DHS Proposes Changes to Duration of Status (D/S)

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security proposed a rule that would eliminate "duration of status" (D/S) for international students and scholars holding F and J visas.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has proposed a rule eliminating “duration of status.” This is only a proposed rule, published last week on September 25, 2020, and is now in a period where Homeland Security will receive and review comments on it for the next 30 days. DHS will then review the feedback and prepare to issue a final rule in the Federal Register. Some aspects of the rule could be revised based on public feedback. There is no set timeframe for publication of a final rule, though the process typically takes several months.

In summary, the proposed rule:

  • Eliminates admission to the US for "D/S" (duration of status) for F students and dependents, as well as J exchange visitors and dependents.
  • Establishes a fixed period of admission of 2-4 years for F students.
  • Requires students needing additional time to complete their degree to submit an application for extension of status to USCIS.
  • Shortens the "grace period" to remain in the US after program completion from 60 days to 30 days.

If the link above takes you to an error page on the beta.regulations.gov site, go to https://beta.regulations.gov/document/ICEB-2019-0006-0001.

Next Steps

Please know that we at the University at Buffalo are aware of and strongly opposed to this proposal. We are monitoring the situation and are actively working on our response to it along with many national educational associations and organizations. We will keep you informed of related developments. As always, please contact an ISS advisor if you have questions or concerns.

We encourage our students, faculty, staff and the UB community to consider submitting a personal comment on the proposed rule directly to U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Your comments must be identified by DHS Docket No. ICEB-2019-0006, and submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal. A "Comment Now!" button appears at the upper right corner of the proposed rule on Regulations.gov. Follow the website instructions to submit personal comments.