NAFSA REGION XII

CSC Liaison Meeting Report

AGENDA Followed by QUESTIONS

Tuesday, December 5, 2000

1:00 - 3:00

 

A. JIT REPORT, 11/24/00

1. Just a reminder that the JIT report lists only the file movement from the file shelf to the floor. Thirty (30) days processing time should be added to the date listed before considering the file past processing time.

B. DIVISION II NEWS

1. NOL (No Objection Letter) issue

Management has reached an agreement on the handling of the NOL. If there is a copy of the NOL in the file and the file is otherwise approvable, Division II officers can now approve the NOL placed with the COS (change of status) petition/application. Enclose a copy of the Notice of Action when available. If no WAC number has been received then a copy of the DOS Biographic Data Form must be included with the copy of the NOL.

2. COS to F-1 who are Graduate Student Research and Teachers. Though this was mentioned at School Day in October, this is a reminder that CSC now has a pilot project in place to speed up the request for COS (changes of status) for those with graduate appointments. This procedure may now also be used for COS to J-1 visiting scholar status when employment is a condition of status. See CSC update on COS.

3. CSC.Schools Emailbox

The mailbox will be closed from December 22, 2000 until January 5, 2001. New procedures for staffing the emailbox are currently under review due to the new WAH (work at home) program.

4. PC Fax concerns

A reminder that the PC fax number, (949) 389-3197,

is only to be used for Division II inquiries (I-102, I-129,

I-129F and I-539s.) (See CSC contact reference for PC fax inquiry for other Divisions.

5. April 2001 Question and Answer Session.

CSC will host a two-hour Question and Answer session in April 2001. This will consist of a no frills, open mike session specifically for Division II and III issues. Details will follow.

6. Unresolved issues from School Day:

a. Difference of COS for B2 versus H4 and/or Js?

More clarification of this issue is needed before we

can respond.

b. At what point does an F1 become an F1? What date are we using - Visa? I-20? Other?

The date on the I-20 is the governing date for benefits (such as OPT).

c. Can a B2 attend school full time?

If the B-2 is a B-2 and continuing in a B-2 status, the answer is no. The classes (such as ESL, etc.) must be incidental to the reason for visiting the U.S.

However, if the B-2 has decided after entry into the U.S. to become a full-time student and has a completed I-20 and has filed a COS (change of status) request with the INS, the student may attend full-time classes while the I-539 COS is pending.


CSC/NAFSA REGION XII LIAISON MEETING QUESTIONS

DECEMBER 5, 2000

1) Mindful that the e-mail inquiry system is a "pilot" program and that the pilot program allows all NAFSA members access rather than access being screened, NAFSA would like to know how we are doing. Are there inappropriate inquiries, i.e. inquiries that are not about seriously overdue cases? Have there been abuses, e.g. students making inquiry, etc? Are improvements needed? The school's F-1 approval code is to be included in the subject line. Is this helpful/needed? Previous instructions were to use the e-mail inquiry system only after first using the first step fax inquiry system. The fax inquiry system does not normally get a response and schools feel that this step means a two-week delay in getting help for their student/scholar client. Is use of the first step fax inquiry system still desired?

 

You are doing a great job! Thank you for all of the positive response we've received. It seems that this idea has been a good one. People seem to like the idea of reaching "a real live person" inside the CSC. I believe the CSC.Schools emailbox is a positive asset to our CSC/NAFSA partnership. Everyone at NAFSA is doing an excellent job at keeping this asset bug free, virus free and student free. We have only had two students email us since we began the pilot project in July 2000. Once they were warned, we received no other emails from them except for one who apologized.

 

Saying that, allow me to make a gentle reminder that CSC.Schools is for Division II applications and petitions (I-102s, I-129s, I-539s.) I am still getting some inquiries for EAD inquiries that should be sent to [email protected] Since Divisions I and IV currently do not have school access emailboxes, I am happy to forward questions regarding I-140s and I-485s if they pertain to your students or professors onto these divisions. However, you may get a quicker response by sending a FAX directly to the ACDs of these divisions. Please remember that there is no requirement or agreement for officers in Divisions I and IV to answer CSC.Schools emails.

 

Also, I am receiving some changes of address and status inquiries at the CSC.Schools

emailbox. The number is not great, and I believe some of these are in direct result to the slow response received from our over-burdened FAX system. I am hoping that as the FAX system becomes smoother, these will stop. School officials should be reminded that the emailbox is basically for problem resolution, not general inquiries. However, if the inquiry system does not appear to be working (as when it crashed recently), please feel free to send an email to CSC.Schools to see what's going on and what are our plans for resolution.

 

Regarding placing the school code in the subject line, I have found it to be non-essential. I would rather see the WAC number and beneficiary's name in the Subject line of the email address. It will help with more efficient file management.

 

Regarding waiting 2 weeks before emailing CSC.Schools, I agree that is too long. Again, I suggest using the PC Fax, (949) 389-3197, for general status inquiries, change of addresses, general corrections, etc. of Division II applications and petitions. If you do not receive a response from the PC Fax within 10 working days (or if the problem is complex or time sensitive), then send an email to CSC.Schools. If you do not hear from someone at CSC.Schools within 5 working days, send a FAX inquiry to Division II's ACD at (949) 389-3402. If you do not hear from our ACD within 5 working days, send a FAX inquiry to the Director at (949) 643-1538. If you do not hear from that FAX inquiry within 3 working days, call the Director's Duty Officer at 949/389-3007.

 

There have been no abuses of the Student.EAD.CSC mailbox. All inquiries have been appropriate and timely. Looking at the issue of the school approval code; it would assist us to have the code somewhere in the email. In the subject line simply include the name of the student and WAC number. It would help with tracking and filing of your emails.

 

 

2) Work permit requests for J-2 dependents: Schools report RFE's which ask for what is, in our opinion, inappropriate information, e.g. birth certificate, marriage certificate, detailed statement regarding funding for J-1 principal providing the amount of money the principal receives monthly plus a detailed monthly breakdown of costs including housing, subsistence, childcare, etc., and a complete statement regarding the reason(s) for additional income, and explain why the J-1 principal is unable to fund this anticipated activity(ies). Are RFE's requesting this type of information appropriate? Schools have also noted that the period of work authorized, reflected on the EAD card, is not consistent with the regulations. 8CFR214.2(j)(v)(B) states that permission to work may be authorized for the duration of the J-1 principal alien's authorized stay as indicated on the I-94 (which currently is D/S but "authorized stay" is controlled by the end date of the IAP-66 form) or a period of four years, whichever is shorter. If the EAD is issued for only one year is this an error? How can this be corrected if it is an error?

 

To answer the last question first, it is the policy of CSC to issue EADs for J-2s for one year only. This goes into a more complex answer. J2s are to earn money that is considered incidental to the family income. Monies earned by J2s should not be used to support J1s nor the J1's family members. Therefore, J2s are issued EADs for one year only. At the end of one year, J2s may submit another I-765 if incidental money for another year is requested.

 

To answer the question of the RFE, there are instances when an officer should have all of the information listed above to make an appropriate determination regarding the J2 based on the fact that J2s are only to earn incidental monies as listed above. In some cases such requests for evidence are based upon information the applicant includes in the I-765. The applicant states the income is needed because the funds received by the J1 are not sufficient, for example. Even though the request for evidence may seem to be inappropriate, please advise the applicant to respond timely and as completely as possible.

 

3) NAFSA has requested that CSC establish a policy and procedure which would allow expedite handling of a COS to J-1 status where the J-1 program includes employment as a condition of status. CSC has responded to our request for such a policy/procedure for COS to F-1 when it is a graduate student offered a graduate assistantship as part of admission. To date CSC has not addressed our request for help with the COS to J-1. When can NAFSA expect a response?

 

Today. As many of you know, CSC created a pilot project to assist those applicants with graduate assistantships and internships with their COS (change of status) adjudication. This pilot project has proven successful to date; therefore, we will add J1s to this pilot project effective immediately. You will be notified of any changes to this project.

 

As a reminder of the policy, the school official should send an email to CSC.Schools listing the WAC number, beneficiary's name and pertinent job offer information. The Division II school officer will pull the file, review it for basic information and request a fax if further documentation is needed. Once the file is complete, the school officer will place the file into distribution for timely adjudication. Please do not send faxes to the school officer before you are asked to do so.

 

4) The expedite procedure for an age-out AOS dependent is in place. Will CSC review this procedure please?

 

The current age-out process for Adjustment of Status applicants:

· The age-outs are tracked by a report that is run once a month by the Division IV Analyst;

· The AOS is then routed to the Center Adjudications Officer assigned as the

age-out officer;

· The CAO will route all I-765's to Div III and I-131's to the Div IV Information Officer that is assigned for processing;

· The CAO will order a fingerprint appointment for all family members;

· The CAO will prepare a Request For Evidence if needed. If the time is short, will attempt to make contact with the attorney of record by phone or fax;

· Upon submission of all required information and evidence, the AOS would be considered for approval;

· After approval, the AOS would be sent for card production.

 

5) NAFSA understands that the "received date" rather than the "notice date" field on the I-797C Notice of Action is the reference for determining if an application is beyond the normal processing time. Is this correct?

 

Yes, the "received date" is the correct date to use. However, please remember what information the JIT reports captures. The twice monthly JIT report that CSC.Schools sends to everyone on its email address list indicates what is going on with the files on the shelves. Movement of dates on the report shows that the files before those dates have been moved to the Adjudications' floor for processing.

 

 

So, for accuracy take the date listed on the JIT report and add another 30 days to it. If you have not had a response from CSC on your file after the JIT plus 30 days date, then it is valid to request a status inquiry.

 

6) Since AOS adjudication for (c) (9) applicants is currently estimated to be between 675 to 700 days--or even 900 days--and EADs are still only valid for one year, may a timely-filed I-765 (namely, prior to expiration of the EAD) be seen as proof of work authorization up to 240 days (namely, apply the same H-1B eos regs to (c) (9) extension applications)?

 

The non-immigrant H-1B regulations concerning Employment Authorization Documents do not apply to an applicant who has a pending Adjustment of Status application. An interim employment authorization document may be issued by the District Office having jurisdiction over the residence of the applicant for INS failure to complete the adjudication of From I-765 within 90 days. The interim employment authorization document may be issued for a period not to exceed 240 days.

 

7) Is INS headquarters still considering making EADs/I-512s valid for two years, given the AOS backlog? If so, when may we expect this to happen?

 

There is no new information concerning the extension of the validity period for EADs and I-512.

 

8) What is the CSC's interpretation of the I-140 portability provision of the "American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000"? What procedures--if any, for example, notify the Service Center handling the AOS? letter only?--for AOS applicants who benefit from this? If the AOS applicant moves out of one Service Center's jurisdiction to another Service Center's jurisdiction, notify both Service Centers? letter only to transfer the AOS file?Also, to complete the I-9 process for those who benefit, present the EAD only? anything else needed?

 

Regulations have not been written to conform with the "American Competiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act". Until they are, the CSC intends on following current procedures.

 

9) NAFSA educational institutions and National Research Labs among other non-profit institutions have been exempted from the annual cap under the recently passed legislation. Will all H-1B applications continue to be handled/adjudicated in "received date" order? If no, how will these non-cap cases be handled?

 

Yes. Cases will continue to be adjudicated in "received date" order. Currently, there are no plans to change this policy.

 

10) One question that has come up recently again which I believe you

have answered is what procedure to follow when a student with a pending COS

to F-1 case is at CSC and the student transfers before the COS is

adjudicated. What should the student and/or new campus do about the

transfer? Issue an I-20 only once the COS is approved and do immediately a

"notification" transfer? Issue an I-20 and send it to CSC along with a copy

of the Notice of Action for the COS requesting that it be added to the file

so that when COS is adjudicated the F-1 status will be valid for attending

the new school? Or is there some other procedure that should be followed?

 

I would love to tell you to send the I-20 to CSC and allow us to interfile the information into the pending file so that the officer will have a complete picture when he or she adjudicates the case. However, there is currently a backlog with our correspondence, and I am not confident that the information would get to the appropriate file in a timely manner if at all. Until we create a system for properly addressing this issue (something that we will put on our 2001 list of things to address), it is our best suggestion to complete the I-20 and send it on to London, Kentucky, as you would normally send any I-20 form. Please keep a copy of the I-20 in your file. There should be no problem with the pending I-539. The officers have been trained to adjudicate the file "in the time of the application" so the fact that the student has now moved on to another school after the date the application was filed with CSC should pose no problem to the student. The only issue that could arise could be some confusion if the pending application is denied. In this case, the denial of the change of status could render the current I-20 null and void. Hopefully, we can tighten up this issue in the coming months and give you a better answer. In the interim, just complete the I-20s as you always have and send them on to London, Kentucky.

 

 

Sge & Etc

CSC 12/5/00

 

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