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Policy for foreign students

By New York Immigration Lawyers

U.S. Government changes its unlawful presence policy for foreign students.

Beginning August 9, 2018, international students who are in the United States under F, J, and M nonimmigrant visas will begin accumulating unlawful presence in the U.S. on the day after they violate the terms of their visa.

For example, if a student begins working or stops pursuing his course of study in the U.S. on August 10, 2018, his/her unlawful presence in the United States will start accruing on August 11 and onward.

The change comes after USCIS changed its method of calculating unlawful presence for international students. Prior to August 9, 2018, a student did not accumulate unlawful presence until the day USCIS determined that such student violated his status.

The change will not only affect the students themselves but also their dependents who remain in the United States under F-2, J-2, or M-2 visas. Accrual of unlawful presence will be tolled for those who submit a request to reinstate their status.

From a practical standpoint, this change affects students in the following manner. Under the U.S. policies, persons who accumulate 180 days of unlawful presence in the United States are inadmissible for a period of 3 years. Those who accumulate more than 1 year of unlawful presence are inadmissible for a period of 10 years. Thus, under the new policy, the inadmissibility period for the foreign student will begin much earlier than previously.

If you are a student in transition, we encourage you to consult with a qualified New York Immigration Lawyers who will assure you do not violate your status. 

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