USCIS Makes Optional Practical Training Completion Easier for F-1 Students as Agency Faces Delays

Given substantial delays in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s (USCIS) issuance of receipt notices and adjudication of I-765 applications for employment authorization by F-1 students seeking optional practical training (OPT), USCIS is making it easier for students to complete their 12-month OPT within the requisite 14 months.

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University Hiring Season is Here: Immigration Questions and Strategies

Hiring season is fraught with questions and uncertainties; preparing employment applications;  interviewing, drafting offer letters….. What questions can be asked? What questions should be asked? These concerns are even more pronounced when it comes to immigration status, and immigration sponsorship.  Those tasked with the hiring process often ask,  whether it is legal to ask applicants about their immigration status, how to ask that question,  and even more important,  “Do we have to sponsor for immigration status if the applicant needs it?” Continue reading “University Hiring Season is Here: Immigration Questions and Strategies”

Proposed Student Visa Rules will Upend Decades of U.S. Policy and Practice

On September 25, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the DHS agency with jurisdiction over F-1 foreign student visa holders, published new proposed regulations that would end the long time U.S. practice of issuing “Duration of Status”  to F-1 students. Instead, F-1 visa holders would be limited to 2 or 4 year visa terms depending upon their country of origin, and be required to reapply for F-1 Status through USCIS to obtain extensions, or to leave the United States and apply for an extension .  The proposed regulations were immediately criticized by the higher education community. The rules were called ill-conceived, misguided, unnecessary, and a burden to an industry that has already seen a steady decline in international student admissions. Continue reading “Proposed Student Visa Rules will Upend Decades of U.S. Policy and Practice”

Remote Study Ban on Foreign Students Rescinded after Unprecedented Pressure from University and Business Community

On July 14, 2020, the Trump Administration rescinded SEVP guidance issued last week, which forbid F-1 students from attending universities that were planning to be 100% remote during the fall 2020 semester.  With the rescission, schools may now revert to following  the SEVP March 9 Broadcast Message: Coronavirus Disease 2019 and the March 13  COVID-19: Guidance for SEVP Stakeholders . Continue reading “Remote Study Ban on Foreign Students Rescinded after Unprecedented Pressure from University and Business Community”

International Students Banned from 100% Remote University Programs ICE Decides

On July 6, 2020 the  Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), a branch of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, charged with regulating universities that admit foreign students,  provided long awaited guidance for the fall 2020 semester. In an unexpected about face from guidance issued in March 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 response effort by higher education,  SEVP has determined that foreign students on F-1 visas cannot attend universities that will be 100% remote during the  fall 2020 semester. Continue reading “International Students Banned from 100% Remote University Programs ICE Decides”