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New H-1B Proposed Rule and Duration of Status

Office of Global Learning

Dear international students and scholars:

We know that this is a time of great uncertainty and stress. We want to share new developments, some of the ways we are working to support and advocate for you, and upcoming events and resources.

Immigration News: New H-1B Proposed Rule

We’ve received notice of a new proposed rule, Modification of Registration Requirement for Petitioners Seeking to File Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions. On November 2, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is publishing this proposed regulation to replace the lottery system for H-1B petitions and instead institute a hard cap, giving preference to applications for higher-level positions. The new system will give preference to those receiving the highest salaries. 

Under this proposal, it will be harder to get H-1B status for entry-level positions. If this proposed rule takes effect, it will likely be challenged in court.

A 30-day public comment period will begin on November 2. Cornell will comment, and we urge graduating students who may be affected by the rule to submit individual comments, as well. We will provide talking points if you wish to comment.

Cornell Advocacy: Duration of Status Changes

Cornell has contributed a comment letter on the proposed changes to Duration of Status (D/S). Cornell’s letter urges DHS to withdraw this proposed regulation that threatens more than one million international students—including F-1 and J-1 international students at Cornell, who are central to the university’s education, research, and patient care missions.

Our comment joins more than 32,000 public comments submitted in reaction to the DHS proposal to eliminate D/S for F-1, M-1, and J-1 students and exchange visitors. For more information about the rule, visit our New and Proposed Immigration Rules FAQ.

DHS will now review and address the public comments as they work toward a final rule. The timeline for this is currently unknown. We will update you as soon as we have more information.

Cornell Advocacy: H-1B Wage Levels and Specialty Definition Changes

Cornell has also joined as a plaintiff in the lawsuit, Chamber of Commerce et al. vs. the Department of Homeland Security et al. to protest changes to H-1B visas around wage levels and specialty definitions. A hearing is scheduled for November 23, and we will report back as soon as we have more information.

Events and Resources

Coping with 2020: Resiliency for International Scholars: in Cornell CAPS on Monday, November 9 at 11 a.m. EST for a session designed to support your well-being. With so many stressors associated with events beyond our control, international scholars may feel vulnerable, anxious, and isolated, especially in light of the U.S. election. At this session, international students and postdocs can learn best practices to prioritize health and well-being, the importance of community, and ways to strengthen resiliency.

Protests and Your RightsDo you feel passionate about a cause and want to get involved? If you decide to make your voice heard at a protest, first read our new Protests and Your Rights page. You’ll find guidance on your rights and risks as an international visitor.

Webinar Highlights Advocacy for International Students (Chronicle, October 20): Ballots and Borders (video), a webinar led by Stephen Yale-Loehr, was part of Cornell’s ongoing advocacy during a time of serious immigration concerns for its international students. Read about Cornell’s federal advocacy, Study Away, and more.

Cornell's Lobbying Efforts on behalf of International Students and Scholars: Updates with Q&A: Join Dianne Miller, Senior Director, and Kristen Adams, Director, from Cornell's Office of Federal Relations, and Laura Taylor, Senior Associate Director from the Office of Global Learning, to learn about Cornell's efforts to advocate and lobby on behalf of international students and scholars regarding recent immigration actions from the U.S. government. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions.

We invite you to join us virtually on Thursday, November 12 at 8:30 a.m. EST. Registration is required for the event.