Immigration Law and Policy Updates

The information on this page is subject to change. It is provided for educational purposes only and not as part of an attorney-client relationship. It is not a substitute for legal advice.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)​ is an immigration benefit that protects eligible immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. DACA gives immigrants 1) protection from deportation and 2) a work permit.

2020 07 20 NYU IDI DACA Update
Latest DACA updates as of July 20, 2021


President Trump terminated the DACA program on September 5, 2017. In response, several lawsuits were filed in federal courts across the country challenging the termination of the program. The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments regarding the termination of DACA on November 12, 2019.

Supreme Court Ruling Upholding DACA

On June 18, 2020 the Supreme Court held that the Trump administration's rescission of DACA was unlawful, thus protecting a victory that immigrant youth fought tirelessly for. The ruling reinstates the DACA program as it was first introduced on June 15, 2012. As a result, USCIS must  process both initial and renewal DACA applications for the time being. The Immigrant Defense Initiative will update this page as more guidance emerges. Please contact the Immigrant Defense Initiative by emailing or calling 212-998-6435 for any questions.

For more information on DACA, check out ​CLINIC’s resources​.


Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Updates

NYU community members interested in applying for TPS should email us at .

TPS for Venezuelans

Venezuelans living in the United States may now be eligible to apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which provides recipients with an 18-month authorization to live in the United States and enables them to apply for a work permit. Venezuelans seeking to apply for TPS must prove that they: 1) are Venezuelan citizens; 2) were residing in the United States on March 8, 2021; and 3) have been residing in the U.S. continuously since March 8, 2021. If you have not been continuously residing in the U.S. since March 8, 2021 or have been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the United States, you are not eligible for TPS. If you’ve had any contact with the criminal legal system and are interested in applying for TPS, please make sure to contact us before applying by emailing

TPS recipients can continue to renew their TPS as long as their country of citizenship is designated a TPS country. The registration period for Venezuelan nationals is from March 9, 2021 to September 5, 2021. The designation of Venezuela for TPS begins on March 9, 2021 and will remain in effect through September 9, 2022. The Department of Homeland Security can choose to extend Venezuela’s designation as a TPS country beyond this. If it does and you were granted TPS, you will need to re-register during the next registration period. To apply for TPS, file the Form I-821. To apply for a work permit, file Form I-765. The forms can be accessed here: and

TPS for Burmese nationals

Burmese nationals living in the United States may now be eligible to apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which provides recipients with an 18-month authorization to live in the United States and enables them to apply for a work permit. Burmese nationals seeking to apply for TPS must prove that they have been continuously residing in the United States since March 11, 2021. Other eligibility criteria will be detailed in a forthcoming Federal Register notice.

To apply for TPS, file the Form I-821. To apply for a work permit, file Form I-765. The forms can be accessed here: and

Trump-Era Public Charge Rule No Longer in Effect

On March 9, 2021, the Biden administration announced that they would not defend the Trump-era “public charge” rule in court. This comes after the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois vacated the Public Charge Rule on November 2, 2020, whereupon the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit stayed the decision. The stay was lifted by the Seventh Circuit on March 9, 2021. As a result, the Trump administration’s Public Charge Final Rule will no longer apply to pending and future adjustment of status applications. The Form I-944 can no longer be found in USCIS’ website and applicants applying to adjust their status should not file the Form I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency.

Immigration related Executive Actions Biden has taken so far

Please note: Although Biden has proposed comprehensive immigration reform legislation, Congress has not passed the bill. Please do not hire anyone who says they can help you get legal status/citizenship under Biden's bill. 

  1. Revoked the Muslim and African "travel" bans: Biden’s proclamation rescinding the "travel" bans directs Embassies and Consulates to resume visa processing of applications in affected countries, and requires the Secretary of State to prepare a report outlining plans for: 1) expeditiously adjudicating those waivers; 2) reconsideration of applications that were denied; and 3) ensuring that applicants denied a visa under the ban not be prejudiced in future visa application considerations.

  2. Issued a 100-day moratorium on deportations beginning January 22, 2021. However, the moratorium does not apply to anyone who: 1) was not physically present in the United States before November 1, 2020; 2) is subject to a voluntary departure order or agreed to waive any rights to remain in the United States; 3) the Acting Director of ICE determines that removal is required by law; or 4) according to a written finding by the Director of ICE has engaged or is suspected of engaging in terrorism, espionage, or is a national security threat. Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton, who is being criminally investigated by the FBI after eight of his most senior aides accused him of bribery and abuse of office, filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction on the moratorium and a declaration that the moratorium is unlawful. Paused Trump's border wall construction and terminated the "national emergency" at the southern border. By invoking this so-called emergency, Trump obtained $10 billion from the Defense Department, which he used towards constructing 455 miles of the wall, despite his repeated promises that Mexico would pay for the wall. On January 26, 2021, a federal judge in Texas issued a temporary restraining order blocking Biden's 100-day moratorium on deportations.

  3. Preserved DACA – Biden’s January 20, 2021 memorandum directs the DHS Secretary to take actions to preserve and fortify the DACA program.

  4. Set new enforcement priorities: Biden issued an "Executive Order on the Revision of Civil Immigration Enforcement Policies and Priorities" on January 20, 2021 that revokes Trump’s Executive Order 13768 (Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States), which prioritized the removal of non-citizens: 1) charged with criminal offenses, even without a conviction; 2) who committed acts that constitute a criminal offense, even without formal charges; 3) with criminal convictions; 4) subject to a removal order; 5) who have engaged in fraud or willful misrepresentation; 6) who abused any program related to public benefits; or 7) who pose a risk to safety or national security. It also penalized “sanctuary jurisdictions” by withholding federal funds and pushed jurisdictions to implement agreements under 287(g) of the INA by authorizing local law enforcement officials to perform the functions of immigration officers.

  5. Suspended new enrollments in the Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as “Remain in Mexico.” However, the Biden administration has not announced any changes for the 70,630 asylum seekers forced to remain in Mexico as a result of the program.

  6. Reinstated Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for Liberians through June 30, 2022. Trump had planned to get rid of DED for Liberians, ordering the end of the program  by January 10, 2021.

  7. Issued a proclamation ensuring that census data include undocumented immigrants as inhabitants of states and revoked Trump’s Executive Order 13880 (Collecting Information About Citizenship Status in Connection with the Decennial Census)" and Memorandum "Excluding Illegal Aliens from the Apportionment Base Following the 2020 Census)."

  8. Reinstated COVID-19 travel restrictions on non-citizens who are traveling from the United Kingdom, the Schengen Area (consisting of 26 European countries), Ireland, Brazil, and South Africa.

Biden's 100-day moratorium on deportation

On January 20, 2021, the Acting Secretary of DHS, David Pekoske, signed a memorandum  titled “Review of and Interim Revision to Civil Immigration Enforcement and Removal Policies and Priorities,” which orders a 100-day moratorium on removals beginning on January 22, 2021. However, according to the memo, the following groups of people are exceptions and can still be removed:

  1. Anyone who was not physically present in the United States before November 1, 2020;
  2. Those subject to a voluntary order or who voluntarily waived any rights to remain in the United States, provided they are fully aware of the consequences of the waiver and have had an opportunity to consult an attorney prior to signing the waiver;
  3. Individuals whom the Acting Director of ICE makes an individual determination that removal is required by law; and
  4. Anyone who based on a written finding by the Director of ICE has engaged in or is suspected of terrorism or espionage, or poses a national security threat.

This same memo outlines new enforcement priorities for the Biden Administration (national security, border security, and public safety), which are to take effect on February 1, 2021, and includes individuals who:

  1. Engaged in or are suspected of terrorism or espionage, or otherwise pose a national security threat;
  2. Were not physically present in the U.S. before November 1, 2020;
  3. Were Apprehended at the border or ports of entry while attempting to unlawfully enter the U.S. on or after November 1, 2020; and
  4. Were Incarcerated within a federal, state, or local prison or jail, and released after January 20, 2021, convicted of an “aggravated felony,” and are determined to pose a threat to public safety.

Notably, the Biden’s administration’s priorities of national security, border security, and public safety, are not different than those outlined by the Obama-Biden administration during which 3 million immigrants were removed, despite Biden calling the deportations "a big mistake." During these 100 days, DHS will be conducting a review of polices and practices concerning immigration enforcement and come up with recommendations to address the use of enforcement personnel, detention space; prosecutorial discretion; policies regarding detention; and policies regarding interactions with state and local law enforcement.

Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton, has filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction on the moratorium and a declaration that the moratorium is unlawful. On January 26, 2021, a federal judge in Texas issued a temporary restraining order blocking Biden's 100-day moratorium on deportations. The Southern District of Texas extended the TRO for the moratorium on deportations another 14 days, until February 23, 2021.

Executive Orders issued on February 2, 2021

On February 2, 2021, President Biden issued three immigration-related executive orders. Here’s what they do:

Biden's Executive Order on Establishment of Interagency Task Force on the Reunification of Families

The Executive Order establishes an Interagency Task Force on the Reunification of Families, comprised of the U.S. Attorney General, and the Secretaries and other employees of the Departments of State, Justice, Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security. The Task Force is charged with:

  • identifying all children who were separated from their families by the U.S. government at the U.S.-Mexico border between January 20, 2017 and January 20, 2021;
  • facilitating the reunification of the identified children with their families.

The Task Force is required to submit a report with recommendations to ensure that the Federal Government will not repeat the policies and practices leading to the separation of families. The Executive Order also revokes Trump’s Executive Order 13841 of June 20, 2018 (Affording Congress an Opportunity To Address Family Separation).

Biden’s Executive Order on Creating a Comprehensive Regional Framework to Address the Causes of Migration, To Manage Migration Throughout North and Central America, And To Provide Safe and Orderly Processing of Asylum Seekers at the United States Border

This Executive Order calls for the development of a strategy to address root causes of migration from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. The Strategy should:

  • expand and improve efforts to resettle throughout the Central American Northern Triangle migrants who qualify for humanitarian protection;
  • develop internal relocation and integration programs for internally displaced persons, as well as return and reintegration programs for returnees/deportees;
  • expand pathways though which individuals in difficult or dangerous conditions can find stability and safety in other countries throughout the region, not only through asylum and refugee settlement, but also through labor and other non-protection-related programs; and
  • identify and implement all legally available and appropriate forms of relief to complement the procedures afforded from the United States Refugee Admissions Program, including the Secretary of DHS’ authority to parole nationals who are the beneficiaries of a family-sponsored immigrant visas, and reversal of the 2017 decision rescinding the Central American Minors Parole Policy.

The Order further tasks the Secretary of DHS to:

  • develop policies and procedures to resume processing of asylum claims at U.S. land borders;
  • review and determine whether to terminate or modify the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP);
  • develop a strategy to facilitate the entry of those who have been forced to remain in Mexico as a result of MPP; and
  • review procedures for individuals placed in expedited removal proceedings at the U.S. border and consider whether to modify, revoke, or rescind the 2019 rule titled “Designating Aliens for Expedited Removal,” which broadened the scope of expedited removal to include individuals apprehended at the border and/or the interior of the U.S. who cannot demonstrate that they have been physically present in the U.S. for the two-year period immediately prior to their apprehension.

The Order also revokes the following agreements:

  1. Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Guatemala on Cooperation Regarding the Examination of Protection Claims,” 84 Fed. Reg. 64,095 (July 26, 2019).
  2. “Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of El Salvador for Cooperation in the Examination of Protection Claims,” 85 Fed. Reg. 83,597 (September 20, 2019).
  3.  “Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Honduras for Cooperation in the Examination of Protection Claims,” 85 Fed. Reg. 25,462 (September 25, 2019).

Executive Order on Restoring Faith in Our Legal immigration Systems and Strengthening Integration and Inclusion Efforts for New Americans

This Order tasks the Attorney General and Secretaries of Homeland Security and State to:

  • review all agency actions related to the implementation of the public charge ground of inadmissibility in the Immigration and Nationality Act;
  • identify barriers that impede access to immigration benefits;
  • identify agency actions that fail to promote access to the legal immigration system such as the rule “U.S. Citizenship and immigration service Fee Schedule and Changes to Certain Other Immigration Benefit Request Requirements”;
  • conduct a comprehensive review of the naturalization process; and
  • develop a plan to eliminate barriers and improve the naturalization process with the goal of reducing processing times and making the process more accessible, through a potential reduction of application fees and restoration of the fee waiver process.

The Order also revokes the Presidential Memorandum of May 23, 2019 (Enforcing the Legal Responsibilities of Sponsors of Aliens).

Executive Order on Rebuilding and Enhancing Program to Resettle Refugees and Planning for the Impact of Climate Change on Migration

On February 4, 2021, President Biden issued an Order related to the United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP), emphasizing that USRAP should be “rebuilt and expanded, commensurate with global need.” The Order notes that the Biden Administration will prioritize women, children, and other individuals who are at risk of persecution related to their gender, gender expression, or sexual orientation. More specifically, as pertaining to the USRAP, the Order requires the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security to:

  • designate particular individuals for coordinating application processing, reviews and revisions of policies and procedures regarding vetting of USRAP applicants and adjudication of applications;
  • provide a report on fraud detection measures;
  • develop more efficient processes to capture and share applicant biometric data;
  • consider using video and audio teleconference to conduct refugee interviews;
  • develop mechanisms to synthesize country conditions to make determinations necessary for the adjudication of refugee applications;
  • ensure that applicants have timely access to their own application records;
  • permit applicants to have a representative at their interview at no cost to the U.S. government;
  • ensure that applicants have an opportunity to present evidence and request reviews of decisions of denials;
  • ensure that adjudicators are trained in the standards governing refugee claims of women, children, and individuals more vulnerable to persecution due to age, gender, gender expression, or sexual orientation;
  • recognize individuals who are in life partnerships but unable to marry due to restrictions in their countries of citizenship as “spouse” for purposes of derivative status;
  • deliver a plan to expand the use of community sponsorship and co-sponsorship models to refugee resettlement agencies, and enter into new public-private partnerships;
  • consider ways to expand mechanisms under which non-governmental organizations could identify and directly refer to USRAP particularly vulnerable individuals;
  • develop options for applicants to access relevant material from their case files on an expedited basis to inform timely appeals from adverse decisions; and
  • develop a plan to address USRAP backlogs.

The Order also emphasizes that the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) programs for Iraqis and Afghans should be continued and requires the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of Homeland Security, to submit a report assessing the SIV program.

The Order revokes:

1) Executive Order 13815 of October 24, 2017 (Resuming the United State Refugee Admissions Program with Enhanced Vetting Capabilities);

2) Executive Order 13888 of September 26, 2019 (Enhancing State and Local Involvement in Refugee Resettlement); and

3) Presidential Memorandum of March 6, 2017 (Implementing Immediate Heightened Screening and Vetting of Application for Visas and Other Immigration Benefits, Ensuring Enforcement of All Laws for Entry Into the United States, and Increasing Transparency Among Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government and for the American People).

Lastly, the Order requires a report on climate change and its impact on migration, including:

  • forced migration, internal displacement, and planned relocation;
  • a discussion of the international security implications of climate-related migration;
  • options for protection and resettlement of individuals displaced;
  • mechanisms for identifying such individuals;
  • proposals for how these findings should affect use of U.S. foreign assistance to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change; and
  • identification of opportunities to work collaboratively with other countries, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and localities to respond to migration results from climate change.

COVID-19 Updates

1. Has the COVID-19 pandemic changed Travel Bans 3.0 and 4.0?

The COVID-19 pandemic has not changed that Proclamation 9645 (informally known as the “Travel Ban 3.0”) and Proclamation 9983 (informally known as the “Travel Ban 4.0”) are still in effect. Travel Ban 3.0 applies to citizens of Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen and has been in effect since December 4, 2017. Travel Ban 4.0 applies to citizens of  Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania and has been in effect since February 21, 2020. With the exception of North Korea and Syria, F-1 and J-1 students from any of the countries are not subject to the travel ban. See: for more information.

2. What new U.S. immigration restrictions are currently in place due to COVID-19?

On March 20, 2020, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services, issued an Order restricting the introduction of noncitizens into the United States through land ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders to “essential travel only.” The only noncitizens exempt from this Order are legal permanent residents, individuals in possession of valid travel documents and individuals from countries participating in the visa program who are not subject to travel restrictions. “Essential travel” for purposes of both Orders includes individuals traveling to attend educational institutions.

Prior to this, the President had signed Proclamations banning the entry of foreign nationals who have traveled to the following countries in the 14-day period prior to their entry or attempted entry to the U.S (in chronological order from date of ban): China, Iran, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and Ireland

Additionally, U.S. citizens or LPRs traveling through “high-risk” areas must travel through 13 airports

● John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York; 

● Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Illinois; 

● San Francisco International Airport (SFO), California; 

● Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Washington; 

● Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Hawaii; 

● Los Angeles International Airport, (LAX), California; 

● Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Georgia; 

● Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD), Virginia; 

● Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), New Jersey; 

● Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Texas; 

● Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), Michigan; 

● Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), Massachusetts; and 

● Miami International Airport (MIA), Florida.

3. Are there any noncitizens who are exempt from the COVID-19 travel bans? 

The only noncitizens exempt from the CDC Order issued on March 20, 2020, which restricts entry into the United States through land ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders to “essential travel only,” are legal permanent residents, individuals in possession of valid travel documents and individuals from countries participating in the visa program who are not subject to travel restrictions. Additionally, designated customs officers of the Department of Homeland Security may make exceptions for  specific individuals “based on the totality of the circumstances, including consideration of significant law enforcement, officer and public safety, humanitarian, and public health interests.”

Prior to the March 20, 2020 CDC Order, the following noncitizens had been exempt from Proclamation 9984 (specific to China); Proclamation 9992 (specific to Iran); Proclamation 9983, (specific to the “Schengen Area”: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland); and the Presidential Proclamation of March 14, 2020 (specific to the United Kingdom and Ireland): 

● Lawful permanent residents (LPRs) of the U.S. (AKA green card holders);

● Spouses of U.S. citizens or LPRs;

● Parents or legal guardians whose U.S. citizen or permanent resident children are under 21 and unmarried;

● Siblings of U.S. citizens or LPRS, provided they are under 21 and unmarried;

● Children, foster children, and wards of U.S. citizens or LPRs, or certain prospective adoptees seeking to enter the U.S.;

● Individuals traveling at the invitation of the U. S. Government for a purpose related to containment or mitigation of the virus;

● C-1, D nonimmigrant visa holders traveling to the United States as air or sea crew;

● Certain foreign government officials with A-1, A-2, C-2, C-3 visas and their immediate family members as well as certain diplomatic visa holders including G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, NATO-1 through NATO-4 or NATO-6;

● Individuals whose entry would not pose a significant risk of introducing, transmitting, or spreading the virus, as determined by the CDC Director or his designee;

● Individuals whose entry would further important United States law enforcement objectives, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees based on a recommendation of the Attorney General or his designee;

● Individuals whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Homeland Security; and

● Members of the U.S. Armed Forces and spouses and children of members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

These Proclamations do not exempt nonimmigrants, such as international students, who traveled to these countries in the 14-days prior to their entry or attempted entry to the U.S.

4. How will my F-1 status be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

All NYU classes are being conducted remotely for the remainder of the spring semester. According to the Student Exchange Visitor program (SEVP), a program administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland security, students in F-1 status will remain in status as long as they are enrolled in online classes for the “duration of the emergency.” Online classes will count towards a full-course study and NYU will maintain your student status for the duration of the semester.This applies whether you have remained in the United States or departed from the United States. Additionally, if some courses are canceled because they have not been transitioned online, students will be excused from meeting full course of study requirements if the classes they need are not being offered

5. If I have departed the United States already, what happens to my F-1 status?

As long as you are full-time enrolled in NYU’s online classes during the course of the spring semester, you will maintain your F-1 status even if you have left the United States because of the COVID-19 situation. SEVP has issued guidance noting that the five-month temporary absence provision that can potentially affect a student’s F-1 status will NOT apply for students who remain in Active Status while the COVID-19 pandemic lasts.. Please contact the Office of Global Services (OGS) for more information and specific advice. Although the OGS physical offices are closed, staff are working remotely. You can also check the“Nonimmigrant students and SEVP-Certified Schools” tab for the most recent guidance on F-1 students and COVID-19. 

6. What happens if my F-1 visa expired and I can’t travel to my country of citizenship?

According to guidance from the SEVP,  you can stay in the U.S. on an expired F-1 visa as long as you maintain your student status by possessing a valid I-20 or DS-2019 and by meeting normal enrollment requirements. Please note that if you need to remain in New York, NYU may be able to provide alternative housing (such as being moved to a different residence hall).

7. What happens if my F-1 visa expired and I already departed to my country of citizenship?

SEVP states that if your visa expires and you leave the U.S., you will need to renew your visa before you will be allowed to enter the U.S.

8. What happens if I am an F-1 student who is graduating and prefers to remain in the United States?

If you are graduating and prefer to remain in the United States, you can:

● Remain in the United States and apply for OPT. Please note, as the Office of Global Services (OGS) notes, you still need to remain in the U.S. to apply for OPT. Although you do not need to remain in the U.S. while your OPT is pending, as OGS recommends, you should have someone monitor your mail carefully in case the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requests more information on your application or sends other correspondence. If you have moved due to the COVID-19 situation, you should fill out to have your mail forwarded to your preferred address. The Department of Homeland Security has not yet issued guidance on how OPT eligibility may be impacted by the COVID-19 situation.

● Pursue another degree in the U.S.

● Remain in the U.S. during the 60-day period after graduation.

● Students can also return to the United States on another visa classification (i.e., B-2 visitor visa)

9. What happens if I lose my F-1 status?

If you lose your F-1 status, you can re-establish your status but you’ll be considered a new student with the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), meaning you’ll have to pay the I-901 SEVIS fee again, and obtain a new I-20. Further, you will likely lose any time that you have accrued towards qualifying for OPT.

10. What happens to incoming international students? 

Beginning March 18, 2020, USCIS suspended routine in-person services until at least April 1, 2020. As of March 20, 2020, the Department of State has temporarily suspended routine visa services at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates. There is no specific date to when the embassies and consulates will resume routine visa services. As a result, there may be backlogs and delays when the processing resumes. Please check the relevant consulate’s website for the most up-to-date information.

11. I am a noncitizen medical professional. Are there any exceptions for me?

On March 26, 2020, the U.S. Department of State issued a statement encouraging medical professionals with approved U.S. non-immigrant or immigrant visas or a certificate of eligibility in an approved exchange visitor program, particularly those working to treat or mitigate the effects of COVID-19, to review the website of their nearest embassy or consulate for procedures to request a visa appointment. Additionally, J-1 noncitizen physicians can consult with the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates to extend their programs in the United States. 

12. I have an application pending with the USCIS. What happens to my application while the COVID-19 pandemic persists? 

USCIS field offices, asylum offices, and Application Support Centers are closed for in-person services until at least May 3, 2020: including: interviews, naturalization ceremonies and biometric appointments. The USCIS website notes that USCIS will continue to provide emergency requests during this time. USCIS will send re-scheduling notices to those impacted by the closure. All applicants will be rescheduled when USCIS resumes normal operations. Further, the USCIS announced that it will reuse previously submitted biometrics in order to process Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization extension requests due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those who had biometrics appointments scheduled on or after the March 18th closure of USCIS offices or filed work permit application extensions will have their applications processed using previously submitted biometrics. Please visit updates.

13. I am currently in removal proceedings. What happens to my case? 

Effective March 18, 2020 through May 1, 2020, all non-detained hearings are postponed. Some detained cases at the Varick Street immigration court in New York City will move forward as scheduled. EOIR has announced that any filings due during a court closure should be filed by March 30, 2020, and filing deadlines after March 30, 2020, are subject to the discretion of the immigration judge. The New York City immigration courts at 26 Federal Plaza and Varick Street remain open for filings and detained hearings only. 

To check regarding court status/closures during COVID-19: 

To check for individual case status info: 

14. I am currently undocumented and would like to be tested or treated for COVID-19. Will receiving treatment make me a public charge?

The USCIS states that receiving testing, screening, or treatment of communicable diseases, including COVID-19, or preventative services will NOT factor into a public charge analysis regarding a noncitizen’s future applications/petitions/submissions to USCIS. The USCIS is encouraging noncitizens with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath) to seek medical treatment or preventative services.

15. If I have DACA or TPS and use State Medicaid to obtain testing or treatment for COVID-19, how will I be impacted?

The USCIS notes that using State Medicaid to obtain testing or treatment for COVID-19 will not be factored into future public charge determinations. 

16. Are there any public benefits, which if used for COVID-19 related testing or treatment, will make me a public charge? 

The USCIS states that receipt of certain cash and non-cash public benefits, including federal funded Medicaid (for those over age 21), even if used to obtain testing or treatment for COVID-19, will be factored in a public charge inadmissibility determination, to certain nonimmigrants seeking an extension of stay or change of status. The list of public benefits that would impact a noncitizen do NOT include CHIP, or State, local, or tribal public health services/assistance that are not funded by federal Medicaid. The USCIS notes that if a noncitizen lives and works in a place where disease prevention methods such as social distancing or quarantine in place, or where the noncitizen’s employer, school, or university voluntarily shuts down operations to prevent spread of COVID-19, the noncitizen may submit a statement and evidence along with their application for adjustment of status to explain how the COVID-19 situation impacted their use of public benefits. Please email for inquiries regarding specific benefits. Although the Immigrant Defense Initiative offices are closed, staff are working remotely. 

17. Are there any specific resources to assist undocumented immigrants while the COVID-19 pandemic persists? 

If you are a student who was living in the residence halls, NYU is offering up to $500 in emergency aid. Please visit to apply. 

Please see the following funds specific to undocumented immigrants:

Betancourt Macias Family Scholarship:

*UndocuFund for workers in the restaurant service industry: email Sahra and Audrey at (open to but not exclusively for undocumented immigrants)

Other resources that may be helpful but are not exclusively for undocumented people are: 

For Small Businesses: or call 311 .

Funds for bartenders out of work/reduced income due to COVID-19:

National Domestic Workers Alliance Fund:

For more resources, see:

NYC United Against Covid19 Resource List:

Radical Resource Kit:

18. I am a DACA recipient in NY who has become unemployed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, am I eligible for unemployment insurance?

Yes. Under New York law, DACA recipients are considered PRUCOL (Permanently Residing Under Color of Law). Noncitizens in New York who are considered PRUCOL (Permanently Residing Under Color of Law) can qualify for city and state benefits, including unemployment insurance.

For more info, visit:

New York State is waiving the 7-day waiting period for Unemployment Insurance benefits for people who are out of work due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) closures or quarantines. If you are filing a new unemployment insurance claim, the day you should file is based on the first letter of your last name. If your last name starts with A - F, file your claim on Monday. For last names starting with G - N, file your claim Tuesday. For last names starting with O - Z, file your claim on Wednesday. If you missed your filing day, file your claim on Thursday or Friday. Filing later in the week will not delay your payments or affect the date of your claim, since all claims are effective on the Monday of the week in which they are filed.

19. I am a noncitizen who became a victim of crime due to racism related to COVID-19. Are there any forms of immigration relief available to me?

Students who become victims of hate crimes can potentially qualify for a U visa. Please email for case specific inquiries. Consider reporting any harassment or discrimination you have faced to the NYU Bias Response Line by email at or (212) 998-2277. If you seek mental health services, you can contact the Wellness Exchange 24-hour hotline at (212) 443-9999, chat via the app anytime, or email


Expedited Removal

  • On July 22, 2019, President Trump announced the expansion of expedited removal which targets undocumented immigrants who cannot prove they've been present continuously in the U.S. for two years or more. Starting July 23, 2019, expedited removal can be used anywhere in the U.S.

  • Until now, expedited removal was applied against people who had been in the U.S. for less than 2 weeks and were within 100 miles of the U.S. border.

  • Those affected are:

    • Those who entered the U.S. without inspection (i.e. no visa or green card), within the last 2 years, and

    • Who are not in removal proceedings in immigration court, and

    • Who do not have a prior order of deportation

  • Those NOT affected are:

    • Those who entered the U.S. on a visa but overstayed

    • Those who can demonstrate they have been in the U.S. for more than 2 years

    • Children who entered the U.S. as unaccompanied minors (under 18 years old)

  • Please refer to ​Make the Road New York’s Fact Sheet​ on how to protect yourself.

  • For more information on expedited removal, check out ​CLINIC’s resources​.

Driver Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants

  • GREEN LIGHT NY: Driving Together

  • In June 2019, NY Governor Cuomo signed the GreenLight Bill which allows undocumented individuals to obtain a drivers license in New York. For more information on the bill, check out this ​page​.