Immigration Update

New Automated I-94 Process

US Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) instituted a new automated I-94 process as of April 30, 2013.  Paper form I-94 (Arrival and Departure Record) will no longer be issued at the ports of entry.  The new process entails:

  • Entry stamp in passport, notating date of entry, visa classification and expiration date (D/S, if F-1, J-1 and M-1)
  • I-94 information can be retrieved online using the following link:

I-94 Number Retrieval

If you are applying for a driver’s license from the Department of Motor and Vehicles (DMV) or a social security card from the Social Security Administration (SSA), you must retrieve your I-94 information and submit along with other documents required (i.e., I-20/DS-2019, visa, passport, etc.) as part of the legal presence documents.

For more information, please visit USCBP website.

 

 24 Month STEM OPT Extension

Final STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) OPT (Optional Practical Training) Rule Update Summary, effective as of 5/10/2016  

  • A total of 24 months of STEM OPT, if a STEM degree obtained is found in the DHS STEM Designated Degree List
  • F-1 students who had already obtained one STEM OPT extension become eligible for a second STEM OPT extension (i.e., a total of two lifetime STEM OPT extensions) after:
    • Earning another qualifying STEM degree at a "higher degree level" and
    • Obtaining a new initial grant of standard 12-month post-completion optional practical training based on that higher degree
  •  24 month STEM OPT on a previously obtained U.S. STEM degree in the past 10 years; AND currently on post-completion OPT, may be eligible to apply for a STEM OPT extension based on that prior degree if they meet all other required criteria
  • Increased reporting requirements for F-1 student and employer
  • Maximum of 150 days of unemployment period (90 days during the initial 12 month of post-completion OPT plus an additional 60 days during the STEM OPT extension period)

DHS has a great STEM OPT Hub which details the regulation -  please review the links below:

USCIS STEM OPT