F Visa Law

Printer-friendly versionPDF version

8 CFR Sec. 214.2(f) Students in colleges, universities, seminaries, conservatories, academic high schools, elementary schools, other academic institutions, and in language training programs --


 
(1) Admission of student --  
    (i) Eligibility for admission . A nonimmigrant student may be admitted into the United States in nonimmigrant status under section 101(a)(15)(F) of the Act, if: (Paragraph (f)(1)(i) revised effective 1/1/03; 67 FR 76256 ) (Introductory text amended 8/27/02; 67 FR 54941 )  
        (A) The student presents a SEVIS Form I-20 issued in his or her own name by a school approved by the Service for attendance by F-1 foreign students. (In the alternative, for a student seeking admission prior to August 1, 2003, the student may present a currently-valid Form I-20A-B/I-20ID, if that form was issued by the school prior to January 30, 2003);  
        (B) The student has documentary evidence of financial support in the amount indicated on the SEVIS Form I-20 (or the Form I-20A-B/I-20ID);  
        (C) For students seeking initial admission only, the student intends to attend the school specified in the student's visa (or, where the student is exempt from the requirement for a visa, the school indicated on the SEVIS Form I-20 (or the Form I-20A-B/I-20ID)); and  
        (D) In the case of a student who intends to study at a public secondary school, the student has demonstrated that he or she has reimbursed the local educational agency that administers the school for the full, unsubsidized per capita cost of providing education at the school for the period of the student's attendance.  
    (ii) Disposition of Form I-20 A-B/I-20 ID. Form I-20 A-B/I-20 ID contains two copies, the I-20 School Copy and the I-20 ID (Student) Copy. For purposes of clarity, the entire Form I-20 A-B/I-20 ID shall be referred to as Form I-20 A-B and the I-20 ID (Student) Copy shall be referred to as the I-20 ID. When an F-1 student applies for admission with a complete Form I-20 A-B, the inspecting officer shall:  
        (A) Transcribe the student's admission number from Form I-94 onto his or her Form I-20 A-B (for students seeking initial admission only);  
        (B) Endorse all copies of the Form I-20 A-B;  
        (C) Return the I-20 ID to the student; and  
        (D) Forward the I-20 School Copy to the Service's processing center for data entry. (The school copy of Form I-20 A-B will be sent back to the school as a notice of the student's admission after data entry.)  
    (iii) Use of SEVIS . On January 30, 2003, the use of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) will become mandatory for the issuance of any new Form I-20. A student or dependent who presents a non-SEVIS Form I-20 issued on or after January 30, 2003, will not be accepted for admission to the United States. Non-SEVIS Forms I-20 issued prior to January 30, 2003, will continue to be acceptable until August 1, 2003. However, schools must issue a SEVIS Form I-20 to any current student requiring a reportable actio n (e.g., extension of status, practical training, and requests for employment authorization) or a new Form I-20, or for any aliens who must obtain a new nonimmigrant student visa. As of August 1, 2003, the records of all current or continuing students must be entered in SEVIS. (Added effective 1/1/03; 67 FR 76256 )  
 


(2) I-20 ID
An F-1 student is expected to safekeep the initial I-20 ID bearing the admission number and any subsequent copies which have been issued to him or her. Should the student lose his or her current I-20 ID, a replacement copy bearing the same information as the lost copy, including any endorsement for employment and notations, may be issued by the designated school official (DSO) as defined in 8 CFR 214.3(l)(1)(i) .  


(3) Admission of the spouse and minor children of an F-1 student 
The spouse and minor children accompanying an F-1 student are eligible for admission in F-2 status if the student is admitted in F-1 status. The spouse and minor children following-to-join an F-1 student are eligible for admission to the United States in F-2 status if they are able to demonstrate that the F-1 student has been admitted and is, or will be within 30 days, enrolled in a full course of study, or engaged in approved practical training following completion of studies. In either case, at the time they seek admission, the eligible spouse and minor children of an F-1 student with a SEVIS Form I-20 must individually present an original SEVIS Form I-20 issued in the name of each F-2 dependent issued by a school authorized by the Service for attendance by F-1 foreign students. Prior to August 1, 2003, if exigent circumstances are demonstrated, the Service will allow the dependent of an F-1 student in possession of a SEVIS Form I-20 to enter the United States using a copy of the F-1 student's SEVIS Form I-20. (In the alternative, for dependents seeking admission to the United States prior to August 1, 2003, a copy of the F-1 student's current Form I-20ID issued prior to January 30, 2003, with proper endorsement by the DSO will satisfy this requirement.) A new SEVIS Form I-20 (or Form I-20A-B) is required for a dependent where there has been any substantive change in the F-1 student's current information. (Revised effective 1/1/03; 67 FR 76256 )  


(4) Temporary absence
An F-1 student returning to the United States from a temporary absence of five months or less may be readmitted for attendance at a Service-approved educational institution, if the student presents:  
    (i) A current SEVIS Form I-20 (or, for readmission prior to August 1, 2003, a current Form I-20ID which was issued prior to January 30, 2003), properly endorsed by the DSO for reentry if there has been no substantive change to the most recent Form I-20 information; or (Revised effective 1/1/03; 67 FR 76256 )  
    (ii) A new SEVIS Form I-20 (or, for readmission prior to August 1, 2003, a new Form I-20ID which was issued prior to January 30, 2003), if there has been a substantive change in the information on the student's most recent Form I-20 information, such as in the case of a student who has changed the major area of study, who intends to transfer to another Service approved institution or who has advanced to a higher level of study. (Revised effective 1/1/03; 67 FR 76256 )  


(5) Duration of status
    (i) General . Except for border commuter students covered by the provisions of paragraph (f)(18) of this section, an F-1 student is admitted for duration of status. Duration of status is defined as the time during which an F-1 student is pursuing a full course of study at an educational institution approved by the Service for attendance by foreign students, or engaging in authorized practical training following completion of studies, except that an F-1 student who is admitted to attend a public high school is restricted to an aggregate of 12 months of study at any public high school(s). An F-1 student may be admitted for a period up to 30 days before the indicated report date or program start date listed on Form I-20. The student is considered to be maintaining status if he or she is making normal progress toward completing a course of study. (Revised effective 1/1/03; 67 FR 76256 ) (Amended 8/27/02; 67 FR 54941 ) (Revised 6/15/99; 64 FR 32146 )  
    (ii) Change in educational levels . An F-1 student who continues from one educational level to another is considered to be maintaining status, provided that the transition to the new educational level is accomplished according to transfer procedures outlined in paragraph (f)(8) of this section.  
    (iii) Annual vacation . An F-1 student at an academic institution is considered to be in status during the annual (or summer) vacation if the student is eligible and intends to register for the next term. A student attending a school on a quarter or trimester calendar who takes only one vacation a year during any one of the quarters or trimesters instead of during the summer is considered to be in status during that vacation, if the student has completed the equivalent of an academic year prior to taking the vacation.  
    (iv) Preparation for departure . An F-1 student who has completed a course of study and any authorized practical training following completion of studies will be allowed an additional 60-day period to prepare for departure from the United States or to transfer in accordance with paragraph (f)(8) of this section. An F-1 student authorized by the DSO to withdraw from classes will be allowed a 15-day period for departure from the United States. However, an F-1 student who fails to maintain a full course of study without the approval of the DSO or otherwise fails to maintain status is not eligible for an additional period for departure. (Revised effective 1/1/03; 67 FR 76256 )  
    (v) Emergent circumstances as determined by the Commissioner .Where the Commissioner has suspended the applicability of any or all of the requirements for on-campus or off-campus employment authorization for specified students pursuant to paragraphs (f)(9)(i) or (f)(9)(ii) of this section by notice in the Federal Register , an affected student who needs to reduce his or her full course of study as a result of accepting employment authorized by such notice in the Federal Register will be considered to be in status during the authorized employment, subject to any other conditions specified in the notice, provided that, for the duration of the authorized employment, the student is registered for the number of semester or quarter hours of instruction per academic term specified in the notice, which in no event shall be less than 6 semester or quarter hours of instruction per academic term if the student is at the undergraduate level or less than 3 semester or quarter hours of instruct ion per academic term if the student is at the graduate level, and is continuing to make progress toward completing the course of study. (Added 6/10/98; 63 FR 31872 )   (vi) Extension of duration of status . Added 6/15/99; 64 FR 32146 )(Revised 4/8/08; 73 FR 18944 )  
        (A) The duration of status, and any employment authorization granted under 8 CFR 274a.12(c)(3)(i) (
        B) and (C), of an F-1 student who is the beneficiary of an H-1B petition and request for change of status shall be automatically extended until October 1 of the fiscal year for which such H-1B visa is being requested where such petition:  
            ( 1 ) Has been timely filed; and  
            ( 2 ) States that the employment start date for the F-1 student is October 1 of the following fiscal year.  
        (B) The automatic extension of an F-1 student's duration of status and employment authorization under paragraph (f)(5)(vi)(A) of this section shall immediately terminate upon the rejection, denial, or revocation of the H-1B petition filed on such F-1 student's behalf.  
        (C) In order to obtain the automatic extension of stay and employment authorization under paragraph (f)(5)(vi)(A) of this section, the F-1 student, according to 8 CFR part 248 , must not have violated the terms or conditions of his or her nonimmigrant status.  
        (D) An automatic extension of an F-1 student's duration of status under paragraph (f)(5)(vi)(A) of this section also applies to the duration of status of any F-2 dependent aliens.  


(6) Full course of study 
    (i) General . Successful completion of the full course of study must lead to the attainment of a specific educational or professional objective. A course of study at an institution not approved for attendance by foreign students as provided in § 214.3(a)(3) does not satisfy this requirement. A "full course of study" as required by section 101(a)(15)(F)(i) of the Act means: (Introductory text revised effective 1/1/03; 67 FR 76256 )  
        (A) Postgraduate study or postdoctoral study at a college or university, or undergraduate or postgraduate study at a conservatory or religious seminary, certified by a DSO as a full course of study;  
        (B) Undergraduate study at a college or university, certified by a school official to consist of at least twelve semester or quarter hours of instruction per academic term in those institutions using standard semester, trimester, or quarter hour systems, where all undergraduate students who are enrolled for a minimum of twelve semester or quarter hours are charged full-time tuition or are considered full-time for other administrative purposes, or its equivalent (as determined by the district director in the sc hool approval process), except when the student needs a lesser course load to complete the course of study during the current term;  
        (C) Study in a postsecondary language, liberal arts, fine arts, or other non-vocational program at a school which confers upon its graduates recognized associate or other degrees or has established that its credits have been and are accepted unconditionally by at least three institutions of higher learning which are either: (1) A school (or school system) owned and operated as a public educational institution by the United States or a State or political subdivision thereof; or (2) a school accredited by a nati onally recognized accrediting body; and which has been certified by a designated school official to consist of at least twelve clock hours of instruction a week, or its equivalent as determined by the district director in the school approval process; (Revised 10/29/93; 58 FR 58097)  
        (D) Study in any other language, liberal arts, fine arts, or other nonvocational training program, certified by a designated school official to consist of at least eighteen clock hours of attendance a week if the dominant part of the course of study consists of classroom instruction, or to consist of at least twenty-two clock hours a week if the dominant part of the course of study consists of laboratory work; or  
        (E) Study in a curriculum at an approved private elementary or middle school or public or private academic high school which is certified by a designated school official to consist of class attendance for not less than the minimum number of hours a week prescribed by the school for normal progress toward graduation. (Revised effective 1/1/03; 67 FR 76256 )  
        (F) Notwithstanding paragraphs (f)(6)(i)(A) and (f)(6)(i)(B) of this section, an alien who has been granted employment authorization pursuant to the terms of a document issued by the Commissioner under paragraphs (f)(9)(i) or (f)(9)(ii) of this section and published in the Federal Register shall be deemed to be engaged in a "full course of study" if he or she remains registered for no less than the number of semester or quarter hours of instruction per academic term specified by the Commissioner in the notice for the validity period of such employment authorization. (Added 6/10/98; 63 FR 31872 )  
        (G) For F-1 students enrolled in classes for credit or classroom hours, no more than the equivalent of one class or three credits per session, term, semester, trimester, or quarter may be counted toward the full course of study requirement if the class is taken on-line or through distance education and does not require the student's physical attendance for classes, examination or other purposes integral to completion of the class. An on-line or distance education course is a course that is offered principal ly through the use of television, audio, or computer transmission including open broadcast, closed circuit, cable, microwave, or satellite, audio conferencing, or computer conferencing. If the F-1 student's course of study is in a language study program, no on-line or distance education classes may be considered to count toward a student's full course of study requirement. (Revised effective 1/1/03; 67 FR 76256 )  
        (H) On-campus employment pursuant to the terms of a scholarship, fellowship, or assistantship is deemed to be part of the academic program of a student otherwise taking a full course of study. (Revised effective 1/1/03; 67 FR 76256 )  
    (ii) Institution of higher learning . For purposes of this paragraph, a college or university is an institution of higher learning which awards recognized associate, bachelor's, master's, doctorate, or professional degrees. Schools which devote themselves exclusively or primarily to vocational, business, or language instruction are not included in the category of colleges or universities. Vocational or business schools which are classifiable as M-1 schools are provided for by regulations under 8 CFR 214.2(m) .  
    (iii) Reduced course load . The designated school official may allow an F-1 student to engage in less than a full course of study as provided in this paragraph (f)(6)(iii). Except as otherwise noted, a reduced course load must consist of at least six semester or quarter hours, or half the clock hours required for a full course of study. A student who drops below a full course of study without the prior approval of the DSO will be considered out of status. On-campus employment pursuant to the terms of a scholarship, fellowship, or assi stantship is deemed to be part of the academic program of a student otherwise taking a full course of study. (Paragraph (f)(6)(iii) revised effective 1/1/03; 67 FR 76256 )  
        (A) Academic difficulties . The DSO may authorize a reduced course load on account of a student's initial difficulty with the English language or reading requirements, unfamiliarity with U.S. teaching methods, or improper course level placement. The student must resume a full course of study at the next available term, session, or semester, excluding a summer session, in order to maintain student status. A student previously authorized to drop below a full course of study due to academic difficulties is not eligible for a second aut horization by the DSO due to academic difficulties while pursuing a course of study at that program level. A student authorized to drop below a full course of study for academic difficulties while pursuing a course of study at a particular program level may still be authorized for a reduced course load due to an illness medical condition as provided for in paragraph (B) of this section.  
        (B) Medical conditions . The DSO may authorize a reduced course load (or, if necessary, no course load) due to a student's temporary illness or medical condition for a period of time not to exceed an aggregate of 12 months while the student is pursuing a course of study at a particular program level. In order to authorize a reduced course load based upon a medical condition, the student must provide medical documentation from a licensed medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, or licensed clinical psychologist, to the DSO to substan tiate the illness or medical condition. The student must provide current medical documentation and the DSO must reauthorize the drop below full course of study each new term, session, or semester. A student previously authorized to drop below a full course of study due to illness or medical condition for an aggregate of 12 months may not be authorized by a DSO to reduce his or her course load on subsequent occasions while pursuing a course of study at the same program level. A student may be authorized to r educe course load for a reason of illness or medical condition on more than one occasion while pursuing a course of study, so long as the aggregate period of that authorization does not exceed 12 months.  
        (C) Completion of course of study . The DSO may authorize a reduced course load in the student's final term, semester, or session if fewer courses are needed to complete the course of study. If the student is not required to take any additional courses to satisfy the requirements for completion, but continues to be enrolled for administrative purposes, the student is considered to have completed the course of study and must take action to maintain status. Such action may include application for change of status or departure from the U.S.  
        (D) Reporting requirements for non-SEVIS schools . A DSO must report to the Service any student who is authorized to reduce his or her course load. Within 21 days of the authorization, the DSO must send a photocopy of the student's current Form I-20ID along with Form I-538 to Service's data processing center indicating the date and reason that the student was authorized to drop below full time status. Similarly, the DSO will report to the Service no more than 21 days after the student has resumed a full course of study by submitting a current copy of the students' Form I-20ID to the Service's data processing center indicating the date a full course of study was resumed and the new program end date with Form I-538, if applicable.  
        (E) SEVIS reporting requirements . In order for a student to be authorized to drop below a full course of study, the DSO must update SEVIS prior to the student reducing his or her course load. The DSO must update SEVIS with the date, reason for authorization, and the start date of the next term or session. The DSO must also notify SEVIS within 21 days of the student's commencement of a full course of study. If an extension of the program end date is required due to the drop below a full course of study, the DSO must update SEVIS by complet ing a new SEVIS Form I-20 with the new program end date in accordance with paragraph (f)(7) of this section.      (iv) Concurrent enrollment . An F-1 student may be enrolled in two different Service-approved schools at one time as long as the combined enrollment amounts to a full time course of study. In cases where a student is concurrently enrolled, the school from which the student will earn his or her degree or certification should issue the Form I-20, and conduct subsequent certifications and updates to the Form I-20. The DSO from this school is also responsible for all of the reporting requirements to the Service. In instances where a stud ent is enrolled in programs with different full course of study requirements (e.g., clock hours vs. credit hours), the DSO is permitted to determine what constitutes a full time course of study. (Added effective 1/1/03; 67 FR 76256 )  
 


(7) Extension of stay
    (i) General . An F-1 student who is admitted for duration of status is not required to apply for extension of stay as long as the student is maintaining status and making normal progress toward completion of his or her educational objective. An F-1 student who is currently maintaining status and making normal progress toward completing his or her educational objective, but who is unable to complete his or her course of study by the program end date on the Form I-20, must apply prior to the program end date for a progra m extension pursuant to paragraph (f)(7)(iii) of this section. (Paragraph (f)(7) revised effective 1/1/03; 67 FR 76256 )(Amended 8/27/02; 67 FR 54941 )  
    (ii) Report date and program completion date on Form I-20 . When determining the report date on the Form I-20, the DSO may choose a reasonable date to accommodate a student's need to be in attendance for required activities at the school prior to the actual start of classes. Such required activities may include, but are not limited to, research projects and orientation sessions. However, for purposes of employment, the DSO may not indicate a report date more than 30 days prior to the start of classes. When determining the program completion date on Form I-20, the DSO should make a reasonable estimate based upon the time an average student would need to complete a similar program in the same discipline.  
    (iii) Program extension for students in lawful status . An F-1 student who is unable to meet the program completion date on the Form I-20 may be granted an extension by the DSO if the DSO certifies that the student has continually maintained status and that the delays are caused by compelling academic or medical reasons, such as changes of major or research topics, unexpected research problems, or documented illnesses. Delays caused by academic probation or suspension are not acceptable reasons for program extensions. A DSO may not grant an extension if the st udent did not apply for an extension until after the program end date noted on the Form I-20. An F-1 student who is unable to complete the educational program within the time listed on Form I-20 and who is ineligible for program extension pursuant to this paragraph (f)(7) is considered out of status. If eligible, the student may apply for reinstatement under the provisions of paragraph (f)(16) of this section.  
    (iv) Notification . Upon granting a program extension, a DSO at a non-SEVIS school must immediately submit notification to the Service's data processing center using Form I-538 and the top page of Form I-20A-B showing the new program completion date. For a school enrolled in SEVIS, a DSO may grant a program extension only by updating SEVIS and issuing a new Form I-20 reflecting the current program end date. A DSO may grant an extension any time prior to the program end date listed on the student's original Form I-20.  


(8) School transfer 
    (i) A student who is maintaining status may transfer to another Service approved school by following the notification procedure prescribed in paragraph (f)(8)(ii) of this section. However, an F-1 student is not permitted to remain in the United States when transferring between schools or programs unless the student will begin classes at the transfer school or program within 5 months of transferring out of the current school or within 5 months of the program completion date on his or her current Form I-20, which ever is earlier. In the case of an F-1 student authorized to engage in post-completion optional practical training (OPT), the student must be able resume classes within 5 months of transferring out of the school that recommended OPT or the date the OPT authorization ends, whichever is earlier. An F-1 student who was not pursuing a full course of study at the school he or she was last authorized to attend is ineligible for school transfer and must apply for reinstatement under the provisions of paragraph (f) (16) of this section, or, in the alternative, may depart the country and return as an initial entry in a new F-1 nonimmigrant status. (Revised effective 1/1/03; 67 FR 76256 )  
    (ii) Transfer procedure . To transfer schools, an F-1 student must first notify the school he or she is attending of the intent to transfer, then obtain a Form I-20 A-B, issued in accordance with the provisions of 8 CFR 214.3(k) , from the school to which he or she intends to transfer. The transfer will be effected only if the F-1 student completes the Student Certification portion of the Form I-20 A-B and returns the form to a designated school official on campus within 15 days of beginning attendance at the new school.  
        (A) Non-SEVIS School to Non-SEVIS school . To transfer from one non-SEVIS school to a different non-SEVIS school, the student must first notify the school he or she is attending of the intent to transfer, then obtain a Form I-20 issued in accordance with the provisions of 8 CFR 214.3(k) from the school to which he or she intends to transfer. Prior to issuance of any Form I-20, the DSO at the transfer school is responsible for determining that the student has been maintaining status at his or her current school and is eligible for transfer to the new school. The transfer will be effected only if the student completes the Student Certification portion of the Form I-20 and returns the form to a DSO of the transfer school within 15 days of the program start date listed on Form I-20. Upon rece ipt of the student's Form I-20 the DSO must note "transfer completed on (date)" in the space provided for the DSO's remarks, thereby acknowledging the student's attendance at the transfer school; return the Form I-20 to the student; submit the School copy of the Form I-20 to Service's Data Processing Center within 30 days of receipt from the student; and forward a photocopy of the school copy to the school from which the student transferred. (Added effective 1/1/03; 67 FR 76256 )  
        (B) Non-SEVIS school to SEVIS school . To transfer from a non-SEVIS school to a SEVIS school, the student must first notify the school he or she is attending of the intent to transfer, then obtain a SEVIS Form I-20 issued in accordance with the provisions of 8 CFR 214.3(k) from the school to which he or she intends to transfer. Prior to issuance of any Form I-20, the DSO at the transfer school is responsible for determining that the student has been maintaining status at his or her current school and is eligible for transfer to the new school. Once the transfer school has issued the SEVIS Form I-20 to the student indicating a transfer, the transfer school becomes responsible for updating and maintaining the student's record in SEVIS. The student is then required to notify th e DSO at the transfer school within 15 days of the program start date listed on SEVIS Form I-20. Upon notification that the student is enrolled in classes, the DSO of the transfer school must update SEVIS to reflect the student's registration and current address, thereby acknowledging that the student has completed the transfer process. In the remarks section of the student's SEVIS Form I-20, the DSO must note that the transfer has been completed, including the date, and return the form to the student. The transfer is effected when the transfer school updates SEVIS indicating that the student has registered in classes within the 30 days required by § 214.3(g)(3)(iii) . (Added effective 1/1/03; 67 FR 76256 )  
        (C) SEVIS school to SEVIS school . To transfer from a SEVIS school to a SEVIS school the student must first notify his or her current school of the intent to transfer and must indicate the school to which he or she intends to transfer. Upon notification by the student, the current school will update the student's record in SEVIS as a "transfer out" and indicate the school to which the student intends to transfer, and a release date. The release date will be the current semester or session completion date, or the date of expected transfer i f earlier than the established academic cycle. The current school will retain control over the student's record in SEVIS until the student completes the current term or reaches the release date. At the request of the student, the DSO of the current school may cancel the transfer request at any time prior to the release date. As of the release date specified by the current DSO, the transfer school will be granted full access to the student's SEVIS record and then becomes responsible for that student. The cur rent school conveys authority and responsibility over that student to the transfer school, and will no longer have full SEVIS access to that student's record. As such, a transfer request may not be cancelled by the current DSO after the release date has been reached. After the release date, the transfer DSO must complete the transfer of the student's record in SEVIS and may issue a SEVIS Form I-20. The student is then required to contact the DSO at the transfer school within 15 days of the program start dat e listed on the SEVIS Form I-20. Upon notification that the student is enrolled in classes, the DSO of the transfer school must update SEVIS to reflect the student's registration and current address, thereby acknowledging that the student has completed the transfer process. In the remarks section of the student's SEVIS Form I-20, the DSO must note that the transfer has been completed, including the date, and return the form to the student. The transfer is effected when the transfer school notifies SEVIS tha t the student has enrolled in classes in accordance with the 30 days required by § 214.3(g)(3)(iii) . (Added effective 1/1/03; 67 FR 76256 )  
        (D) SEVIS school to non-SEVIS school . To transfer from a SEVIS school to a non-SEVIS school, the student must first notify his or her current school of the intent to transfer and must indicate the school to which he or she intends to transfer. Upon notification by the student, the current school will update the student's status in SEVIS as "a transfer out", enter a "release" or expected transfer date, and update the transfer school as "non-SEVIS." The student must then notify the school to which the he or she intends to transfer of his or her intent to enroll. After the student has completed his or her current term or session, or has reached the expected transfer date, the DSO at the current school will no longer have full access to the student's SEVIS record. At this point, if the student has notified the transfer school of his or her intent to transfer, and the transfer school has determined that the student has been maintaining status at his or her current school, the transfer school may issue the student a Form I-20. The transfer will be ef fected only if the student completes the Student Certification portion of the Form I-20 and returns the form to a designated school official of the transfer school within 15 days of the program start date listed on Form I-20. Upon receipt of the student's Form I-20 the DSO must do as follows: note "transfer completed on (date)" in the space provided for the DSO's remarks, thereby acknowledging the student's attendance; return the Form I-20 to the student; submit the school copy of the Form I-20 to the Servi ce's data processing center within 30 days of receipt from the student; and forward a photocopy of the school copy to the school from which the student transferred. (Added effective 1/1/03; 67 FR 76256 )  
    (iii) Notification . Upon receipt of the student's Form I-20 A-B, the DSO must:  
        (A) Note "transfer completed on (date)" on the student's I-20 ID in the space provided for the DSO's remarks, thereby acknowledging the student's attendance;  
        (B) Return the I-20 ID to the student;  
        (C) Submit the I-20 School copy to the Service's Data Processing Center within 30 days of receipt from the student; and  
        (D) Forward a photocopy of the Form I-20 A-B School Copy to the school from which the student transferred.  
 


(9) Employment
    (i) On-campus employment. On-campus employment must either be performed on the school's premises, (including on-location commercial firms which provide services for students on campus, such as the school bookstore or cafeteria), or at an off-campus location which is educationally affiliated with the school. Employment with on-site commercial firms, such as a construction company building a school building, which do not provide direct student services is not deemed on-campus employment for the purposes of this paragraph. In the cas e of off-campus locations, the educational affiliation must be associated with the school's established curriculum or related to contractually funded research projects at the post-graduate level. In any event, the employment must be an integral part of the student's educational program. Employment authorized under this paragraph must not exceed 20 hours a week while school is in session, unless the Commissioner suspends the applicability of this limitation due to emergent circumstances, as determined by t he Commissioner, by means of notice in the Federal Register , the student demonstrates to the DSO that the employment is necessary to avoid severe economic hardship resulting from the emergent circumstances, and the DSO notates the Form I-20 in accordance with the Federal Register document. An F-1 student may, however, work on campus full-time when school is not in session or during the annual vacation. A student who has been issued a Form I-20 A-B to begin a new program in accordance with the provision of 8 CFR 214.3(k) and who intends to enroll for the next regular academic year, term, or session at the institution which issued the Form I-20 A-B may continue on-campus employment incident to status. Otherwise, an F-1 student may not engage in on-campus employment after completing a course of study, except employment for practical training as authorized under paragraph (f)(10) of this section. An F-1 student may engage in any on-campus employment authorized under this paragraph which will not displace United States resid ents. In the case of a transfer in SEVIS, the student may only engage in on-campus employment at the school having jurisdiction over the student's SEVIS record. Upon initial entry to begin a new course of study, an F-1 student may not begin on-campus employment more than 30 days prior to the actual start of classes. (Amended effective 1/1/03; 67 FR 76256 ) (Amended 6/10/98; 63 FR 31872 )  
    (ii) Off-campus work authorization --  
        (A) General. An F-1 student may be authorized to work off-campus on a part-time basis in accordance with paragraph (f)(9)(ii)(B) or (C) of this section after having been in F-1 status for one full academic year provided that the student is in good academic standing as determined by the DSO. Part-time off-campus employment authorized under this section is limited to no more than twenty hours a week when school is in session. A student who is granted off-campus employment authorization may work full-time during holidays o r school vacation. The employment authorization is automatically terminated whenever the student fails to maintain status. In emergent circumstances as determined by the Commissioner, the Commissioner may suspend the applicability of any or all of the requirements of paragraph (f)(9)(ii) of this section by notice in the Federal Register . (Amended 6/10/98; 63 FR 31872 )  
        (B) Reserved. (Removed and reserved effective 1/1/03; 67 FR 76256 )         
        (C) Severe economic hardship . If other employment opportunities are not available or are otherwise insufficient, an eligible F-1 student may request off-campus employment work authorization based upon severe economic hardship caused by unforeseen circumstances beyond the student's control. These circumstances may include loss of financial aid or on-campus employment without fault on the part of the student, substantial fluctuations in the value of currency or exchange rate, inordinate increases in tuition and/or living costs, unexpect ed changes in the financial condition of the student's source of support, medicalbills, or other substantial and unexpected expenses.  
        (D) Procedure for off-campus employment authorization . Procedure for off-campus employment authorization due to severe economic hardship . The student must request a recommendation from the DSO for off-campus employment. The DSO at a non-SEVIS school must make such a certification on Form I-538, Certification by Designated School Official. The DSO of a SEVIS school must complete such certification in SEVIS. The DSO may recommend the student for work off-campus for one year intervals by certifying that: (Revising paragraph (f)(9)(ii)(D); 67 FR 76256 )  
            (1) The student has been in F-1 status for one full academic year;  
            (2) The student is in good standing as a student and is carrying a full course of study as defined in paragraph (f)(6) of this section;  
            (3) The student has demonstrated that acceptance of employment will not interfere with the student's carrying a full course of study; and  
            (4) The student has demonstrated that the employment is necessary to avoid severe economic hardship due to unforeseen circumstances beyond the student's control pursuant to paragraph (f)(9)(ii)(C) of this section and has demonstrated that employment under paragraph (f)(9)(i) of this section is unavailable or otherwise insufficient to meet the needs that have arisen as a result of the unforeseen circumstances.  
        (E) Reserved. (Removed and reserved effective 1/1/03; 67 FR 76256 )  
        (F) Severe economic hardship application -  
            (1) The applicant should submit the economic hardship application for employment authorization on Form I-765, with the fee required by 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1) , to the service center having jurisdiction over his or her place of residence. Applicants at a non-SEVIS school should submit Form I-20, Form I-538, and any other supporting materials such as affidavits which further detail the unforeseen circumstances that require the student to seek employment authorization and the unavailability or insufficiency of employment under paragraph (f)(9)(i) of this section. Students enrolled in a SEVIS school should submit the SEVIS Form I-20 with the employment page demonstr ating the DSO's comments and certification. (Paragraph (f)(9)(ii)(F)( 1 ) revised effective 1/1/03; 67 FR 76256 )  
            (2) The Service shall adjudicate the application for work authorization based upon severe economic hardship on the basis of Form I-20 ID, Form I-538, and Form I-765, and any additional supporting materials. If employment is authorized, the adjudicating officer shall issue an EAD. The Service director shall notify the student of the decision, and, if the application is denied, of the reason or reasons for the denial. No appeal shall lie from a decision to deny a request for employment authorization under this s ection. The employment authorization may be granted in one year intervals up to the expected date of completion of the student's current course of study. A student has permission to engage in off-campus employment only if the student receives the EAD endorsed to that effect. Off-campus employment authorization may be renewed by the Service only if the student is maintaining status and good academic standing. The employment authorization is automatically terminated whenever the student fails to maintain sta tus.  
    (iii) Internship with an international organization . A bona fide F-1 student who has been offered employment by a recognized international organization within the meaning of the International Organization Immunities Act (59 Stat. 669) must apply for employment authorization to the service center having jurisdiction over his or her place of residence. A student seeking employment authorization under this provision is required to present a written certification from the international organization that the proposed employment is within the scope of the organizat ion's sponsorship, Form I-20 ID or SEVIS Form I-20 with employment page completed by DSO certifying eligibility for employment, and a completed Form I-765, with required fee as contained in § 103.7(b)(1) of this chapter. (Revised effective 1/1/03; 67 FR 76256 )  


This information can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations.

This content is tagged for employers and Human Resources professionals responsible for hiring foreign professionals/workers in USA

US Department of Labor is charged with protecting the labor market and investigation and enforcement activities related to that.

Immigration and Custom Enforcement. This agency used to be a part of old INS. When DHS was formed, enforcement personnel of US Customs Service and INS were combined to form ICE, which is now responsible for a large part of immigration enforcement activity.

Department of State (State Department) is responsible for issuing visas, which are a permission to travel to USA.

A method to obtain green card used to avoid the need for PERM based labor certification.

Customs and Border Protection. This agency was spun off from old INS. CBP is responsible for inspecting people when they land at airports, docks and land borders.

To qualify for an A-1 (or A-2 visa), you must be traveling to the United States on behalf of your national government to engage solely in official activities for that government.  The fact that there may be government interest or control in a given organization is not in itself the defining factor in determining if you qualify for an A visa; the particular duties or services that will be performed must be governmental in character or nature, as determined by the United States Department of State, in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. Government officials traveling to the United States to perform non-governmental functions of a commercial nature, or traveling as tourists, require some other appropriate visa, and do not qualify for A visas.

To qualify for an A-2 (or A-1 visa), you must be traveling to the United States on behalf of your national government to engage solely in official activities for that government. The fact that there may be government interest or control in a given organization is not in itself the defining factor in determining if you qualify for an A visa; the particular duties or services that will be performed must be governmental in character or nature, as determined by the United States Department of State, in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. Government officials traveling to the United States to perform non-governmental functions of a commercial nature, or traveling as tourists, require some other appropriate visa, and do not qualify for A visas.

Consulates all over the world issue visas - a permission to enter USA for a specific purpose. Consulates are a part of the State Department (DOS - Department of State).

Bangladesh Immigration

Indonesia Immigration

I-94 aka Arrival Departure Record is what governs your status in the USA. An expired I-94 can lead to bar from entering USA for 3 to 10 years.See details on "Unlawful Presence".

When used in relation to immigration, this is another name for being LEGALLY present in the USA

This is a complicated term. Very simply (there is a lot more to it), you could have your status expire and still be authorized to stay in USA awaiting the outcome of a legally filed petition. This is something less than "Status" but much better than "Unlawful Presence."

This is another complicated concept with some very serious consequences. Briefly, if you have been unlawfully present in USA for more than 180 days, you cannot come back to USA for 3 years and if unlawfully present for a year or more, you cannot come back for 10 years. Very generally speaking unlawful presence begins after expiration of the I-94 or after having been asked by the govt. to leave USA.

These are topics related to appeals and motions for reconsideration or reopening of decisions (MTR) by govt. agencies such as USCIS, USDOL, etc.

These are topics related to appeals and motions for reconsideration or reopening of decisions (MTR) by govt. agencies such as USCIS, USDOL, etc.

Adjustment of Status

Includes topics of loss of physical green card papers or the card itself as well as loss of green card through abandonment and criminal activity.

When used in relation to immigration, this is another name for extending your status.

Employees working in USA

Personal employees, attendants and servants of A-1 and A-2 visa holders.

EB4 category is for religious workers.

“Priority Date” determines your place in the queue for waiting for green card in the categories where there is a wait. When the govt. has reached your PD, it is said to be “current.” For family-based green cards, PD is the date your I-130 was filed; for PERM-based cases, the date your PERM was filed; for employment-based cases other than through PERM (like EB-1 cases), PD is the date your I-140 was filed. DOS publishes the movement of the PD queue every month in the Visa Bulletin: http://www.immigration.com/visa-bulletin

A publication of the US State Department that keeps track of the green card backlogs and informs us which "Priority Dates" are current so the applicants can expect to get through the last step of their green card processing. This is published every month around the 14th and tells us the availability for the following month. Note that certain categories of applicants ("immediate relatives") such as spouse of a US citizen are not shown in the visa bulletin because they are entitled to have their applications considered without any wait.

Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (now USCIS)

Central Intelligence Agency

Department of Homeland Security

Department of Justice

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Immigration and Naturalization Service (now reconstituted into USCIS)

Internal Revenue Service

Office of Management and Budget

Social Security Administration

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Earlier known as INS. USCIS is responsible for providing immigration benefits to applicants. Homepage http://wwww.uscis.gov

American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998.

Approval Date (When your application was approved)

Alien Documentation, Identification & Telecommunications System

Assistant Field Office Director

Abbreviation for American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Adjudications Officer

Administrative Review

Application Support Center: offers biometric services including fingerprinting services

Birth Certificate

Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (now USCIS)

Board of Immigrant Appeals

Biometrics (include Digital photo, index finger print and your digital signature). This is needed for the production of Green Card.

Customs and Border Protection

Central Intelligence Agency

Citizenship and Immigration Services

Consulate Officer

Consular Processing

Conditional Permanent Resident

Curricular Practical Training

Central Regional Office

California Service Center

Cancelled Without Prejudice

Deputy Field Office Director

Department of Homeland Security

Drivers License

Department of Motor Vehicles

Department of Justice

Department of Labor

Dallas Office Rapid Adjustment of Status

Department of State

Detention and Removal Operations

Diversity Visa (a.k.a. Green Card Lottery)

Eastern Application Center

Employment Authorization Document (I-765, approval to work while waiting for Adjustment of Status - AOS Approval)

Electronic Data Systems

Executive Office of Immigration Review

Expedited Removal

Eastern Regional Office

Entered Without Inspection

Foreign Affairs Manual

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Field Office Director

Finger Print

File Transfer Request

Green Card

Immigration Judge

International Marriage Brokers Act

Immigration and Nationality Act

Is an online appointment so you can go to your DO if you have a doubt or want to know something about your case in person or to request your interim EAD

Immigration and Naturalization Service (now called USCIS)

Immigration officer / Interviewing officer

Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986

Internal Revenue Service

Internet Service Provider

Immigrant Visa

Immigrant Visa Applicant Control System

John F. Kennedy International Airport

Kentucky Consular Center

Labor Condition Application

Lawful Permanent Resident

Lawful Permanent Resident Alien

Last Update Date on your on-line portfolio at USCIS website. It is the date when they last took action on your application, could be anything.

Machine Readable Data

Machine Readable Passport

Machine Readable Visa

Missouri Service Center

Notice Date (When USCIS notified you that they received your application)

National Data Entry Center

Non Immigrant Visa

Notice of Action is your receipt/letter that you received after you filed your forms (indicates I-797C)

Notice of Proposed Rule Making

Notice To Appear

Nebraska Service Center

National Visa Center

New York District Office

Office of Management and Budget

Optional Practical Training

Other Than Mexican

Police Clearance Certificate

Priority Date

Port of Entry

Permanent Resident (Also LPR - Legal Permanent Resident)

Quality Assurance

Receipt Date (When USCIS received your application)

Remote Adjudications Center

Request for Evidence

Request for Initial Evidence

Service Center (this is used with a prefix, eg CSC - California Service Center; MSC - Missouri Service Center, that is the address from where you will received your NOA (Notice of Action))

Supervisory Detention & Deportation Officer

Student Exchange Visitor Information System

Student and Exchange Visitor Program

Social Security Administration

Social Security Number

State Workforce Agency

When the UCSIS "Touches" your petition or file it means that an action was taken which required your file to be physically touched or moved. Example: Your file is touched when it is given to an adjudicator to process.

Temporary Protected Status

Texas Service Center

Transit Without Visa

US Citizen

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

System in airports that captures biometrics of people entering the country

Voluntary Return

Vermont Service Center

Visa Waiver Program

Western Application Center

Western Regional Office

Alien's Change of Address Form

NAFTA Professional visa

NAFTA Professional Dependant visa

Pre-Flight Inspection

PERM Processing: Program Electronic Review Management

Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

Interim EAD

Application to Replace Permanent Residence Card

Employment Eligibility Verification

Affidavit of Support

Application for Employment Authorization

Green Card

Application To Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status

Welcome Notice

Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker

Affidavit of Support

Application for Travel Document

Advance Parole or AP (Form I-131): The authorization to travel outside the US while your adjustment of status is pending. Note, Form I-131 is also used for Reentry Permit, an application by a US green card holder to be away from USA for over one year.

Administrative Appeals Office

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study. Under the prior rules, an F-1 student could be authorized to receive up to a total of 12 months of practical training either before (pre-) and/or after (post-) completion of studies.

This is an abbreviation for test_term and can be deleted

AC21 is the name given to a law that provides for several matters including the ability to change jobs while an employment-based green card is pending (I-485 AC21 portability) and to start working for an H-1B employer as soon as transfer petition is filed with the USCIS.

AC21 is the name given to a law that provides for several matters including the ability to change jobs while an employment-based green card is pending (I-485 AC21 portability) and to start working for an H-1B employer as soon as transfer petition is filed with the USCIS.

American Immigration Lawyers Association

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

The process though which a person within USA obtains a change in their status to green card holder. This is usually the last step for (most not all) green card process.

Includes Zoologists, Botanists

Includes occupations in biochemistry, cytology, genetics, physiology

Fashion Models

Hotel management and related professions

An alternative to obtaining the last step in the green card through the consulates outside USA. This is an alternative to adjustment of status.

DOD (Department of Defense) project visas.

Includes CPA's CA's and all other accountants and auditors

Violence Against Women Act

Child Status Protection Act

Labor Condition Application. This is a part of some nonimmigrant visa applications process including H-1 visas. Not to be confused with "Labor Certification" also known as PERM, which is a part of the green card process. An LCA, or Labor Condition Application, is required to be submitted to and certified by the U.S. Department of Labor as a part of an H-1B application. The LCA serves to ensure that U.S. wages will not be depressed by the hiring of the H-1B employee and that the H-1B worker will not be exploited. In the LCA, the employer guarantees that it will pay the H-1B worker the required wage, which is the greater of the prevailing wage or the actual wage paid to other employees in the same position; that the H-1B employee will not displace a U.S. worker; and that the employment will not adversely affect the working conditions of workers similarly employed in the area of intended employment.

Also known as CIS Ombudsman, this office provides recommendations for resolving individual and employer problems with the USCIS. As mandated by the Homeland Security Act of 2002 § 452, CIS Ombudsman is an independent office that reports directly to the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security. http://www.dhs.gov/xabout/structure/editorial_0482.shtm

PERM audits typically involve questions from the USDOL regarding the PERM filing.

Used mostly in the context of the last step in green card processing (Adjustment of Status), preadjudication means USCIS is proceeding to make decision on the file even though priority date is not yet current. The idea is that way when the PD gets current, all they need to do is send approval notice and then the green card. So if the AOS is preadjudicated, you still need to wait for the PD to become current.

Petition for a conditional resident who obtained status through marriage to apply to remove the conditions on his or her residence.

Vermont Service Center

California Service Center

Nebraska Service Center

Texas Service Center

Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) is one of the three adjudicative bodies within the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). It has jurisdiction over three types of civil penalty cases: employer sanctions (INA § 274A - 8 USC § 1324a), unfair immigration-related employment practices (INA § 274B - 8 USC § 1324b), and immigration-related document fraud (INA § 274C - 8 USC § 1324c).

Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals is an adjudicative agency that decides in appeal PERM and wage disputes.

Certifying Officer is the highest Department of Labor officer for a region. They are charged, amongst other things, with the responsibility to adjudicate PERM and LCA cases.

Fraud Detection and National Security. FDNS was created to strengthen the ability of the U.S. Citizenship and
Immigration Services (USCIS) to provide the right benefit to the right person at the right time, and no benefit to the wrong person.

Citizenship in USA can be obtained through naturalization or through birth in USA.

The process through which a person becomes a US Citizen.

N-470 helps you preserve your stay abroad for naturalization under certain circumstances. So, even though you are living outside USA, you can accumulate that time for naturalization.

Electronic System for Travel Authorization

Congressional Research Service. A "think tank" that provides reports to members of Congress on a variety of topics relevant to current political events.

Missouri Service Center (MSC) was transitioned into the National Benefits Center (NBC). The NBC was established to serve as the hub and conduit for USCIS local field offices by completing all pre-interview processing of Forms generally requiring an interview. This pre-processing includes conducting background security checks, performing initial evidence reviews, adjudication of associated I-765 and I-131 applications (filed with the I-485 or separately), denial of adjustment of status cases for applicants who are statutorily ineligible, and forwarding scheduled cases to the USCIS local office for adjudication. In employment based cases, transfer to NBC usually means an interview can be expected. This can occur even if PD is retrogressed.

Online Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application can only be used by visa applicants applying at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate which has converted to the new electronic fully online form and process. For more information visit travel.state.gov DS-160 informational webpage for a listing of embassy locations using Form DS-160. Next, visit one of the U.S. Embassy websites using the Form DS-160 and where you will apply, to review detailed nonimmigrant visa how-to-apply instructions, in addition to these FAQs.

1. Where can I find the DS-160?
You can access the DS-160 from the Consular Electronic Application Center website or from the link on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website.

The mission of the Employment and Training Administration is to contribute to the more efficient functioning of the U.S. labor market by providing high quality job training, employment, labor market information, and income maintenance services primarily through state and local workforce development systems.

A form issued by school for applicants to obtain a Student Visa.

A form issued by school or sponsor for applicants to obtain a J Visa.

United Kingdom

Cyprus Immigration

Japan

France

Germany

Ireland

Kuwait Immigration

Saudi Arabia Immigration

United Arab Emirates Immigration

Singapore Immigration

Chile Immigration

China Immigration new

Egypt Immigration

France Immigration

Malaysia Immigration

Maldives Immigration

Malta Immigration

Mauritius Immigration

Nepal Immigration

Norway Immigration

New Zealand Immigration

Romania Immigration

South Africa Immigration

South Korea Immigration

Sweden Immigration

Switzerland immigration

Trinidad immigration

In April of 1994, the Department of State opened a permanent Immigrant Visa processing facility at the National Visa Center (NVC) in Portsmouth, NH. The NVC processes all approved immigrant visa petitions after they are received from Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security (CIS) and retains them until the cases are ready for adjudication by a consular officer abroad.

Every month, the Visa Office (VO) establishes Qualifying Dates that determine if a petition will be eligible for processing. Qualifying Dates are the latest priority dates that can be processed for certain visa categories. An immigrant visa petition can only become ready for further processing when the Qualifying Date in the appropriate visa category has advanced up to the priority date of the petition. Petitions may remain at NVC for several months or for many years depending on the visa category and country of birth of the visa applicant.

NVC’s Role

The NVC is responsible for the collection of visa application fees and visa application documentation. When an applicant's priority date meets the most recent Qualifying Date, the NVC will contact the applicant and petitioner with instructions for submitting the appropriate processing fees. After the appropriate processing fees are paid, the NVC will again contact the applicant and petitioner to request that the necessary immigrant visa documentation be submitted to the NVC.

The U.S. Department of State's official site for U.S. visa information

InfoPass is an Internet-based system that enables the public to go online to schedule appointments with immigration information officers at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices. If you have a complex immigration question or need that is best addressed by a trained USCIS officer in person, InfoPass offers a convenient alternative to waiting in line for assistance. InfoPass is a secure Internet site.

8 C.F.R. ง 214.3(l)(1)(ii):

(l) Designated official.

(1) Meaning of term Designated Official. As used in งง 214.1(b), 214.2(b),
214.2(f), 214.2(m), and 214.4, a Designated Official, Designated School
Official (DSO), or Principal Designated School Official (PDSO), means a
regularly employed member of the school administration whose office is
located at the school and whose compensation does not come from commissions
for recruitment of foreign students. An individual whose principal
obligation to the school is to recruit foreign students for compensation
does not qualify as a designated official. The PDSO and any other DSO must
be named by the president, owner, or head of a school or school system. The
PDSO and DSO may not delegate this designation to any other person.

(i) A PDSO and DSO must be either a citizen or lawful permanent resident of
the United States.

(ii) Each campus must have one PDSO. The PDSO is responsible for updating
SEVIS to reflect the addition or deletion of any DSO on his or her
associated campus. SEVP will use the PDSO as the point of contact on any
issues that relate to the school's compliance with the regulations, as well
as any system alerts generated by SEVIS. SEVP may also designate certain
functions in SEVIS for use by the PDSO only. The PDSO of the main campus is
the only DSO authorized to submit a Form I-17 for recertification. The PDSO
and DSO will share the same responsibilities in all other respects.

(iii) Each school may have up to 10 designated officials at any one time,
including the PDSO. In a multi-campus school, each campus may have up to 10
designated officials at any one time including a required PDSO. In a private
elementary or public or private secondary school system, however, the entire
school system is limited to 10 designated officials at any one time
including the PDSO.

The DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, is a fully integrated online application form that is used to collect the necessary application information from a person seeking a nonimmigrant visa for temporary travel to the United States.

OFLC processes labor certification applications for employers seeking to bring foreign workers into the United States and grants certifications in those cases where employers can demonstrate that there are not sufficient U.S. workers available, willing and qualified to perform the work at wages that meet or exceed the prevailing wage paid for the occupation in the area of intended employment.

Designated School Official is a school officer designated to work with students and act as a representative of USCIS/ICE in certain matters.

Student and Exchange Visitor Information System www.ice.gov/sevis.

SEVIS is an Internet-based system that maintains accurate and current information on non-immigrant students (F and M visa), exchange visitors (J visa), and their dependents (F-2, M-2, and J-2). SEVIS enables schools and program sponsors to transmit electronic information and event notifications via the Internet, to the ICE and Department of State (DOS) throughout a student or exchange visitor’s stay in the United States. The system will reflect international student or exchange visitor status changes, such as admission at Port of Entry (POE), change of address, change in program of study, and other details. SEVIS will also provide system alerts, event notifications, and basic reports to the end-user schools, programs, and Immigration related field offices.

SEVP acts as the bridge for government organizations that have an interest in information on foreign students. SEVP helps the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State monitor school and exchange programs and F, M and J category visitors. SEVP administers the F and M visa categories, while the Department of State manages the J exchange visitor program.
SEVP uses the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a web-based solution, to track and monitor schools and programs, students, exchange visitors and their dependents while approved to participate in the U.S. education system.
SEVP collects, maintains and provides the information so that only legitimate foreign students or exchange visitors gain entry to the United States. The result is an easily accessible information system that provides timely information to the Department of State, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
For more details, please visit the link, http://www.ice.gov/sevis/

Introduction:

VIBE is a web-based adjudication tool used by USCIS to validate basic information about companies petitioning to employ alien workers. VIBE uses commercially available data from an independent information provider (IIP) to validate basic information about companies petitioning to employ certain alien workers. Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) is the current IIP for this program.

This service is available to US based, privately held companies only. It is free of charge, and petitioning employers may access this process via D&B’s iUpdate for U.S. government customers -- a free, password-protected and encrypted online service tool offered by D&B.

Please note that USCIS does not expect or require petitioners to contact D&B or pay any fees associated with creating or updating an existing record. Employers who wish to update their information through D&B directly may be subject to direct marketing by the organization or encounter D&B representatives who may suggest a purchase of the firm’s products and services.

Purpose of VIBE:

The purpose behind VIBE is to increase the efficiency of the visa petitioning process by reducing the amount of documents employers have to submit with each petition in order to prove eligibility. Furthermore, USCIS will also be able to reduce the number of RFEs issued to otherwise eligible petitioners.

An important point to note is that USCIS will not deny a petition based solely on information from VIBE without at least first giving the petitioner an opportunity to respond to the RFEs or NOIDs issued by USCIS.

Please note that whether or not you choose to create a record or update your record with D&B, you must respond to any RFE or NOID received from USCIS. Failure to respond could result in the denial of your petition. Furthermore, it is necessary to resolve relevant inconsistencies in the information provided by the employer, on one hand, and information available on VIBE, on the other.

Employment Authorization Document. This is evidence that a person is authorized to work in USA. People undergoing Adjustment of Status (AOS or I-485 process) are entitled to an EAD.

Specific information related to our team and this site.

Deferred Action is consent by the Government not to deport (remove) an otherwise deport-able individual. Usually it is given for humanitarian reasons and work authorization is also provided. Unlawful presence is stopped during deferred action, but any unlawful presence already accrued does not get wiped away. Deferred action is not a visa or a full legal status.

Automatic Visa Revalidation - Definition from Travel.state.gov

Re-entering the U.S. with a Valid I-94 Form & Expired Visa is Limited
What Is Automatic Revalidation?

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has the authority and the responsibility over the admission of travelers to the U.S. Under the automatic revalidation provision of immigration law, certain temporary visitors holding expired nonimmigrant visas who seek to return to the U.S. may be admitted at a U.S. port of entry by CBP, if they meet certain requirements, including, but not limited to the following:

Nonimmigrants who departed the U.S. for brief travel to Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island (for F and J nonimmigrants) for thirty days or less;
Nonimmigrants with a valid (unexpired) Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, endorsed by DHS.

More Information about Automatic Revalidation

For more information about automatic revalidation provisions and reentry to the U.S., visit the International Visitors webpage and the Automatic Revalidation Fact Sheet on the CBP website. Students and Exchange Visitors should review additional important information about travel outside the U.S. and reentry procedures on the DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website.

Automatic revalidation is not the same as applying for a new visa. If you apply for a new nonimmigrant visa, you cannot take advantage of automatic revalidation.
Who Must Reapply for and Be Reissued a Visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate?

This webpage explains which travelers must reapply and be reissued visas when their existing visas have expired, even if they are in possession of valid I-94 forms, in order to gain admission to reenter the U.S.

Many nonimmigrants will need to reapply and be reissued visas to reenter the U.S. when their existing visas have expired, even if they are in possession of valid I-94 forms, because automatic revalidation applies to limited categories of travelers. Refer to the Automatic Revalidation Fact Sheet on the CBP website. The following temporary visitors whose nonimmigrant visas have expired, but who have valid I-94 forms, must reapply for and be issued nonimmigrant visas prior to their reentry to the U.S., if one or more of the following situations exists (this is not a complete listing):

The nonimmigrant traveler with an expired nonimmigrant visa (but valid Form I-94):

Applied for a new visa which has not yet been issued;
Applied for a new visa and was denied;
Has been outside of the United States for more than thirty days;
Has traveled to a country other than Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island which is not included in the automatic revalidation provisions;
Is a national of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designated country, including Cuba, Iran, Syria, and Sudan. Review more about State Sponsors of Terrorism and FAQs on this website;
Is in possession of an F student visa or J exchange visitor visa and has traveled to Cuba;
Is in possession of an M student visa and has traveled to a location outside the U.S., other than Canada and Mexico.

Additional Resources – Laws

The automatic revalidation provision of U.S. immigration law is described in both 8 CFR 214.1(b) and 22 CFR 112(d).
We Want You to Know

Visa News
Adoption Alerts
Diversity Visa
Visa Waiver Program (VWP)
Iraqis & Afghans-SIV
Business Visa Center
Customer Service Statement to Visa Applicants
Fraud Warning

Visa denial based upon immigrant intent defined in Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Immigrant intent becomes an issue when an applicant outside or inside USA seeks a benefit (such as a visa, when outside USA, or a change of status, when within USA) that does not allow an applicant to possess the intention of residing permanently in USA ("immigrant intent"). For example, an applicant for a visitor's visa must not have the intention to reside in USA permanently. Their visa can be refused if they have immigrant intent.

NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it intends to revoke (cancel) approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a pending case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it plans to remove approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it plans to remove approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The term often refers to the Designated Degree program requiring a degree in one of these fields of study. STEM programs, in recognition of their importance to US interests, are awarded special consideration in certain areas under US immigration laws.

A Returning Resident Permit, or SB-1 Visa, is what a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR or Green Card holder) can get to return to the United States after being out of the country for more than one year. When an LPR leaves the United States, they must return within a year. If they stay more than a year, they must obtain a Returning Resident Permit in order to return. This also applies to those who remain outside of the country longer than is allowed by their reentry permit.
You apply for a returning residence visa through the consulate in your home country. There, you have to explain in quite some detail the genuine reason for your inability to return to USA within one year. It is discretionary upon the consulate whether they are convinced by the genuineness of your response or not.
For more information, see this State Department’s webpage: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_1333.html

A Returning Resident Permit, or SB-1 Visa, is what a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR or Green Card holder) can get to return to the United States after being out of the country for more than one year. When an LPR leaves the United States, they must return within a year. If they stay more than a year, they must obtain a Returning Resident Permit in order to return. This also applies to those who remain outside of the country longer than is allowed by their reentry permit.
You apply for a returning residence visa through the consulate in your home country. There, you have to explain in quite some detail the genuine reason for your inability to return to USA within one year. It is discretionary upon the consulate whether they are convinced by the genuineness of your response or not.
For more information, see this State Department’s webpage: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_1333.html

U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. Consists of two houses: Senate and the House of Representatives.

One of the two houses of U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. The other is the House of Representatives.

One of the two houses of U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. The other is the Senate.

Default Web Links group

We host free calls for the community every other Thursday at 12:30 pm Eastern Standard Time.  All are welcome to call in phone 202-800-8394 and ask their questions.

This content is tagged for employers and Human Resources professionals responsible for hiring foreign professionals/workers in USA

US Department of Labor is charged with protecting the labor market and investigation and enforcement activities related to that.

Immigration and Custom Enforcement. This agency used to be a part of old INS. When DHS was formed, enforcement personnel of US Customs Service and INS were combined to form ICE, which is now responsible for a large part of immigration enforcement activity.

Department of State (State Department) is responsible for issuing visas, which are a permission to travel to USA.

A method to obtain green card used to avoid the need for PERM based labor certification.

Customs and Border Protection. This agency was spun off from old INS. CBP is responsible for inspecting people when they land at airports, docks and land borders.

To qualify for an A-1 (or A-2 visa), you must be traveling to the United States on behalf of your national government to engage solely in official activities for that government.  The fact that there may be government interest or control in a given organization is not in itself the defining factor in determining if you qualify for an A visa; the particular duties or services that will be performed must be governmental in character or nature, as determined by the United States Department of State, in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. Government officials traveling to the United States to perform non-governmental functions of a commercial nature, or traveling as tourists, require some other appropriate visa, and do not qualify for A visas.

To qualify for an A-2 (or A-1 visa), you must be traveling to the United States on behalf of your national government to engage solely in official activities for that government. The fact that there may be government interest or control in a given organization is not in itself the defining factor in determining if you qualify for an A visa; the particular duties or services that will be performed must be governmental in character or nature, as determined by the United States Department of State, in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. Government officials traveling to the United States to perform non-governmental functions of a commercial nature, or traveling as tourists, require some other appropriate visa, and do not qualify for A visas.

Consulates all over the world issue visas - a permission to enter USA for a specific purpose. Consulates are a part of the State Department (DOS - Department of State).

Bangladesh Immigration

Indonesia Immigration

I-94 aka Arrival Departure Record is what governs your status in the USA. An expired I-94 can lead to bar from entering USA for 3 to 10 years.See details on "Unlawful Presence".

When used in relation to immigration, this is another name for being LEGALLY present in the USA

This is a complicated term. Very simply (there is a lot more to it), you could have your status expire and still be authorized to stay in USA awaiting the outcome of a legally filed petition. This is something less than "Status" but much better than "Unlawful Presence."

This is another complicated concept with some very serious consequences. Briefly, if you have been unlawfully present in USA for more than 180 days, you cannot come back to USA for 3 years and if unlawfully present for a year or more, you cannot come back for 10 years. Very generally speaking unlawful presence begins after expiration of the I-94 or after having been asked by the govt. to leave USA.

These are topics related to appeals and motions for reconsideration or reopening of decisions (MTR) by govt. agencies such as USCIS, USDOL, etc.

These are topics related to appeals and motions for reconsideration or reopening of decisions (MTR) by govt. agencies such as USCIS, USDOL, etc.

Adjustment of Status

Includes topics of loss of physical green card papers or the card itself as well as loss of green card through abandonment and criminal activity.

When used in relation to immigration, this is another name for extending your status.

Employees working in USA

Personal employees, attendants and servants of A-1 and A-2 visa holders.

EB4 category is for religious workers.

“Priority Date” determines your place in the queue for waiting for green card in the categories where there is a wait. When the govt. has reached your PD, it is said to be “current.” For family-based green cards, PD is the date your I-130 was filed; for PERM-based cases, the date your PERM was filed; for employment-based cases other than through PERM (like EB-1 cases), PD is the date your I-140 was filed. DOS publishes the movement of the PD queue every month in the Visa Bulletin: http://www.immigration.com/visa-bulletin

A publication of the US State Department that keeps track of the green card backlogs and informs us which "Priority Dates" are current so the applicants can expect to get through the last step of their green card processing. This is published every month around the 14th and tells us the availability for the following month. Note that certain categories of applicants ("immediate relatives") such as spouse of a US citizen are not shown in the visa bulletin because they are entitled to have their applications considered without any wait.

Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (now USCIS)

Central Intelligence Agency

Department of Homeland Security

Department of Justice

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Immigration and Naturalization Service (now reconstituted into USCIS)

Internal Revenue Service

Office of Management and Budget

Social Security Administration

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Earlier known as INS. USCIS is responsible for providing immigration benefits to applicants. Homepage http://wwww.uscis.gov

American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998.

Approval Date (When your application was approved)

Alien Documentation, Identification & Telecommunications System

Assistant Field Office Director

Abbreviation for American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Adjudications Officer

Administrative Review

Application Support Center: offers biometric services including fingerprinting services

Birth Certificate

Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (now USCIS)

Board of Immigrant Appeals

Biometrics (include Digital photo, index finger print and your digital signature). This is needed for the production of Green Card.

Customs and Border Protection

Central Intelligence Agency

Citizenship and Immigration Services

Consulate Officer

Consular Processing

Conditional Permanent Resident

Curricular Practical Training

Central Regional Office

California Service Center

Cancelled Without Prejudice

Deputy Field Office Director

Department of Homeland Security

Drivers License

Department of Motor Vehicles

Department of Justice

Department of Labor

Dallas Office Rapid Adjustment of Status

Department of State

Detention and Removal Operations

Diversity Visa (a.k.a. Green Card Lottery)

Eastern Application Center

Employment Authorization Document (I-765, approval to work while waiting for Adjustment of Status - AOS Approval)

Electronic Data Systems

Executive Office of Immigration Review

Expedited Removal

Eastern Regional Office

Entered Without Inspection

Foreign Affairs Manual

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Field Office Director

Finger Print

File Transfer Request

Green Card

Immigration Judge

International Marriage Brokers Act

Immigration and Nationality Act

Is an online appointment so you can go to your DO if you have a doubt or want to know something about your case in person or to request your interim EAD

Immigration and Naturalization Service (now called USCIS)

Immigration officer / Interviewing officer

Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986

Internal Revenue Service

Internet Service Provider

Immigrant Visa

Immigrant Visa Applicant Control System

John F. Kennedy International Airport

Kentucky Consular Center

Labor Condition Application

Lawful Permanent Resident

Lawful Permanent Resident Alien

Last Update Date on your on-line portfolio at USCIS website. It is the date when they last took action on your application, could be anything.

Machine Readable Data

Machine Readable Passport

Machine Readable Visa

Missouri Service Center

Notice Date (When USCIS notified you that they received your application)

National Data Entry Center

Non Immigrant Visa

Notice of Action is your receipt/letter that you received after you filed your forms (indicates I-797C)

Notice of Proposed Rule Making

Notice To Appear

Nebraska Service Center

National Visa Center

New York District Office

Office of Management and Budget

Optional Practical Training

Other Than Mexican

Police Clearance Certificate

Priority Date

Port of Entry

Permanent Resident (Also LPR - Legal Permanent Resident)

Quality Assurance

Receipt Date (When USCIS received your application)

Remote Adjudications Center

Request for Evidence

Request for Initial Evidence

Service Center (this is used with a prefix, eg CSC - California Service Center; MSC - Missouri Service Center, that is the address from where you will received your NOA (Notice of Action))

Supervisory Detention & Deportation Officer

Student Exchange Visitor Information System

Student and Exchange Visitor Program

Social Security Administration

Social Security Number

State Workforce Agency

When the UCSIS "Touches" your petition or file it means that an action was taken which required your file to be physically touched or moved. Example: Your file is touched when it is given to an adjudicator to process.

Temporary Protected Status

Texas Service Center

Transit Without Visa

US Citizen

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

System in airports that captures biometrics of people entering the country

Voluntary Return

Vermont Service Center

Visa Waiver Program

Western Application Center

Western Regional Office

Alien's Change of Address Form

NAFTA Professional visa

NAFTA Professional Dependant visa

Pre-Flight Inspection

PERM Processing: Program Electronic Review Management

Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

Interim EAD

Application to Replace Permanent Residence Card

Employment Eligibility Verification

Affidavit of Support

Application for Employment Authorization

Green Card

Application To Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status

Welcome Notice

Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker

Affidavit of Support

Application for Travel Document

Advance Parole or AP (Form I-131): The authorization to travel outside the US while your adjustment of status is pending. Note, Form I-131 is also used for Reentry Permit, an application by a US green card holder to be away from USA for over one year.

Administrative Appeals Office

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study. Under the prior rules, an F-1 student could be authorized to receive up to a total of 12 months of practical training either before (pre-) and/or after (post-) completion of studies.

This is an abbreviation for test_term and can be deleted

AC21 is the name given to a law that provides for several matters including the ability to change jobs while an employment-based green card is pending (I-485 AC21 portability) and to start working for an H-1B employer as soon as transfer petition is filed with the USCIS.

AC21 is the name given to a law that provides for several matters including the ability to change jobs while an employment-based green card is pending (I-485 AC21 portability) and to start working for an H-1B employer as soon as transfer petition is filed with the USCIS.

American Immigration Lawyers Association

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

The process though which a person within USA obtains a change in their status to green card holder. This is usually the last step for (most not all) green card process.

Includes Zoologists, Botanists

Includes occupations in biochemistry, cytology, genetics, physiology

Fashion Models

Hotel management and related professions

An alternative to obtaining the last step in the green card through the consulates outside USA. This is an alternative to adjustment of status.

DOD (Department of Defense) project visas.

Includes CPA's CA's and all other accountants and auditors

Violence Against Women Act

Child Status Protection Act

Labor Condition Application. This is a part of some nonimmigrant visa applications process including H-1 visas. Not to be confused with "Labor Certification" also known as PERM, which is a part of the green card process. An LCA, or Labor Condition Application, is required to be submitted to and certified by the U.S. Department of Labor as a part of an H-1B application. The LCA serves to ensure that U.S. wages will not be depressed by the hiring of the H-1B employee and that the H-1B worker will not be exploited. In the LCA, the employer guarantees that it will pay the H-1B worker the required wage, which is the greater of the prevailing wage or the actual wage paid to other employees in the same position; that the H-1B employee will not displace a U.S. worker; and that the employment will not adversely affect the working conditions of workers similarly employed in the area of intended employment.

Also known as CIS Ombudsman, this office provides recommendations for resolving individual and employer problems with the USCIS. As mandated by the Homeland Security Act of 2002 § 452, CIS Ombudsman is an independent office that reports directly to the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security. http://www.dhs.gov/xabout/structure/editorial_0482.shtm

PERM audits typically involve questions from the USDOL regarding the PERM filing.

Used mostly in the context of the last step in green card processing (Adjustment of Status), preadjudication means USCIS is proceeding to make decision on the file even though priority date is not yet current. The idea is that way when the PD gets current, all they need to do is send approval notice and then the green card. So if the AOS is preadjudicated, you still need to wait for the PD to become current.

Petition for a conditional resident who obtained status through marriage to apply to remove the conditions on his or her residence.

Vermont Service Center

California Service Center

Nebraska Service Center

Texas Service Center

Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) is one of the three adjudicative bodies within the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). It has jurisdiction over three types of civil penalty cases: employer sanctions (INA § 274A - 8 USC § 1324a), unfair immigration-related employment practices (INA § 274B - 8 USC § 1324b), and immigration-related document fraud (INA § 274C - 8 USC § 1324c).

Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals is an adjudicative agency that decides in appeal PERM and wage disputes.

Certifying Officer is the highest Department of Labor officer for a region. They are charged, amongst other things, with the responsibility to adjudicate PERM and LCA cases.

Fraud Detection and National Security. FDNS was created to strengthen the ability of the U.S. Citizenship and
Immigration Services (USCIS) to provide the right benefit to the right person at the right time, and no benefit to the wrong person.

Citizenship in USA can be obtained through naturalization or through birth in USA.

The process through which a person becomes a US Citizen.

N-470 helps you preserve your stay abroad for naturalization under certain circumstances. So, even though you are living outside USA, you can accumulate that time for naturalization.

Electronic System for Travel Authorization

Congressional Research Service. A "think tank" that provides reports to members of Congress on a variety of topics relevant to current political events.

Missouri Service Center (MSC) was transitioned into the National Benefits Center (NBC). The NBC was established to serve as the hub and conduit for USCIS local field offices by completing all pre-interview processing of Forms generally requiring an interview. This pre-processing includes conducting background security checks, performing initial evidence reviews, adjudication of associated I-765 and I-131 applications (filed with the I-485 or separately), denial of adjustment of status cases for applicants who are statutorily ineligible, and forwarding scheduled cases to the USCIS local office for adjudication. In employment based cases, transfer to NBC usually means an interview can be expected. This can occur even if PD is retrogressed.

Online Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application can only be used by visa applicants applying at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate which has converted to the new electronic fully online form and process. For more information visit travel.state.gov DS-160 informational webpage for a listing of embassy locations using Form DS-160. Next, visit one of the U.S. Embassy websites using the Form DS-160 and where you will apply, to review detailed nonimmigrant visa how-to-apply instructions, in addition to these FAQs.

1. Where can I find the DS-160?
You can access the DS-160 from the Consular Electronic Application Center website or from the link on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website.

The mission of the Employment and Training Administration is to contribute to the more efficient functioning of the U.S. labor market by providing high quality job training, employment, labor market information, and income maintenance services primarily through state and local workforce development systems.

A form issued by school for applicants to obtain a Student Visa.

A form issued by school or sponsor for applicants to obtain a J Visa.

United Kingdom

Cyprus Immigration

Japan

France

Germany

Ireland

Kuwait Immigration

Saudi Arabia Immigration

United Arab Emirates Immigration

Singapore Immigration

Chile Immigration

China Immigration new

Egypt Immigration

France Immigration

Malaysia Immigration

Maldives Immigration

Malta Immigration

Mauritius Immigration

Nepal Immigration

Norway Immigration

New Zealand Immigration

Romania Immigration

South Africa Immigration

South Korea Immigration

Sweden Immigration

Switzerland immigration

Trinidad immigration

In April of 1994, the Department of State opened a permanent Immigrant Visa processing facility at the National Visa Center (NVC) in Portsmouth, NH. The NVC processes all approved immigrant visa petitions after they are received from Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security (CIS) and retains them until the cases are ready for adjudication by a consular officer abroad.

Every month, the Visa Office (VO) establishes Qualifying Dates that determine if a petition will be eligible for processing. Qualifying Dates are the latest priority dates that can be processed for certain visa categories. An immigrant visa petition can only become ready for further processing when the Qualifying Date in the appropriate visa category has advanced up to the priority date of the petition. Petitions may remain at NVC for several months or for many years depending on the visa category and country of birth of the visa applicant.

NVC’s Role

The NVC is responsible for the collection of visa application fees and visa application documentation. When an applicant's priority date meets the most recent Qualifying Date, the NVC will contact the applicant and petitioner with instructions for submitting the appropriate processing fees. After the appropriate processing fees are paid, the NVC will again contact the applicant and petitioner to request that the necessary immigrant visa documentation be submitted to the NVC.

The U.S. Department of State's official site for U.S. visa information

InfoPass is an Internet-based system that enables the public to go online to schedule appointments with immigration information officers at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices. If you have a complex immigration question or need that is best addressed by a trained USCIS officer in person, InfoPass offers a convenient alternative to waiting in line for assistance. InfoPass is a secure Internet site.

8 C.F.R. ง 214.3(l)(1)(ii):

(l) Designated official.

(1) Meaning of term Designated Official. As used in งง 214.1(b), 214.2(b),
214.2(f), 214.2(m), and 214.4, a Designated Official, Designated School
Official (DSO), or Principal Designated School Official (PDSO), means a
regularly employed member of the school administration whose office is
located at the school and whose compensation does not come from commissions
for recruitment of foreign students. An individual whose principal
obligation to the school is to recruit foreign students for compensation
does not qualify as a designated official. The PDSO and any other DSO must
be named by the president, owner, or head of a school or school system. The
PDSO and DSO may not delegate this designation to any other person.

(i) A PDSO and DSO must be either a citizen or lawful permanent resident of
the United States.

(ii) Each campus must have one PDSO. The PDSO is responsible for updating
SEVIS to reflect the addition or deletion of any DSO on his or her
associated campus. SEVP will use the PDSO as the point of contact on any
issues that relate to the school's compliance with the regulations, as well
as any system alerts generated by SEVIS. SEVP may also designate certain
functions in SEVIS for use by the PDSO only. The PDSO of the main campus is
the only DSO authorized to submit a Form I-17 for recertification. The PDSO
and DSO will share the same responsibilities in all other respects.

(iii) Each school may have up to 10 designated officials at any one time,
including the PDSO. In a multi-campus school, each campus may have up to 10
designated officials at any one time including a required PDSO. In a private
elementary or public or private secondary school system, however, the entire
school system is limited to 10 designated officials at any one time
including the PDSO.

The DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, is a fully integrated online application form that is used to collect the necessary application information from a person seeking a nonimmigrant visa for temporary travel to the United States.

OFLC processes labor certification applications for employers seeking to bring foreign workers into the United States and grants certifications in those cases where employers can demonstrate that there are not sufficient U.S. workers available, willing and qualified to perform the work at wages that meet or exceed the prevailing wage paid for the occupation in the area of intended employment.

Designated School Official is a school officer designated to work with students and act as a representative of USCIS/ICE in certain matters.

Student and Exchange Visitor Information System www.ice.gov/sevis.

SEVIS is an Internet-based system that maintains accurate and current information on non-immigrant students (F and M visa), exchange visitors (J visa), and their dependents (F-2, M-2, and J-2). SEVIS enables schools and program sponsors to transmit electronic information and event notifications via the Internet, to the ICE and Department of State (DOS) throughout a student or exchange visitor’s stay in the United States. The system will reflect international student or exchange visitor status changes, such as admission at Port of Entry (POE), change of address, change in program of study, and other details. SEVIS will also provide system alerts, event notifications, and basic reports to the end-user schools, programs, and Immigration related field offices.

SEVP acts as the bridge for government organizations that have an interest in information on foreign students. SEVP helps the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State monitor school and exchange programs and F, M and J category visitors. SEVP administers the F and M visa categories, while the Department of State manages the J exchange visitor program.
SEVP uses the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a web-based solution, to track and monitor schools and programs, students, exchange visitors and their dependents while approved to participate in the U.S. education system.
SEVP collects, maintains and provides the information so that only legitimate foreign students or exchange visitors gain entry to the United States. The result is an easily accessible information system that provides timely information to the Department of State, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
For more details, please visit the link, http://www.ice.gov/sevis/

Introduction:

VIBE is a web-based adjudication tool used by USCIS to validate basic information about companies petitioning to employ alien workers. VIBE uses commercially available data from an independent information provider (IIP) to validate basic information about companies petitioning to employ certain alien workers. Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) is the current IIP for this program.

This service is available to US based, privately held companies only. It is free of charge, and petitioning employers may access this process via D&B’s iUpdate for U.S. government customers -- a free, password-protected and encrypted online service tool offered by D&B.

Please note that USCIS does not expect or require petitioners to contact D&B or pay any fees associated with creating or updating an existing record. Employers who wish to update their information through D&B directly may be subject to direct marketing by the organization or encounter D&B representatives who may suggest a purchase of the firm’s products and services.

Purpose of VIBE:

The purpose behind VIBE is to increase the efficiency of the visa petitioning process by reducing the amount of documents employers have to submit with each petition in order to prove eligibility. Furthermore, USCIS will also be able to reduce the number of RFEs issued to otherwise eligible petitioners.

An important point to note is that USCIS will not deny a petition based solely on information from VIBE without at least first giving the petitioner an opportunity to respond to the RFEs or NOIDs issued by USCIS.

Please note that whether or not you choose to create a record or update your record with D&B, you must respond to any RFE or NOID received from USCIS. Failure to respond could result in the denial of your petition. Furthermore, it is necessary to resolve relevant inconsistencies in the information provided by the employer, on one hand, and information available on VIBE, on the other.

Employment Authorization Document. This is evidence that a person is authorized to work in USA. People undergoing Adjustment of Status (AOS or I-485 process) are entitled to an EAD.

Specific information related to our team and this site.

Deferred Action is consent by the Government not to deport (remove) an otherwise deport-able individual. Usually it is given for humanitarian reasons and work authorization is also provided. Unlawful presence is stopped during deferred action, but any unlawful presence already accrued does not get wiped away. Deferred action is not a visa or a full legal status.

Automatic Visa Revalidation - Definition from Travel.state.gov

Re-entering the U.S. with a Valid I-94 Form & Expired Visa is Limited
What Is Automatic Revalidation?

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has the authority and the responsibility over the admission of travelers to the U.S. Under the automatic revalidation provision of immigration law, certain temporary visitors holding expired nonimmigrant visas who seek to return to the U.S. may be admitted at a U.S. port of entry by CBP, if they meet certain requirements, including, but not limited to the following:

Nonimmigrants who departed the U.S. for brief travel to Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island (for F and J nonimmigrants) for thirty days or less;
Nonimmigrants with a valid (unexpired) Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, endorsed by DHS.

More Information about Automatic Revalidation

For more information about automatic revalidation provisions and reentry to the U.S., visit the International Visitors webpage and the Automatic Revalidation Fact Sheet on the CBP website. Students and Exchange Visitors should review additional important information about travel outside the U.S. and reentry procedures on the DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website.

Automatic revalidation is not the same as applying for a new visa. If you apply for a new nonimmigrant visa, you cannot take advantage of automatic revalidation.
Who Must Reapply for and Be Reissued a Visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate?

This webpage explains which travelers must reapply and be reissued visas when their existing visas have expired, even if they are in possession of valid I-94 forms, in order to gain admission to reenter the U.S.

Many nonimmigrants will need to reapply and be reissued visas to reenter the U.S. when their existing visas have expired, even if they are in possession of valid I-94 forms, because automatic revalidation applies to limited categories of travelers. Refer to the Automatic Revalidation Fact Sheet on the CBP website. The following temporary visitors whose nonimmigrant visas have expired, but who have valid I-94 forms, must reapply for and be issued nonimmigrant visas prior to their reentry to the U.S., if one or more of the following situations exists (this is not a complete listing):

The nonimmigrant traveler with an expired nonimmigrant visa (but valid Form I-94):

Applied for a new visa which has not yet been issued;
Applied for a new visa and was denied;
Has been outside of the United States for more than thirty days;
Has traveled to a country other than Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island which is not included in the automatic revalidation provisions;
Is a national of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designated country, including Cuba, Iran, Syria, and Sudan. Review more about State Sponsors of Terrorism and FAQs on this website;
Is in possession of an F student visa or J exchange visitor visa and has traveled to Cuba;
Is in possession of an M student visa and has traveled to a location outside the U.S., other than Canada and Mexico.

Additional Resources – Laws

The automatic revalidation provision of U.S. immigration law is described in both 8 CFR 214.1(b) and 22 CFR 112(d).
We Want You to Know

Visa News
Adoption Alerts
Diversity Visa
Visa Waiver Program (VWP)
Iraqis & Afghans-SIV
Business Visa Center
Customer Service Statement to Visa Applicants
Fraud Warning

Visa denial based upon immigrant intent defined in Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Immigrant intent becomes an issue when an applicant outside or inside USA seeks a benefit (such as a visa, when outside USA, or a change of status, when within USA) that does not allow an applicant to possess the intention of residing permanently in USA ("immigrant intent"). For example, an applicant for a visitor's visa must not have the intention to reside in USA permanently. Their visa can be refused if they have immigrant intent.

NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it intends to revoke (cancel) approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a pending case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it plans to remove approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it plans to remove approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The term often refers to the Designated Degree program requiring a degree in one of these fields of study. STEM programs, in recognition of their importance to US interests, are awarded special consideration in certain areas under US immigration laws.

A Returning Resident Permit, or SB-1 Visa, is what a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR or Green Card holder) can get to return to the United States after being out of the country for more than one year. When an LPR leaves the United States, they must return within a year. If they stay more than a year, they must obtain a Returning Resident Permit in order to return. This also applies to those who remain outside of the country longer than is allowed by their reentry permit.
You apply for a returning residence visa through the consulate in your home country. There, you have to explain in quite some detail the genuine reason for your inability to return to USA within one year. It is discretionary upon the consulate whether they are convinced by the genuineness of your response or not.
For more information, see this State Department’s webpage: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_1333.html

A Returning Resident Permit, or SB-1 Visa, is what a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR or Green Card holder) can get to return to the United States after being out of the country for more than one year. When an LPR leaves the United States, they must return within a year. If they stay more than a year, they must obtain a Returning Resident Permit in order to return. This also applies to those who remain outside of the country longer than is allowed by their reentry permit.
You apply for a returning residence visa through the consulate in your home country. There, you have to explain in quite some detail the genuine reason for your inability to return to USA within one year. It is discretionary upon the consulate whether they are convinced by the genuineness of your response or not.
For more information, see this State Department’s webpage: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_1333.html

U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. Consists of two houses: Senate and the House of Representatives.

One of the two houses of U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. The other is the House of Representatives.

One of the two houses of U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. The other is the Senate.

Default Web Links group

Nonimmigrant Visas: