Over a million international students will start or continue studies in the U.S. this year. If you are one of these students, it is important to understand the nonimmigrant visa policies and procedures as they continue to change.Recently, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a component of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, issued a revision to a policy that could impact you. Keep reading to see what you need to know about this policy.
Updates to regulation 8 CFR 103.2(b)(8) will take effect on September 11, 2018, but what exactly is this regulation? In short, this is the regulation that determines the criteria for USCIS to issue a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) if you do not provide all the necessary visa information up front. In addition, the new policy memo gives the USCIS adjudicator “full discretion to deny applications, petitions, or requests” without requesting additional evidence.
This means that it is important to get your visa application right the first time, and to include all of the necessary information and documents upon filing.
For F-1 student visa applicants and visa holders, the policy could have an impact at the initial visa interview. You could also be affected you if you are applying for:
What Can International Students Do to Be Prepared for This New Policy?
Being prepared and diligent is the key to successfully obtaining and maintaining your visa. At the initial visa interview, the officer will consider the following points to determine visa approval:
For current F-1 visa holders who find it necessary to apply for a hardship waiver to work off campus, visa reinstatement, or anything else that requires adjudication, completing the application in full and providing all the necessary evidence at the time of application will be key to a successful application. The policy revision clearly states the adjudicator is not required to issue an RFE and can deny your application for incomplete information. Do not let that happen to you!
Although it is important to stay up-to-date on the changing U.S. immigration policies, do not let this modified policy discourage you. On the contrary, the fact that over one million international students are already studying in the U.S. should inspire you!
If you have questions about this new policy, reach out to the U.S. university or college where you intend to study. For additional information, you can visit the following U.S. government websites, which are valuable resources for international students looking to study abroad in the U.S