On May 21, 2018, I posted a blog regarding the then Proposed USCIS Policy Change for F, J, and M Nonimmigrants and Unlawful Presence implications. On August 9, 2018, USCIS issued a revised final policy memorandum, effective that day. USCIS made changes to its proposed policy after considering feedback the agency received during the public comment period mentioned in the prior blog post.
Effective August 9, 2018 (last Thursday), F and M nonimmigrants who timely file for reinstatement of status with USCIS after falling out of status will have the accrual of unlawful presence suspended while their application for reinstatement is pending. The reinstatement application is considered timely if filed within a five month window of the student falling out of status. If the reinstatement is ultimately denied, unlawful presence will start accruing on the day after the denial.
J nonimmigrant reinstatement requests are administered by the Department of State (DOS) and if the J-1 reinstatement applicant’s request is approved, unlawful presence will not accrue. Likewise, Unlawful Presence would start to accrue in the instance of a denial, although DOS has not weighed in at this time as to when it will begin to accrue.
USCIS will host a stakeholder meeting on August 23rd. Please refer back to this blog as more information becomes available.