Federal Register 9/25/2020
“SUMMARY: In fiscal year 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS or the Department) admitted over 2 million foreign nationals into the United States in the F academic student, J exchange visitor, and I representatives of foreign information media nonimmigrant categories. This is a testament to the United States’ exceptional academic institutions, cutting- edge technology, and environment that promotes the exchange of ideas, research, and mutual enrichment. Currently, aliens in the F, J, and I categories are admitted into the United States for the period of time that they are complying with the terms and conditions of their nonimmigrant category (“duration of status”), rather than an admission for a fixed time period. This duration of status framework generally lacks predetermined points in time for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USC1S) or U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) immigration officers to directly evaluate whether F, J, and 1 nonimmigrants are maintaining their status and poses a challenge to the Department’s ability to effectively monitor and oversee these categories of nonimmigrants. Specifically, because nonimmigrants admitted in the F, J, and I classifications generally do not currently begin to accrue unlawful presence until the day after there is a formal finding of a status violation by USCIS or an immigration judge, they are often are able to avoid accrual of unlawful presence for purposes of statutory inadmissibility grounds of unlawful presence, in part, because they do not file applications or petitions, such as extension of stay, that would result in a formal finding. The Department accordingly is concerned about the integrity of the programs and a potential for increased risk to national security. To address these issues, DHS proposes to amend its regulations by changing the admission period of F, J, and 1 aliens from duration of status to an admission for a fixed time period. Admitting individuals in the F, J, and I categories for a fixed period of time will require all F, J, and I nonimmigrants who wish to remain in the United States beyond their specifically authorized admission period to apply for an extension of stay directly with USCIS or to depart the country and apply for admission with CBP at a port of entry (POE). This change would provide the Department with additional protections and mechanisms to exercise the oversight necessary to vigorously enforce our nation’s immigration laws, protect the integrity of these nonimmigrant programs, and promptly detect national security concerns.” Click here to read entire Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
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