For the very first time, those holding F-1 visas can now personally seek a visa in the Employment-based classification.
This pivotal adjustment opens the door for international students to qualify for US immigrant visas, marking a substantial departure from the traditional norms.
Key Aspects of USCIS Policy Guidance for F1 Students
Covering various critical aspects, the USCIS policy guidance includes:
F & M Student Nonimmigrant Classification
The Role of USCIS in Employment Authorization Applications
Changes in Student Status in the US
Extensions of Stay for Students in the US
Reinstatement of Status for Students and Dependents in the US
Clarity for Students and Educational Institutions
As articulated in the USCIS News Release, the guidance imparts clear information to foreign students and American educational institutions.
It addresses diverse topics such as qualifications, school transfers, practical training, and both on and off-campus employment opportunities.
Rigorous Guidelines for Foreign Students
The latest guidelines mandate that foreign students with F or M visas in the United States maintain a foreign residence and demonstrate the intention to depart the country after their temporary stay.
Moreover, they must either be the recipient of an immigrant visa petition or have a pending permanent labor certification application.
STEM Students and Optional Practical Training (OPT)
The USCIS guidance further delineates criteria for F students seeking OPT related to STEM studies.
This includes provisions for collaborating with startup firms in the United States, with specific requirements outlined for startup employers aiming to hire F Student visa holders.
Significant Ramifications for Indian Students
This groundbreaking decision permits F-1 Student visa holders to engage in employment with startup firms in the US, marking a noteworthy development that stands to benefit Indian students pursuing their studies in the country.
In conclusion, USCIS’s recent policy changes herald a new era for international students in the United States, providing expanded opportunities and a more efficient process for those pursuing their academic and professional goals.