On September 25, 2020, the ICE published a proposed rule in the Federal Register which, among other things, eliminates admission for duration of status for F, J and I (International Media) visa holders. The comment period ends on October 26, 2020, after which the agency is required to review and consider all comments before publishing the final rule. Currently, F and J visa holders are admitted to the U.S. for their “duration of status” or the time it takes to finish their program as long as they are making “normal progress” towards the completion of the program. The new rule limits the period of admission for F and J visa holders to 2 or 4 years based on their program end date. This rule will substantially change the way DHS determines whether F or J visa holders are maintaining their status, would subject them to harsh penalties for failure to maintain status, and would require the filing of extension applications on form I-539 to extend a program end-date or apply for OPT.
by Lisa York