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DHS Proposal to Shorten F and J Length of Stay

Sep 25 2020

DHS Proposal to Shorten F and J Length of Stay

A new rule was proposed today, September 25th, 2020, by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) which concerns international students and scholars in F and J status. 

The public comment period is open until October 26th.  Comments may be submitted here.

Here’s what the rule proposes:

Instead of being admitted to the U.S. for a “Duration of Status” (D/S) - an unspecified period determined by the visa document (I-20/DS-2019) of an F or J student/scholar (a practice which has been used for years in our immigration system), the proposed rule shortens most F and J visa holders stay in the United States for four years. In addition, those were born in or are citizens of countries on the State Sponsor of Terrorism List, those coming from a country with a high “overstay” rate, and those affected by a U.S. National Interest trigger, which may include national security concerns or risks of fraud or abuse will be issued visas for a two year period. Students and scholars would need to apply to extend their stay if their programs extend beyond the time allotted by their visa.
To extend a stay, the F or J visa holder would need to apply to the USCIS for an extension (for a fee). Many aspects of the proposed rule are very concerning, and we appreciate your patience as we continue our review and analyze this rule to assess and address its potential impact.

Stanford University’s statement about the proposed rule is available here.

Here’s what you need to know:
● This is a PROPOSED rule only.  There are no immediate changes for international students and scholars in the U.S. on a visa. The timeline from a proposed rule to a final one can take time and the current proposal could very well change, be held up in the courts or completely withdrawn.
● There is a 30-day public comment period, during which Stanford will submit comments.
● After 30 days, the comments will be reviewed by DHS and based on these comments, the rule could be revised.
● Only after the above would any implementation happen.
● The proposed rule does not impact your immigration status. If you are currently a F-or-J visa holder at Stanford, and were admitted for “Duration of Status”, that has not changed. You remain in D/S for the next four years.
● The proposed rule will not impact members of the Stanford community already subject to date-specific admission (i.e., H-1B, O-1, TN, E-3, and any dependents holding derivative visas

Stanford University and the Bechtel International Center stand in solidarity with our international students and scholars during these uncertain times. Please know that we are working with the President and Provost’s office, the Office of Government Affairs, peer institutions, and our professional associations to develop a formal comment in opposition to the DHS proposal.  We will keep you updated and keep our website updated with all new developments with the DHS proposal. Stanford will continue to advocate to support the international community and protect our shared values as an academic community.


NAFSA:  Association of International Educators

Penn State Law Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic and the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration