The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued updated policy guidance for F and M student nonimmigrant classifications. This guidance covers various aspects, including the USCIS role in processing applications related to employment authorization, change of status, extension of stay, and reinstatement of status for these students and their dependents in the United States. The aim is to provide clarity to international students and U.S. educational institutions on topics such as eligibility requirements, school transfers, practical training, and on- and off-campus employment.
Notable points include the requirement for F and M students to maintain a foreign residence they do not intend to abandon, clarification on the possibility of being beneficiaries of permanent labor certification or immigrant visa petitions, and specifics on employment for F students seeking an extension of optional practical training (OPT) in STEM fields.
The guidance also addresses the nonimmigrant academic student (F-1) and vocational student (M-1) classifications.
For more information about the USCIS guidance, see the Policy Alert (PDF, 312.06 KB) and Volume 2, Part F of the Policy Manual. For more information about the role of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in administering these nonimmigrant student programs, see the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).