Update on Duration of Status Proposed Rule for F-1 Students

Dear Students,

I would like to bring to your attention that on Sept. 25, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published in the federal register a proposed rule to eliminate the duration of status for F-1 students. According to the proposed rule, individuals applying for admission in F status would be admitted for the length of time indicated by their program end date, not to exceed four years, instead of being admitted for “duration of status” as they currently are. 

To provide an idea of what this change might entail, I can tell you that currently, when a student requires extra time (beyond the regular four years) to complete their degree, I am able to extend the length of their program accordingly in SEVIS. With this proposed rule, however, if a student was in need of additional time to complete their degree, they would need to apply in a timely manner to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and pay for an extension of stay to continue in F-1 status for programs lasting longer than their period of admission.

Since this is only a proposed rule at this time, it is subject to public notice and comment for a period of 30 days, which ends Oct. 26, before becoming final.  

Our plan is to take advantage of this comment period to express the strongest opposition to this rule. Advocacy organizations such as Association of International Educators (NAFSA), of which I am part, are analyzing the proposed policy and organizing a response to voice our vigorous dissent. In order to determine the impact of this proposed change on our international community, I will continue to speak with peers at other institutions and keep you updated on any changes or developments that result from the comment period. 

I am pleased to let you know that immigration lawyer Art Serratelli will be our guest on Oct. 28.  He will be available via Zoom all day to answer your questions about this proposed change and how it may impact you. He has significant expertise on Optional Practical Training for F-1 students and visa options. Please feel free to ask him about any concerns you may have. Deb Brunetti, who has been organizing this visit, will share more details with you in the coming days. 

In the meantime, I am here to support you and am available to talk at any time. Below is the link to my calendar. 

Best,

Carmela Patton 
Dean for International Students