Unlawful Presence for H-1B Beneficiaries in F-1 Status

If you are an H-1B beneficiary and have recently received a denial or denial of a change of status, know that unlawful presence (ULP) for F-1 students will begin to accrue on the day after the request is denied (date of H-1B decision). (ii) Nonimmigrants Admitted for Duration of Status (D/S). If USCIS finds a nonimmigrant status violation while adjudicating a request for an immigration benefit,...

USCIS No Longer Recognizes ACICS-Accredited Schools Impacting Some STEM OPT, H-1B and I-140

On August 19, 2022, the US Department of Education no longer recognizes the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) as an accrediting agency. On November 1, 2022, USCIS announced how the loss of recognition will impact certain immigration benefit applicants. Students from impacted schools should contact their DSO immediately and discuss how to maintain their status....

USCIS Temporarily Increases Automatic EAD extension up to 540 days

Update July 7, 2022 USCIS has informed the public that some applicants may have received incorrect receipt notices showing the outdated 180-day automatic extension instead of the current 540-day automatic extension. The incorrect receipt notices were issued between May 4, 2022 and June 2, 2022. Affected applicants should be receiving the correct notices by the third week of July. Sample...

Waivers of interviews for certain Nonimmigrant Visas until 12/31/2022

On December 23, 2021, the Department of State has authorized consular offices through the end of 2022 to waive the in-person interview requirement for additional visa types including temporary workers applying for H-1, H-3, H-4, L, O, P, and Q who meet certain conditions. Consular officers have the discretion to waive the interview requirement for individuals applying for these visa types that...

Consular Officers May Waive Interviews for Some International Students Through End of 2021

On September 14, 2021, DOS expanded categories of visa applications that can be adjudicated without an in-person interview. DOS has authorized consular officers through the end of 2021 to expand the categories of F, M, and “academic J visa applicants” (students, professors, research scholars, short-term scholars, or specialists ) whose applications can be adjudicated without an in-person...

National Interest Exceptions Available for Visitors from China, Iran, India, Brazil, South Africa, Schengen Area, United Kingdom, and Ireland

Update 08/18/2021 DOS updated its FAQ regarding the extension of validity to 12 months from the date of approval and for multiple entries for National Interest Exceptions (NIEs) for travelers from China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, the Schengen Area, the United Kington, Ireland, and India. Update Post 07/07/2021 The DOS on 06/29/2021 extended the validity of National Interest Exceptions (NIEs)...

Special Employment Authorization for Burmese F-1 Students

DHS will suspend certain requirements governing employment for Burmese F-1 students. This will provide relief to citizens of Burma who are lawful F–1 nonimmigrant students so that they may request employment authorization, work an increased number of hours while school is in session, and reduce their course load while continuing to maintain F–1 nonimmigrant student status. F–1 nonimmigrant...

ICE Will Continue to Allow Distance Learning in Excess of Regulatory Limits

F-1 students can breathe a sigh of relief. ICE will continue to allow students to engage in distance learning in excess of regulatory limits due to the ongoing covid pandemic. Please note that the guidance only applies to students who were actively enrolled at U.S. school on March 9, 2020, and are otherwise complying with the terms of their nonimmigrant status, whether from inside the U.S. or...

Special Employment Authorization for Venezuelan or Syrian F-1 Students

DHS just released notices that it has suspended certain requirements governing employment for Venezuelan or Syrian F-1 students. These notices provide relief to citizens of Syria or Venezuela who are lawful F–1 nonimmigrant students so the students may request employment authorization, work an increased number of hours while school is in session, and reduce their course load while continuing...

F-1 OPT May Now be Filed Online via Online Form I-765

USCIS announced today that F-1 students seeking optional practical training (OPT) can now file online if they are filing under one of these categories: (c)(3)(A) – Pre-Completion OPT;(c)(3)(B) – Post-Completion OPT; and(c)(3)(C) – 24-Month Extension of OPT for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students. Keep in mind that the online I-765 is only for OPT. If one files...