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Immigration News

USCIS Policy Memorandum Changes Accrual of Unlawful Presence for F, J, and M Nonimmigrants.



Effective August 9, 2018, a new U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) policy changes how it counts days of “unlawful presence” for individuals in student (F), exchange visitor (J), or vocational student (M) status and their dependents while in the U.S.



Under the new policy:

  • F/J/M students and scholars who fail to maintain proper status will start accruing “unlawful presence” on the day after status violation. Previously, only a formal finding of status violation by an immigration judge or Homeland Security official would start the unlawful presence clock for F-1 and J-1 students and scholars.


  • Unlawful presence does not accrue while a timely-filed reinstatement application is pending. A timely-filed reinstatement application is one filed within a five-month window.

Whether or not the application for reinstatement is timely-filed, an F/J/M nonimmigrant whose application for reinstatement is ultimately approved will generally not accrue unlawful presence while out of status.

If the reinstatement application is denied, the accrual of unlawful presence resumes on the day after the denial. In this case, the nonimmigrant should voluntarily leave the U.S. to avoid accruing more unlawful presence that could result in later inadmissibility under section 212(a)(9) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.



Resources

More information on maintaining F-1 status may be found on the Homeland Security Study in the States website:

https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/maintaining-status

More information on unlawful presence can also be found at the following links:

https://www.uscis.gov/news/uscis-issues-revised-final-guidance-unlawful-presence-students-and-exchange-visitors

https://www.nafsa.org/Professional_Resources/Browse_by_Interest/International_Students_and_Scholars/Accrual _of_Unlawful_Presence_and_F,_J,_and_M_Nonimmigrants/



U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Travel Ban



On Tuesday, June 26, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a decision upholding President Trump’s Proclamation 9645 (“P.P. 9645”) implementing an indefinite entry bar for certain countries.



Summary

The following is a summary for nationals of the seven (7) listed countries:



Country Nonimmigrant Visas Issuance of F/J visas suspended?
Iran No nonimmigrant visas except F, M, and J visas No
Libya No B-1, B-2, and B-1/B-2 visas No
North Korea No nonimmigrant visas Yes
Somalia No
Syria No nonimmigrant visas Yes
Venezuela No B-1, B-2 or B-1/B-2 visas of any kind for officials of the following government agencies Ministry of Interior, Justice, and Peace; the Administrative Service of Identification, Migration, and Immigration; the Corps of Scientific Investigations, Judicial and Criminal; the Bolivarian Intelligence Service; and the People’s Power Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and their immediate family members. No
Yemen No B-1, B-2, and B-1/B-2 visas No

Source:
https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/presidential-proclamation-archive/june_26 _supreme_court_decision_on_presidential_proclamation9645.html

For nationals of the seven designated countries, a consular officer will determine whether an applicant otherwise eligible for a visa is exempt from P.P. 9645 or, if not, may be eligible for a waiver under the Proclamation allowing issuance of a visa.

No visas will be revoked pursuant to P.P. 9645. Individuals subject to P.P. 9645 who possess a valid visa or valid travel document generally will be permitted to travel to the United States, irrespective of when the visa was issued.

All travelers should expect increased scrutiny while passing through customs and immigration, including the possibility of being asked to undergo additional screening measures on a case-by-case basis.



Resources

June 26 Supreme Court Decision on Presidential Proclamation 9645

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/presidential-proclamation-archive/june_26 _supreme_court_decision_on_presidential_proclamation9645.html



U.S. Supreme Court Decision Upholding Proclamation 9645
June 26, 2018

https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/4560018/SCOTUS-Trump-v-Hawaii.pdf