Immigration News

UIS Statement on Immigration

“The University of Illinois Springfield fosters and celebrates the diversity of its students, faculty, and staff as a foundational aspect of our mission and our service to the public good. We support the safety, well-being, and success of all members of our University community, including those whose families have immigrated to the United States and those who have traveled to UIS and the surrounding community to study, research, teach, or serve as staff and administrators. Creating a campus that is welcoming and inclusive to all is vital to our mission, vision, and values, and is also vital to our goal of creating and sustaining global leaders, scholars, and citizens, through engagement and innovation.”

Executive Order on Immigration: Travel Bans

The new travel ban becomes effective on February 21, 2020. Travel Ban 4.0 contains restrictions on immigrants but not on nonimmigrants, so it will not impact visas like F-1 student, J-1 exchange visitor, H-1B worker, etc., or of admission to the United States in those categories. Meanwhile, Travel Ban 3.0 continues in effect on certain citizens of Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, and Somalia. The Travel Ban 3.0 and 4.0 restrictions are country-specific, and tailored to the situation of each individual country.

For more information regarding the specific conditions of each country:  Travel Ban: NAFSA Resources

COVID-19 Global Concern

The University of Illinois Springfield has established the UIS COVID-19 Response Team to monitor our university’s preparedness in response to the growing global concern about the novel coronavirus COVID-19. This interdisciplinary team is working in alignment with the UI System Planning and Response Team to ensure coordination with system responses as well as to ensure our university is properly prepared to meet the unique needs of our students, faculty and staff.

The Office of Web Services has created a new website, uis.edu/covid-19, to keep all UIS stakeholders informed of our preparedness efforts and to address any frequently asked questions we’re hearing from our university community. Additionally, UIS Health Services continues to lead the way in providing advice to aid in the prevention of illness and share recommendations from the CDC, IDPH and other health partners to stay healthy.

Public Charge

USCIS will implement the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds Final Rule nationwide, including in Illinois, on Feb. 24, 2020. USCIS will apply the Final Rule to all applications and petitions on or after that date. The Final Rule requires applicants for adjustment of status who are subject to the public charge ground of inadmissibility and certain applicants and petitioners seeking extension of stay and change of status to report certain information related to public benefits.

“Public Charge” is a long-standing feature of U.S. immigration law that may impact families or those with dependents. By definition, someone who is a “public charge” relies on the U.S. government for financial support. Under immigration law, an alien who is (or is likely to become) a public charge may be barred from entering the United States, and is ineligible to adjust their status (i.e., become a green card holder). The use of government funds alone does not necessarily make one a public charge. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must consider each individual’s circumstance when making a public charge determination.

The decision to use public benefits, even those exempt from public charge consideration, should not be made without reasoned thought to the possible consequences. For instance, at the time of visa application, nonimmigrant students and their dependents must demonstrate that they have adequate funds to support themselves during their stay in the United States. A family that used public funds for prenatal care and delivery, for instance, might find it more difficult or even impossible to renew their U.S. entry visa while abroad.

For more information regarding what government benefits are subject to public charge consideration, view the Overview of Public Charge.

For additional information, please visit the USCIS Public Charge website.

USCIS Issues Policy Guidance Clarifying How Federal Controlled Substances Law Applies to Naturalization Determinations

USCIS is issuing policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to clarify that violations of federal controlled substance law, including violations involving marijuana, are generally a bar to establishing good moral character for naturalization, even where that conduct would not be an offense under state law.  The policy guidance also clarifies that an applicant who is involved in certain marijuana-related activities may lack good moral character if found to have violated federal law, even if such activity has been decriminalized under applicable state laws.

Since 1996, some states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws to decriminalize the manufacture, possession, distribution, and use of both medical and non-medical (recreational) marijuana in their respective jurisdictions. However, federal law classifies marijuana as a “Schedule I” controlled substance whose manufacture (which includes production, such as planting, cultivation, growing, or harvesting), distribution, dispensing, or possession may lead to immigration consequences.

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