October 19, 2020

Premium Processing Fee Increase Effective October 19th, 2020

USICIS has increased the Premium Processing Fee from $1440 to $2500.

August 21, 2020

USCIS will change fees effective October 2, 2020 - ON HOLD

USCIS has posted a Final Rule to introduce new fees effective October 2, 2020. The announcement can be found here. The key changes are below:

  • I-129 H-1B base fee will be $555 (currently $460)
  • I-129 O-1 base fee will be $705 (currently $460)
  • I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence will be $1130 (currently $1140)
  • I-140 Immigrant Petiton for Alien Worker will be $555 (currently $700)
  • I-539 H-4 Dependent Change or Extension of Status will be $390 (currently $370), plus $30 biometric screening fee per dependent (currently $85)
  • Premium Processing cases will now be adjudicated within 15 business days rather than 15 calendar days

USCIS Furloughs Possible Beginning on October 1st, 2020

USCIS has threatened to furlough 13,400 of its 20,000 workers as of August 30th, 2020 unless it receives $1.2 billion that it requests. The agency,, which is already plagued by long processing delays and ever-increasing backlogs, would be severely hampered, if not effectively shut down, by the furlough. The full article can be found here.

Visa Processing at Consulates

Following the suspension all routine visa services at U.S consulates, some are now beginning to resume services. Please be advised, there will likely be a backlog of visa requests due to suspended consular services, so obtaining new or renewal visas may take longer than anticipated.

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

On June 22, President Trump issued a proclamation that impacts some employment based visas (H-1B, O-1). If you have an employee or prospected employee who is not in the U.S and have questions about the impact of the proclamation, please contact our office. *UPDATE 3/11/2021* The Presidential Proclamation of 6/22/2020 was rescinded by President Biden on 2/24/2021.  Please contact Immigration and HR Services for any questions regarding this.

June 01, 2020

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for Certain Petitions  

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced that it will resume premium processing for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, in phases over the next month. 

Effective June 1, 2020, USCIS will accept Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for all eligible Form I-140 petitions.

Effective June 8, USCIS will accept premium processing requests for: 

  • H-1B petitions filed before June 8 that are pending adjudication and are cap-exempt (for example, petitions filed by petitioners that are cap-exempt and petitions filed for beneficiaries previously counted toward the numerical allocations). 

  • All other Form I-129 petitions (non H-1B petitions) for nonimmigrant classifications eligible for premium processing filed before June 8 that are pending adjudication.

Effective June 15, USCIS plans on resuming premium processing for: 

  • H-1B petitions requesting premium processing by filing an I-907 concurrently with their I-129 (or request for a petition filed on or after June 8) and are exempt from the cap because: 

  • The employer is cap-exempt or because the beneficiary will be employed at a qualifying cap-exempt institution, entity or organization (such as an institution of higher education, a nonprofit research organization or a governmental research organization); or 

  • The beneficiary is cap-exempt based on a Conrad/IGA waiver under INA section 214(l).

Effective June 22, USCIS plans on resuming premium processing for all other Form I-129 petitions, including: 

  • All H-1B cap-subject petitions (including those for fiscal year 2021), including change of status from F-1 nonimmigrant status, for both premium processing upgrades and concurrently filed I-907s. 

  • All other Form I-129 petitions for nonimmigrant classifications eligible for premium processing and requesting premium processing by filing an I-907 concurrently with their I-129.

All dates are subject to change as USCIS continues to take on more premium processing requests and USCIS will announce any changes to these dates accordingly.

On March 20, USCIS announced the temporary suspension of premium processing for all Form I-129 and I-140 petitions due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). USCIS continues to process any petition with a previously accepted Form I-907, in accordance with the premium processing service criteria. Petitioners who had already filed Form I-129 or Form I-140 using the premium processing service before the March 20 suspension, but received no action and a refund, may refile their Form I-907 consistent with the timeline above, barring any changes USCIS may announce in the future.

May 11, 2020


As we work to support our exchange visitors during these uncertain times, we understand that some of our exchange visitors are seeking to return home.  The Office of Private Sector Exchange Program Administration (OPA) writes to remind you that country specific repatriation information will be posted on:   In particular, please make sure to check the 'EMBASSY CONTACTS' section regularly as it is updated almost daily.  


This web page contains a frequently updated list of foreign embassies and consulates, including possible repatriation flights.  This information may be helpful to our exchange visitors who may experience difficulties returning to their home country due to lack of commercially available flights or travel restrictions.  Please be advised to keep us apprised of your travel plans and to proactively reach out to your respective embassy or nearest consulate prior to planning and embarking on international travel.

April 08, 2020

Exchange Visitor Program Update: Foreign Embassy Contact Information

As you may be aware, the Department is continuing to closely monitor the impacts of COVID-19 on our exchange visitors, including opportunities to return home.  As part of these efforts, the Department has received guidance from the embassies listed below.  These embassies have asked that sponsors encourage their exchange visitors to contact the appropriate embassy or consulate at the websites below. The contact information is current as of today, April 7th, 2020.  The Department will continue to provide and update this and other helpful information on: 




EVs should email their information (name, location, contact info, exchange program) to the Albanian Embassy at:  


EVs should contact the embassy or closest consulate:;   


EVs should contact the Cultural Office of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain via email at:  


EVs should visit the Embassy’s website:  


EVs should contact the Embassy at: 202–885-9279;  


EVs should visit the Embassy’s website:,60419.html   

Czech Republic  

EVs should visit the Embassy’s website:   


EVs should visit the Embassy’s website: 


EVs should visit the Embassy’s website:   


EVs should visit the Embassy’s website:   


EVs should contact the Kosovo Embassy via email:  


EVs should send their data and questions to these email addresses:  and The 24/7 emergency telephone number is +1-202-256-2924   


EVs should contact the embassy via:  


EVs should register with Embassy of Montenegro via email:


EVs should visit the Embassy’s website:   


EVs should contact the Peruvian Embassy at this link:  


EVs should reach out to the embassy or consulate.  For the NY Consulate - The consulate has said that Russian citizens should contact at

·         The general consular section email contact at the Russian Embassy in DC: 

Saudi Arabia  

EVs have until April 10 to apply for return to the Kingdom on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ e-service platform (, with priority given to Saudi citizens in countries most affected by COVID-19, the elderly, and pregnant women.  All returning Saudis will be subject to a 14-day mandatory quarantine in hotels throughout the Kingdom.  


EVs should visit the Embassy’s website:  


EVs should visit the Embassy’s website:   


EVs should send their details to Abdirahman Bashir at:  

South Africa  

EVs should reach out to the Embassy ( if they are interested in curtailing their stay and returning home.  


 More information can found at:  

March 23, 2020

USCIS Temporarily Suspends Premium Processing

We have received notification from U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) that they will no longer be accepting petitions with premium processing. The Alert is below and the link to this information is at:  

Alert: On March 20, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced the immediate and temporary suspension of premium processing service for all Form I-129 and I-140 petitions until further notice due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). 

At this time, USCIS Service Centers are still accepting petitions and applications under normal processing. In cases for change of nonimmigrant status or immigrant petitions with AC21 implications, normal processing could disrupt current employment authorization requiring removal from payroll while change of status is pending with USCIS. In cases where an approved I-140 is required for H-1B extensions beyond the 6 year maximum, employees may be required to change status to a visitor to remain in the U.S. or depart until I-140 is approved.

October 31, 2019

USCIS Adjusting Premium Processing Fee

Today, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration announced beginning on Dec. 2, it is adjusting the fee to request premium processing for certain employment-based petitions.

The premium processing fee will increase to $1,440 from the current fee of $1,410 for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. This increase, which is done in accordance with the Immigration and Nationality Act, reflects the full amount of inflation from the implementation of the premium processing fee in June 2001 through August 2019 based on the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U). USCIS last increased the fee in 2018.

For additional information, please visit

May 29, 2019


The European Union (EU) implemented the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on May 25, 2018.  The GDPR aims to protect the personal information of individuals in the EU by placing specific requirements on how organizations collect and process personal data.  Because Case Western Reserve collects and uses data of EU applicants, donors, and research collaborators, the University may be subject to the GDPR requirements.  

The CWRU Compliance Office is the contact point for GDPR requests.  


April 30, 2019



The OIHRS wishes to notify all individuals designated in exchange programs (J-1s) with work components to know that the 2018 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) includes changes to the federal income tax law that may affect some exchange visitors.


The new federal income tax law, which will be implemented in 2019, eliminates the personal exemption of $4,050 when filing Form 1040-NR for nonresident aliens.  This may affect exchange visitors’ refund of wages withheld for federal income tax and may consequently increase the cost of Exchange Visitor Program participation.  


As you are aware, tax-related issues are under the purview of the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS).   For more information on the TCJA, please visit the IRS website ( look for IRS Publication 5307.

February 21, 2019

USCIS to Publish Revised Form I-539 and New Form I-539A

USCIS has revised Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status and will publish the revised form on the USCIS website on March 11, 2019. Starting on March 11, 2019, they will only accept the revised Form I-539 with an edition date of 02/04/19. 

The revised Form I-539 includes the following significant changes: 

  • Every co-applicant included on the primary applicant’s Form I-539 must submit and sign a separate Form I-539A, which will be available on the Form I-539 webpage on March 11. Parents or guardians may sign on behalf of children under 14 or any co-applicant who is not mentally competent to sign.
  • Every applicant and co-applicant must pay an $85 biometric services fee, except certain A, G, and NATO nonimmigrants as noted in the new Form I-539 Instructions to be published on March 11.
  • Every applicant and co-applicant will receive a biometric services appointment notice, regardless of age, containing their individual receipt number. The biometric services appointments will be scheduled at the Application Support Center (ASC) closest to the primary applicant’s address. Co-applicants who wish to be scheduled at a different ASC location should file a separate Form I-539.

USCIS will reject any Form I-539 that is missing any of the required signatures or biometrics fees, including those required for Form I-539A. 

More details can be found here: New I-539 Details

January 4, 2019

TRAVEL ADVISORY: The Department of State today alerted U.S. citizens travelling to China to exercise increased caution in China due to arbitrary enforcement of local laws as well as special restrictions on dual U.S.-Chinese nationals. For more information on this alert, please go to:  CHINESE TRAVEL ADVISORY.

October 16, 2018

USCIS today announced a policy update on Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record. Starting November 1, 2018, Form I-693s will have a validity period of 2 years.  However, the Form I-693 cannot have been completed more than 60 days before it is filed with USCIS. 

Form I-693 Submitted to USCIS Before November 1, 2018

When did civil

surgeon sign?

When was underlying benefit application filed with USCIS?

I-693 retains evidentiary

value through

No more than 1 year before I-693 submitted to USCIS

More than 60 days after civil surgeon signed the I-693

1 year from date applicant submitted I-693 to USCIS

No more than 60 days before underlying benefit application filed with USCIS

No more than 60 days after civil surgeon signed the I-693

2 years from date civil surgeon signed I-693

After the benefit application was filed with USCIS

Before the civil surgeon signed the I-693

2 years from date civil surgeon signed I-693

More than 1 year before I-693 submitted to USCIS

N/A – I-693 not valid at time applicant submits I-693 to USCIS


Form I-693 Submitted to USCIS On or After November 1, 2018

When did civil surgeon sign?

I-693 retains evidentiary value through

No more than 60 days before applicant filed underlying benefit application with USCIS

2 years from date civil surgeon signed I-693

After applicant filed benefit application with USCIS

2 years from date civil surgeon signed I-693

More than 60 days before applicant filed benefit application with USCIS

N/A – I-693 not valid at time applicant submits I-693 to USCIS

For more information, go to: Update to Form I-693 Validity.

September 24, 2018

CWRU's Fall 2018 Asian Mid-Autumn Festival celebration will be held Monday, September 24 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm in Thwing Center. 

The Asian Mid-Autumn Festival is about bringing families together and goes by many names including Tet Trung Thu, Tsukimi and Chuseok. Traditions vary, but often family and friends celebrate the harvest of rice and wheat by eating special desserts like mooncakes, sharing stories, and hanging lanterns. The moon is an important part of the holiday, and it's common for celebrations take place at night to provide an opportunity to enjoy it.  

We’ll have food from local ethnic restaurants, music, giveaways and more.  This event is open to all students, staff, faculty and community members. 

Facebook Event Info:

Campus Groups Event Info:

September 4, 2018

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today it is adjusting the premium processing fee for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers beginning on Oct. 1, 2018 to more effectively adjudicate petitions and maintain effective service to petitioners.  The premium processing fee will increase to $1,410 from the current fee of $1,225. 

August 17, 2018

Clarification of STEM OPT Extension Reporting Responsibilities and Training Obligations.  USCIS today clarified reporting obligations for STEM OPT individuals and employers.  Students and employers must report material changes to the Designated School Official (DSO) at the earliest opportunity by submitting a modified Form I-983. Employers must report the STEM OPT student’s termination of employment or departure to the DSO within five business days.  As previously indicated on the webpage, students must report certain changes, such as changes to their employer’s name and address, to their DSO within 10 business day.  Please see the USCIS website for details.

July 19, 2018

DHS Announces Extension of Temporary Protected Status Designations for Somalia through March 17, 2020.  Please see the USCIS site for details.

May 25, 2017

Effective June 24, 2015

DHS Announces Extension of Temporary Protected Status Designations for Haiti

Please see the USCIS site for details.

March 7, 2017

Premium Processing of H-1Bs to Be Temporarily Suspended April 3, 2017

Please be advised that the government has announced it will suspend H-1B premium processing on April 3, 2017, for all H-1B petitions for up to six months. This is in an effort to reduce a large case backlog. Any individuals in H-1B status that will need to travel internationally in the next six months are urged to contact our office by no later than March 17, 2017, to determine if premium processing is necessary. Individuals with questions or concerns should contact Joshua Forquer, H-1B Specialist at the Office of HR and Immigration Services at 216.368.6964.

November 15, 2016

International Spouse Support Group - CWRU

The International Spouse Support Group is a group for wives interested in meeting other wives from different cultures and sharing experiences about living in the U.S. and other countries. You can practice conversational English, play games, learn crafts, and talk about books and experiences dealing with family relationships.

Spouses (or married female students) of International students and scholars, faculty, and staff are welcome to join, as well as American women interested in building cross-cultural friendships.

This group is a sponsored activity through International Student Fellowship, serving wives at CWRU and

OFF CAMPUS: Sometimes we meet in the homes of our members and cook together, or go out on a field trip; like the zoo, Amish Country, art museum, downtown, shopping, etc. Please call or text Arlene at 216-225-1367 cell or send an email to find out where we will be and please join us.

Arlene Frankos and Carolyn Advincula, facilitators


Find us on Facebook.

February 6, 2017

Diversity Immigrant Visa Program - 2017

DV-2017 Entrants (those who entered the DV lottery between October 1, 2015, and November 3, 2015) have until September 30, 2017, to check the status of their entry through this website. The DV-2017 registration period was from October 1, 2015, until November 3, 2015.

October 14, 2015

Diversity Immigrant Visa Program - 2015

The Diversity Visa Program, Green Card Lottery, will begin on October 1, 2015, at 12:00 p.m. EDT, and conclude on November 3, 2015, at 12:00 p.m. EDT. Early entry is recommended. Please see the link below for complete instructions. You may also contact our Department with any questions.

The English version of the DV-2017 Program Instructions is available here. The English language version of the DV-2017 Program Instructions is the only official version.

June 24, 2015

Effective June 24, 2015

DHS Announces Temporary Protected Status Designations for Nepal

Please see the USCIS site for details.

March 2, 2015

Effective May 26, 2015

H-4 spouses of H-1B nonimmigrant workers who have taken steps to become permanent residents can apply for work authorization. The H-1B nonimmigrant must be the principal beneficiary of an approved Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, I-140 to qualify.

Please contact the Office of Immigration and Human Resource Services for additional information.

December 29, 2014

US Department of State issues new rule for J-1 visa English Proficiency

Please see the standard for J-1 English Proficiency as set by the University. These go into effect January 5, 2015.

November 20, 2014

DHS Announces Temporary Protected Status Designations for Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone

Please see the USCIS site for details.