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USCIS Updates Policy Guidance for International Students

Today, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued new policy guidance regarding the F and M student nonimmigrant classifications, including the USCIS role in adjudicating applications for employment authorization, change of status, extension of stay, and reinstatement of status for these students and their dependents in the United States.

For example, the guidance clarifies that F and M students must have a foreign residence that they do not intend to abandon, but that such students may be the beneficiary of a permanent labor certification application or immigrant visa petition and may still be able to demonstrate their intention to depart after a temporary period of stay. This is a game changer as many F-1 students have been unable to maintain.

The new guidance specifies how F students seeking an extension of optional practical training (OPT) based on their degree in a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field may be employed by startup companies.

The academic student (F-1) classification permits students to enter the United States as a full-time student at a college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution, or in a language training program. The nonimmigrant vocational student (M-1) classification includes students in established vocational or other recognized nonacademic programs, other than language training programs.

For more information about the USCIS guidance please contact us at (214)609-2242.

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