The Catholic University of America

Summary of Federal Laws

Miscellaneous Laws

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 as amended

8 U.S.C. § 1101 et seq.; 8 U.S.C. §1372 ; 8 CFR § 214

For immigration matters related to employment see the summary on Employment and Equal Employment Opportunity. 

These laws set forth the requirements for admisson, extension and maintenance of status for F and M nonimmigrants. F-1 status refers to those students attending a college or university that awards bachelor's, master's or professional degrees. M-1 status refers to those students attending a junior college or community college which awards recognized associate degrees. A school or school system seeking initial or continued authorization for attendance by nonimmigrant students  must file a petition for certification or recertification with SEVP, using the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). The rules have become progressively more complex over the years. 

August 9, 2018 Policy Memorandum: Accrual of Unlawful Presence and F, J and M Nonimmigrants

Under the new policy, USCIS will start counting days of unlawful presence the day after an F, M, or J status violation occurs, unless the student applies for reinstatement or the student or exchange visitor is covered by some other exception to the unlawful presence counting rules. Prior policy did not count unlawful presence until a USCIS official or immigration judge made a formal finding of a status violation.

F, J, or M nonimmigrants who failed to maintain nonimmigrant status before August 9, 2018. F, J, or M nonimmigrants who failed to maintain their nonimmigrant status7 before August 9, 2018 start accruing unlawful presence based on that failure on August 9, 2018, 8 unless the alien had already started accruing unlawful presence on the earliest of the following:

• The day after DHS denied the request for an immigration benefit, if DHS made a formal finding that the alien violated his or her nonimmigrant status while adjudicating a request for another immigration benefit; 9

• The day after the Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, expired, if the F, J, or M nonimmigrant was admitted for a date certain; or

• The day after an immigration judge ordered the alien excluded, deported, or removed (whether or not the decision is appealed). 

F, J, or M nonimmigrants who failed to maintain nonimmigrant status on or after August 9, 2018

An F, J, or M nonimmigrant begins accruing unlawful presence, due to a failure to maintain his or her status10 on or after August 9, 2018, on the earliest of any of the following:

• The day after the F, J, or M nonimmigrant no longer pursues the course of study or the authorized activity, or the day after he or she engages in an unauthorized activity;

• The day after completing the course of study or program (including any authorized practical training plus any authorized grace period, as outlined in 8 CFR 214.2);

• The day after the Form I-94 expires, if the F, J, or M nonimmigrant was admitted for a date certain; or

• The day after an immigration judge orders the alien excluded, deported, or removed (whether or not the decision is appealed).

 

NAFSA has updated the NAFSA web page on this issue. 

 Resources

 

Proclamation of Sept. 24, 2017 pursuant to Section 2(e) of EO 13780 (restricting entry to nationals of certain countries.  See the NAFSA page for a complete summary of the current Travel Ban 3.0. 

81 Fed. Reg. 13040, Final Rule, March 11, 2016  Improving and Expanding Training Opportunities for F–1 Nonimmigrant Students With STEM Degrees and Cap-Gap Relief for All Eligible F–1 Students

The final rule allows F-1 Stem students to extend their OPT period to 24 months. Oversight by employers is required, including formal training programs, and allowing extensions only for degrees from accredited schools. 

The rule also includes "Cap-Gap" relief for any F-1 student who has filed a timely H-1B petition and request for change of status. For more on CAP-GAP see USCIS web page. 

STEM OPT (F-1 students for 24 months in STEM fields) (USCIS page)

 

SEVIS reporting requirements for the School DSO

Ford Murray Free Guide: How to Admit Foreign Students Into your School*

Very clearly written guide that explains all the terms for newcomers to the process. 

Resource Guide: Supporting Undocumented Youth, U.S. Dept. of Education, October 20, 2015

Provides information to assist educational institutions in supporting undocumented students at the secondary and postsecondary education levels.

Publication 515

Withholding of Tax on Nonresident Aliens Foreign Entities

See pages 20-25 for relevant information on students and taxes.

Social Security Numbers and Foreign Nationals: A resource page from The Catholic University of America International Student and Scholar Services Office

Social Security Numbers have become a key element many aspects of life in the U.S. Recent developments restrict the availability of Social Security Numbers for foreign nationals. This page provides resource documents for understanding the role of SSNs in various parts of U.S. business/society.

 

 NAFSA Regulatory Information Page

 ACE Advocacy Page on immigration

 

 

 

updated 8-21-18