Category: Student Visas

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March 13, 2023
Marjorie M. Filice

USCIS Announces Premium Processing and New Online Filing Procedures Available for Some F-1 Students

USCIS announced that as of March 6, 2023, it will now accept premium processing requests for certain F-1 students seeking Optional Practical Training (OPT) as well as for F-1 students seeking science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) OPT extensions. Please...

June 06, 2022
Marjorie M. Filice

New Countries Added for Special Student Relief in 2022: Afghanistan, Ukraine, Sudan & South Sudan

Under normal regulations, F-1 students have limitations as to when and where they are allowed to work as well as minimum required course loads. During times of crisis, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) can suspend those limitations for groups...

July 27, 2021
Tahreem Kalam

B-2 ‘Bridge Petitions’ no longer required for Applicants for Change of Status to F-1 Student

On July 20, 2021, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced new policy guidance that eliminates the need for individuals who have applied for a change of status (COS) to F-1 student status, to also apply to change or extend...

May 07, 2019
Beata Leja

U.S. District Court Enjoins the Implementation of “Accrual of Unlawful Presence and F, J, and M Nonimmigrants” Memo

On August 9, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) published a Memo entitled Accrual of Unlawful Presence and F, J, and M Nonimmigrants (the “Memo”) which provided that F, J, and M nonimmigrant students would begin accruing unlawful presence...

February 01, 2019
Beata Leja

Unlawful Presence Bar Will Start to Apply on February 5, 2019 for Students Who Have Failed to Maintain Status

On August 9, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a Policy Memorandum updating the USCIS Adjudicators Field Manual (AFM) to state that students in F, J, and M status who are admitted for “duration of status” or “D/S”...

September 10, 2018
Beata Leja

USCIS Expands Premium Processing Suspension for Many H-1B Petitions, Hurting Business & Foreign Employees

On March 20, 2018, the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it would temporarily suspend premium processing for H-1B petitions filed toward this year’s annual H-1B cap, and anticipated that the suspension would expire on September 10, 2018....

Some International Students Will Begin Accruing Unlawful Presence on August 9, 2018

Under a new memo that goes into effect tomorrow, August 9, 2018, some nonimmigrants in F (international student) status, J (cultural or educational exchange visitor) status, or M (vocational or technical school student) status may begin accruing unlawful presence (ULP)...

July 14, 2017
Beata Leja

Can I start the Green Card Process while on Optional Practical Training (OPT)?

What is Optional Practical Training (OPT)? Optional practical training (OPT) is defined by federal regulations as "temporary employment for practical training directly related to the [F-1] student's major area of study." After completion of a course of study, most students...


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