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

  • 10/21/2020: 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.
  • 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