NewsFlash! USCIS Issues Final Version of Unlawful Presence Memo for F, J, and M Nonimmigrants

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released the final version of the policy memorandum that greatly expands the situations in which those in F, J, or M status may begin accruing unlawful presence. Strangely enough, the memo was not released until yesterday evening, at approximately 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time (U.S.).

The final version of the memo, which went into effect on August 9, 2018, is substantially similar to the original version. One significant difference, however, is outlined in the press release issued in parallel to the memo:

“[A] timely reinstatement application for F or M status is one where the student has not been out of status for more than five months at the time of filing… [T]he accrual of unlawful presence is suspended when the F or M nonimmigrant files a reinstatement application within the five month window and while the application is pending with USCIS. If the reinstatement application is denied, the accrual of unlawful presence resumes on the day after the denial.”

The memo further explains that, even if an application for reinstatement is filed after the five-month window, the person will not accrue unlawful presence while out of status if the reinstatement application is ultimately approved.

On August 23, 2018, the USCIS will host a national stakeholder meeting about the policy memo. See the press release for details on participating.


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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.