Government Updates


The purpose of this page is to provide updates to government policies and regulations that may affect international students. 

September 25, 2018: Proposed Change to Public Charge Ground of Inadmissibility from USCIS.
  • USCIS will be proposing regulatory updates regarding public assistance
  • "The proposed rule would change the standard that DHS uses when determining whether an alien is likely to become a “public charge,” at any time in the future and is therefore inadmissible and ineligible for adjustment of status or admission into the United States. The rule would also make nonimmigrant aliens who receive or are likely to receive designated public benefits above the designated threshold generally ineligible for change of status and extension of stay."
  • "The proposed rule will officially publish in the Federal Register in the coming weeks. Once the proposed rule is officially published, the public will be able to submit comments for 60 days, beginning on the day the rule publishes in the Federal Register. Instructions for submitting comments will be included in the rule published in the Federal Register. DHS will carefully consider the public comments received during the 60-day comment period. "

August 9, 2018: Accrual of Unlawful Presence and F, J, and M NonImmigrants Memorandum from USCIS. 
  • Went into effect August 9, 2018
  • F, J and M nonimmigrants who fail to maintain nonimmigrant status start accruing unlawful presence.  See memorandum for more details.
  • If you have questions, please schedule an appointment with an ISS advisor.
July 13, 2018: Issuance of Certain RFEs and NOIDS from USCIS.
  • Went into effect September 11, 2018
  • RFE - Request for Evidence
  • NOID - Notice of Intent to Deny
  • USCIS adjudicators "will continue to issue statutory denials, when appropriate, without issuing an RFE or a NOID first."
  • This can affect Change of Status, Optional Practical Training, and Reinstatement applications.  It is important to submit non-frivolous and complete applications.
May 18, 2018: Reporting Volunteer Positions During OPT Employment from SEVP
  • Volunteer positions must be directly related to course of study in order to be listed for OPT employment
  • Students with STEM OPT Extensions cannot report volunteer positions as employment
May 11, 2018: Accrual of Unlawful Presence and F, J, and M Nonimmigrants Policy Memorandum from USCIS
  • Goes into effect on August 9, 2018
  • F, J and M nonimmigrants who fail to maintain nonimmigrant status start accruing unlawful presence.  See memorandum for more details.
  • NAFSA: Association of International Educators has provided comments on the policy memorandum
  • If you have questions, please schedule an appointment with an ISS advisor.
April 2018: USCIS revised their interpretation of the employer-employee relationship for STEM OPT Extensions
  • Limited third party employers
  • Limited where students on STEM OPT Extension can work
  • Cannot use volunteer position for STEM OPT reporting
  • NAFSA: Association of International Educators has provided comments on the website changes
March 23, 2018: SEVP launches the SEVP Portal February 6, 2018: USCIS revised Changing to a Nonimmigrant F or M Student Status
  • Applicants must maintain status while the application is pending
  • Applicants may have to apply for a bridge application
  • Change of status applications are taking approximately 1 year to process