United States. There are specific eligibility criteria to qualify for the latter exception category but some of our (new) employees who have not been able to obtain an H-1B visa may qualify under this category. Please be sure to consult with your FSIS adviser to determine whether you or your unit’s employee may qualify and to determine next steps.

July 2020

  • 7/31/2020: On 7/29/2020, the US District Court for the Sothern District of New York issued an injunction of the Inadmissibility on Public Charge rule. On 7/31/2020, USCIS announced that as long as the injunction remains in effect, USCIS will not apply the Public Charge rule as implemented and will instead rely on the previous guidance on the receipt of public benefits.
  • 7/28/2020: At the request of Academic HR (AHR), the IC confirms that existing international faculty and GSIs with teaching duties may generally teach their courses in person or remotely without jeopardizing their immigration status. However, as the rules and regulations for each immigration status are different, action on the part of the employee and/or their unit may be required before an individual may teach remotely. Please refer to the AHR email announcement for additional information.
  • 7/20/2020: On 7/16/2020, the Department of Homeland Security announced, and on 7/17/2020 Customs and Border Protection confirmed, that the existing travel restrictions at the land borders with Canada and Mexico will be extended until 8/20/2020.
  • 7/16/2020: On 7/16/2020, the US Department of State clarified its list of exceptions to the 6/22/2020 Presidential Proclamation and indicated that it may issue visas for specific groups of individuals, including “certain H and J visa applicants who are traveling to work in support of a critical U.S. foreign policy objective (such as COVID-19 response)” and “spouses and children of certain visa class holders, such as H, J, and L visa holders who are already excepted from, or not subject to [the proclamation].” The Department of State reiterated that it will “continue to issue H, L, and J visas to otherwise qualified derivative applicants who are otherwise currently excepted or where the principal applicant is currently in the United States.”
  • 7/14/2020: On 7/13/2020, the US Department of State announced via Twitter (and confirmed on 7/14/2020) that US embassies and consulates are beginning the phased resumption of routine visa services, but that the dates for reopening will depend on local conditions and that applicants should monitor the website for the embassy or consulate for updates. Please note that the Department of State previously announced (here and here) that it would not be issuing “H-1B, H-2B, L, or certain J visas, and their derivatives through December 31, 2020, unless an exception applies[,]” even if the applicant was in the US on the effective date of the 6/22/2020 White House Proclamation and, therefore, is not subject to the proclamation. Also, note that other COVID-19-related travel restrictions remain in place.

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

  • 4/23/2020: FSIS email announcement on the Voluntary Furlough and Voluntary Effort Reduction programs and the April 22, 2020 Executive Order on immigration
  • 4/20/2020: Customs and Border Protection announced that travel restrictions at the Canadian and Mexican land borders would be extended by 30 days
  • 4/7/2020: International employees who hold H-1B, H-1B1 or E-3 status have employment authorization for a specific employer, specific job and a specific geographic location. We recognize that many University of Michigan employees are working remotely from home. Most employees live and are working from home within a normal commuting distance from their normal work location. However, if you are working remotely, within the US, from a location that is not within normal commuting distance from your regular work site (as indicated in your immigration petition), we may need to amend your H-1B, H-1B1 or E-3 record with USCIS. Therefore, if you are working remotely AND your remote work location is not within a normal commuting distance from your normal worksite (but in the US), please contact FSIS.

March 2020

  • 3/20/2020: USCIS announced that, effective immediately and until further notice, it is suspending Premium Processing for all H-1B, TN and employment-based green card applications.
  • 3/20/2020: The Department of State announced it is temporarily suspending all routine visa services at all US consulates and embassies abroad.
  • 3/19/2020: Customs and Border Protection announced that, effective 11.59pm on 3/20/2020, the US land borders to Canada and Mexico would be closed to non-essential travel for a 30-day period. Generally, individuals coming to the US to work are exempt and may continue to cross the border. See here for announcements on Canada and Mexico