International Students

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Document Date
USCIS Tightens Language on Employer-Employee Relationship and Third Party Placement for STEM OPT Students USCIS has revised its STEM OPT page, apparently taking a more severe interpretation of the employer-employee relationship "requirement" and conditions for third party placements, for STEM OPT students and employers. May 25, 2018
Accrual of Unlawful Presence and F, J, and M Nonimmigrants On May 11, 2018, USCIS proposed a fundamental change to the way it would determine how an immigration status violation might lead to a finding that an F, M, or J nonimmigrant should be subject to the 3- or 10-year reentry bar provisions of INA 212(a)(9)(B). Public comment is due by June 11, 2018. May 24, 2018
DOS Proposes Adding Social Media, Other Questions to DS-160 Visa Application On March 30, 2018 the Department of State (DOS) proposed adding several additional questions to Form DS-160 (nonimmigrant) and Form DS-260 (immigrant) visa applications, including questions on the applicant's social media identifiers, telephone numbers, email addresses, and international travel. NAFSA and 55 other organizations joined in a May 24, 2018 comment letter. May 24, 2018
Practical Immigration Concepts in a Time of Change A structural approach can help in the process of considering change. Here is a suggested structure to think about. May 24, 2018
Reporting Volunteer Positions During OPT Employment May 18, 2018 Broadcast Message sent directly to students, on reporting of unrelated volunteer work in SEVP student portal. May 21, 2018
SEVP External Training Application SEVP is in the process of developing the SEVP External Training Application (SETA), to replace the current DSO Online Training modules that have been in place for more than a  decade. May 15, 2018
USCIS and USPS Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery Service On April 30, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began using the U.S. Postal Service's (USPS) Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery service to mail Green Cards, Employment Authorization Documents (EADs), and other secure documents that need to be re-mailed because they have been returned to USCIS as non-deliverable. USCIS plans to phase in its use of Restricted Delivery and eventually expand the program to mail all secure documents. May 03, 2018
Privacy Act Notices on SEVIS Forms You might be surprised by the "Privacy Act" notices you see when you log in to SEVIS. However, the notice is the same (or similar) notice that appears at the bottom of most government forms. These notices are required by the Privacy Act, which, among other things, requires government agencies to get periodic approval for their "information collection notices," which are commonly called "forms," and to publish "System of Records Notices" (SORNs) that list the type of information they collect and store in  the systems they control, and how that information might be used or shared. Apr 30, 2018
Indefinite Entry Bar Under Executive Order On September 24, 2017, President Trump issued a Proclamation pursuant to Section 2(e) of Executive Order 13780, designating eight countries for partial or full restrictions on entry to the United States. The restrictions are country-specific, and tailored to the situation of each individual country. This travel ban is often referred to as "Travel Ban 3.0." Chad was removed from the list of countries subject to Travel Ban 3.0, effective April 18, 2018. Apr 11, 2018
SEVP Student Portal The SEVP Portal "will allow F-1 students on post-completion optional practical training (OPT) and M-1 students participating in practical training to report address, telephone and employer information to SEVP without relying upon their designated school official (DSO) to update their information." Mar 15, 2018
Special Student Relief For Syrian F-1 Students

The Department of Homeland Security published notices in the Federal Register to provide special student relief (SSR) benefits to F-1 students from Syria who are “experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of civil unrest” in that country.

Mar 15, 2018
USCIS Policy on Filing Bridge Applications During COS to F-1 or M-1 Status USCIS clarifies that an applicant changing to F-1 or M-1 student must file "bridge" I-539 applications to make sure that the applicant's status expires no later than 30 days before the F-1 or M-1 program start date, even in circumstances where the program start date is deferred in order to prevent the SEVIS record from terminating while the COS application is pending. Feb 19, 2018
National Vetting Center On February 6, 2018, President Trump signed a National Security Presidential Memorandum (NSPM 9) to establish a National Vetting Center whose principal role will be to improve the way agencies coordinate and use biographic, biometric, and contextual information from various pre-existing sources. Feb 07, 2018
U.S. and Turkey Suspend Nonimmigrant Visa Services On December 28, 2017, the U.S. diplomatic mission in Turkey announced that political conditions in that country had improved so as to "allow for the full resumption of visa services in Turkey." Because of the prior full and partial suspension of visa services earlier in Fall 2017 (see Background, below), demand for visa appointments may result in delays in obtaining a visa appointment, however. Jan 02, 2018
Practical Training Reform ICE added an item titled "Practical Training Reform" to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Fall 2017 Regulatory Agenda. This page will track developments on an eventual proposed and final rule. Dec 18, 2017
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