Ask an Advisor: Process for New Immigration Regulations

Process for new immigration regulations

Steps of publishing a regulation: 1. DHS publishes a proposed change 2. 30 day comment period 3. DHS reviews and addresses all comments 4. Publish final regulation

October 2, 2020

Written by: Martha Turner, International Student & Scholar Associate Director

Question: I heard that there is a proposed change to the F-1 and J-1 immigration regulations.  How long will it take for the new regulations to be in effect?

Answer:  The Department of Homeland Security has been working on this change in the regulations for a number of years. The proposed regulatory changes regarding D/S (Duration of Status) were published in the Federal Register last Friday, Sept. 25, 2020 in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act.  We are now in the midst of a comment period. This part of the process allows any member of the public to voice concerns and/or support of the proposed regulation as well as provide alternative suggested language modifying the proposed regulation.

Once the thirty-day comment period ends, after October 26, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security must review all of the comments before publishing a final regulation. Usually, the final regulation is altered, sometimes only slightly but sometimes significantly, to accommodate the public comments that were received.

At a minimum, the Department of Homeland Security must address all comments that have been submitted and justify the choices that they are making in the final regulation. Once that process is complete the final regulation can go into effect no earlier than 30 days after the date that the final regulation is published in the Federal Register. Until the final regulation is published the proposed changes are not in effect.