Immigration Changes

Purdue's Office of International Students and Scholars is closely monitoring information about the Presidential executive orders and the impact they may have on the international community at Purdue.

As we receive more information and guidance, we will update this page.

Please be aware that ISS is not authorized to provide advice beyond the scope of the information contained on this page. If, after reviewing this information, you still have questions, please consider contacting a licensed, legal professional knowledgeable in immigration law.

Disclaimer: The information and resources listed on this page should not be construed as legal advice.

 

Days of Unlawful Presence for F and J Visa Categories

The information contained on this website should not be construed as legal advice.  ISS recommends you to consult with a licensed, legal professional experienced in immigration law.   

 

1. Who is affected by the change made by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' policy on student visa status violations?

 

The updated policy affects international students, scholars, and their dependents who are present in the United States under the F, J, or M visa categories. These categories encompass the student and exchange visitor visa categories as defined by U.S. immigration law.

 

2. What does the policy change?

 

Under the policy implemented in 1996, the counting of days of unlawful presence for F, J, or M visa holders began only if there was a formal finding of a status violation by an official within the Department of Homeland Security, or by order of an immigration judge. Under the current policy, the unlawful presence count begins the day after a status violation occurs, even if the nonimmigrant is not aware that a violation has occurred.

 

3. What does it mean to violate a nonimmigrant status?

 

Individuals present in the U.S. under the F, J, or M categories must observe strict regulatory guidelines while they are inside the U.S.  Failure to observe one or more of the requirements for maintaining legal status results in a violation.  These regulatory requirements have not changed, however the consequences for failing to maintain status are now more severe.

 

4. For students who wish to drop a course, what should they do to make sure they maintain a full course load and avoid violating their student visa?

 

If a student is dropping and adding courses during the drop/add period, they should always add the preferred course before they drop a course from their schedule. Sometimes students need to reduce their course load for valid reasons which may be authorized by our office. If the student needs to reduce his or her course load for a valid academic or medical reason, the student should submit a request for authorization to reduce their course load to our office. If the authorization is granted, they may proceed with dropping courses or withdrawing for the semester. 

 

5. What does unlawful presence mean?

 

When individuals who are present in the United States under the F, M, or J category incur a violation of their status, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has made the determination that they are no longer maintaining their purpose for being admitted to the U.S.; therefore they are no longer lawfully present. These individuals begin accumulating days of unlawful presence the day after a violation occurs. If these individuals accumulate 180 calendar days, or more, of unlawful presence they would be subject to the three-year or 10-year re-entry bar provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act, section 212 (a)(9)(B). Being subject to the re-entry bar means they could lose the right to enter the U.S. for any purpose for three or 10 years, and in some cases, for life.

 

6. What happens if a student violated his/her nonimmigrant status before Aug. 9, 2018?

 

The new policy applies to individuals who are present in the U.S. in the F, M, or J category on Aug. 9, 2018. Any days accumulated before Aug. 9, 2018, would not be included when counting days of unlawful presence. However, if a student incurred a violation of status before Aug. 9, 2018, and that violation was not corrected before Aug. 9, 2018, then Aug. 9, 2018, becomes the student's first day of unlawful presence. Each successive calendar day that the student is present in the U.S. is counted until certain actions are taken to end or temporarily halt counting.

 

7. What happens if a student violated his/her status on or after Aug. 9, 2018?

 

Beginning Aug. 9, 2018, students will accumulate one day of unlawful presence for each calendar day they are present in the U.S., beginning the day after the violation occurred.

 

8. Would the students affected be notified if they were accruing unlawful presence?

 

Students are not necessarily notified when a violation occurs. It is the student’s responsibility to maintain their status. Our office provides many resources intended to educate students on how to maintain their status; however, sometimes students miss an important announcement or forget to report required information to our office. It is possible that we wouldn’t discover that a violation occurred for two or more semesters. By the time the violation is discovered, the student would have accumulated 180 days or more of unlawful presence, which subjects the student to the re-entry bar previously mentioned.

 

9. Why do students on these particular visas need to worry about accruing unlawful presence?

 

Accumulating days of unlawful presence has the potential to significantly delay or end an individual’s right to study or pursue other valuable and enriching opportunities in the U.S.

 

10.  If a student thinks they have already violated their status, what are their next steps?

 

Students who are concerned about potential violations should contact our office immediately. We will review the matter with the student. If we discover that a violation has occurred, we are required to report the violation. We will provide the student with guidance on potential ways to correct their status, and then refer the student to licensed legal professionals who practice in the field of U.S. immigration law. Students should not delay talking with us because they fear the outcome or feel embarrassed. It’s better to discover the issue now and take steps to correct it, rather than have it uncovered by a government official when it is too late to take corrective action.

Questions provided by Abbey Nickel, nickela@purdue.edu

Answers provided by Christine Collins, ccollins@purdue.edu 

USCIS to Begin Using More Secure Mail Delivery Services

On 4/27/2018 The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced that it will begin phasing in the use of the United States Postal Service's Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery service.  More information on the announcement is available on the USCIS website here.  If you have any pending application with USCIS you should make sure that the address on the application is your personal address, and that you will be physically present when document(s) related to the pending application is/are delivered.  Purdue University cannot receive documents from USCIS on your behalf.  You should not use any Purdue University address on any personal application that you submit to USCIS.  Instructions for changing your address with USCIS can be found here.

Examples of personal applications are:

  • I-765 Application for Employment Authorization (frequently referred to as and OPT application);
  • Application for Change of Status;
  • Application for reinstatement. 

Please note that a Purdue filed H-1B petition is not a personal application.  Purdue University is the petitioner, therefore Purdue must receive documents related to the petition.

USCIS Updates Notice to Appear Policy Guidance to Support DHS Enforcement Priorities

On June 28, 2018, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services issued updated guidance for referral of cases and issuance of Notices to Appear.  A link to the Policy Memorandum can be found here.

Executive Order on Heightened Screening and Vetting of Applications for Visas and Entry Into the United States

On June 26, 2018 the Supreme Court of the United States upheld Presidential Proclamation 9645 Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists Or Other Public-Safety Threats (commonly referred to as the "Travel Ban"). 

Among other things, Section 2 of the Proclamation suspends, and/or limits (subject to categorical exceptions and case by-case waivers, as described in sections 3 and 6 of the Proclamation) entry into the United States of nationals of the following countries:

Chad*, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, and Somalia

For more information, please see the Department of Homeland Securities Fact Sheet located here

if you believe you may be impacted by Proclamation 9645, and subsequent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court: 

  1. The Office of International Students and Scholars strongly encourages you to consult with licensed legal counsel prior to planning any travel outside the United States, if you have an expectation of subsequent reentry to the United States.
  2. If you are currently outside the United States, and plan to enter or reenter the United States, we strongly recommend that you consult with licensed legal counsel prior to making an application for a visa to the United States, and prior to making travel plans to enter the United States on a previously issued, but unexpired visa.

*Following a March 20, 2018 report from the Secretary of Homeland Security, and with consultation from the Secretary of the Department of State, President Trump removed Chad from list of countries subject to Proclamation 9645. 

Historical Context

On June 26, 2017 The United States Supreme Court rendered the following statements in an unsigned opinion:  "We grant the government's applications to stay the injunctions, to the extent the injunctions prevent enforcement" of the Executive Order.  The ruling continued on "with respect to foreign nationals who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States."

Countries affected by the March 6, 2017 Executive Order are Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen.

Please see the following link Travel Advisory for Nationals of Certain Countries Pursuant to Executive Order 13769 published by NAFSA Association for International Educators for more detailed information.

On March 16, 2017, the following was published on the NAFSA (www.nafsa.org) website:

On March 16, 2017, the U.S. District Court in Maryland issued a nationwide preliminary injunction, preventing the Government from enforcing Executive Order 13780's 90-day entry bar, which had been scheduled to go into effect on March 16, 2017. Also read the court opinion supporting the preliminary injunction order.

  • On March 15, 2017, the U.S. District Court in Hawaii issued a nationwide temporary restraining order, preventing the Government from enforcing Executive Order 13780's 90-day entry bar and 120-day refugee entry bar, which had been scheduled to go into effect on March 16, 2017.
  • Other sections of Executive Order 13780 that are not enjoined by court order became effective at 12:01 a.m. eastern time on March 16, 2017

    The original announcement is here, for your information...

    At approximately 11:30 AM EST Monday March 6, 2017, President Trump signed a new executive order entitled Executive Order Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States.  The full text of the new order can be found here:

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/03/06/executive-order-protecting-nation-foreign-terrorist-entry-united-states

    A memorandum to the United States Secretary of State can be found here:

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/03/06/memorandum-secretary-state-attorney-general-secretary-homeland-security

    Department of Homeland Security Fact Sheet:

    https://www.dhs.gov/news/2017/03/06/fact-sheet-protecting-nation-foreign-terrorist-entry-united-states

    Department of Homeland Security Q&A:

    https://www.dhs.gov/news/2017/03/06/qa-protecting-nation-foreign-terrorist-entry-united-states

    Updated NAFSA Travel Advisory:

    http://www.nafsa.org/Content.aspx?id=57494

    Purdue ISS will continue to monitor official communications and post updates to this website are they are made available. 

     

     

    Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

    ISS cannot provide legal advice related to this topic, but here we offer some excellent resources intended to inform those affected in our Boilermaker community, and that will lead to other resources which may be helpful.:

    Immigrant Legal Resource Center:  What Do I Need to Know About the End of DACA

    NAFSA:  DACA Resource Page 

     

    Requirement to Carry Immigration Registration Document and Report Change of Address

    The following information was published on the NAFSA Association for International Educators on March 10, 2017.  Excerpts are posted below for your reference and convenience.  The full text of the notice can be found here:  http://www.nafsa.org/Content.aspx?id=57740)

    Nonimmigrants and lawful permanent residents must make sure to do these two things. The penalty for not doing so can be severe, under long-standing laws.

    • Carry their immigration registration document - Nonimmigrants and lawful permanent residents must carry their "evidence of registration" document at all times. Usually, this is Form I-94 for nonimmigrants, or Form I-551 (green card) for lawful permanent residents.
    • Report address changes within 10 days - All aliens living in the United States must report any change of address within 10 days of the address change.

    As the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) intensifies its immigration compliance efforts, advisers should review these two important requirements with their students and scholars. This NAFSA advisory provides some helpful background.

    F and J visa holders compliance with address reporting requirement through SEVIS

    Students and exchange visitors in F, M, or J status must comply with their address-change reporting obligation by notifying the P/DSO or A/RO of their school or exchange visitor program of an address change within 10 calendar days of the change. The F-1 or M-1 school must then update SEVIS with the new address within 21 days of receiving the new address information from the F-1 or M-1 student; J exchange visitor programs must update SEVIS with this information within 10 business days of receiving the new address from the exchange visitor. [see 8 CFR 214.2(f)(17); 8 CFR 214.2(m)(18); 8 CFR 214.2(j)(1)(viii); 22 CFR 62.10(d)(3)-(4)

    Students:  To report and/or update your address with ISS, please go to https://connect.iss.purdue.edu click the blue log in button, and enter your Purdue credentials to log into myISS. Once you are logged into the portal, please expand F-1 and J-1 Student Services, and click Address Update (U.S. Residential)

     

    Requirement to report changes of address

    Another requirement, related to the "registration" requirement, is that aliens living in the United States for 30 days or longer must report to USCIS any change of address, within 10 days of the address change. [INA 265(a); 8 CFR 265.1]

    • USCIS has designated Form AR-11 to be used for this purpose. The USCIS website has the most current version of Form AR-11 and the mailing address for that form
    • The change of address can also be filed online through the USCIS website; if you use the online change of address, do not file a paper Form AR-11

    The law also provides for rather severe penalties for failing to notify USCIS about an address change. INA 266(b) states:

    "Any alien or any parent or legal guardian in the United States of any alien who fails to give written notice [of an address change] to the Attorney General, as required by section 265 of this title, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined not to exceed $200 or be imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both. Irrespective of whether an alien is convicted and punished as herein provided, any alien who fails to give written notice to the Attorney General, as required by section 265, shall be taken into custody and removed in the manner provided by chapter 4 of this title, unless such alien establishes to the satisfaction of the Attorney General that such failure was reasonably excusable or was not willful." 

     

    Provisional Revocation of Visas

    The information contained on this website should not be construed as legal advice.  ISS recommends you consult with a licensed, legal professional experienced in immigration law. 

    It’s important to understand the difference between the purpose of the U.S. visa, and an individual’s lawful status in the United States. 

    A valid and unexpired U.S. visa grants a foreign national the right to be received at the United States Port of Entry for inspection.  The official at the Port of Entry examines the visa and other relevant documents and information to determine if admission is warranted.  If admission is granted, the individual is admitted to the United States with a particular “status”.

    Status is a bundle of legal rights and obligations that are given to foreign nationals while they are in the U.S.  It is granted for a specified period of time, depending upon the visa classification.  As long as the foreign national does not violate the terms of their status, they may remain in the United States for the duration of their authorized stay, as indicated on the Form I-94 Record created during admission and accessible online at www.cbp.gov/I94.  Once the individual exits the United States, they must have a valid and unexpired visa with which to seek reentry in the same status classification.

    Provisional Revocation of a visa does not require a foreign national to exit the United States, however it will prevent them from reentering the United States, in the same status classification, if they exit.  Provisional Revocation of a visa could result in additional (and significant) complications for those foreign nationals who also have violated certain other laws while in the U.S. – if this is your situation we recommend that you immediately seek the advice of an immigration attorney. For more information on Visa Revocation, please see the following article, published by NAFSA Association of International Educators http://www.nafsa.org/Content.aspx?id=57510

    Suspension of Personal Appearance (Interview) Waivers

    As per the executive order, the U.S. has suspended the personal appearance waiver program. This means any individual applying for or renewing a U.S. visa must undergo an in-person interview. You should allow for plenty of time for visa processing, as this change will likely lead to increasing interview wait times.

    Please note that the visa waiver program is still in effect at this time. The executive order applies to the personal appearance interview waiver program.

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