Unlawful Presence Recalculated for F, J, M Visa Holders - Caution
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CRITICAL change in Immigration Policy - J, F, M Visa Holders Will Start Accruing Unlawful Presence as of August 9, 2018

05/15/2018 | USCIS - DHS

In a critical and complete change in policy, Immigration intends to change how it calculates unlawful presence for F-1, J-1, and M-1 nonimmigrants and their dependents (F-2, J-2, and M-2 nonimmigrants). These changes are designed to reduce the number of nonimmigrants who overstay their periods of admission and clarify how USCIS implements the unlawful presence grounds of inadmissibility. 

CURRENT POLICY -

Individuals in F, J, and M status who failed to maintain their status start accruing unlawful presence on that date based on that failure, unless they had already started accruing unlawful presence on the earliest of any of the following: 

  • The day after DHS denied the request for the immigration benefit, if DHS made a formal finding that the individual violated his or her nonimmigrant status while adjudicating a request for another immigration benefit;
  • The day after their I-94 expired; or
  • The day after an immigration judge, or in certain cases, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), ordered them excluded, deported, or removed (whether or not the decision is appealed).


NEW POLICY - AS OF AUGUST 9, 2018

Individuals in F, J, or M status who fail to maintain their status on or after August 9, 2018, will start accruing unlawful presence on the earliest of any of the following:

  • The day after they no longer pursue the course of study or the authorized activity, or the day after they engage in an unauthorized activity;
  • The day after completing the course of study or program, including any authorized practical training plus any authorized grace period;
  • The day after the I-94 expires; or
  • The day after an immigration judge, or in certain cases, the BIA, orders them excluded, deported, or removed (whether or not the decision is appealed).

We encourage F, J, and M nonimmigrants to consult our office immediately to discuss this important change in policy.