INS Issues New Interim and Proposed Regulations for Visitors and Students
On April 12, 2002, the Immigration and Naturalization Service issued
an interim regulation and a proposed regulation regarding students and
visitors. The interim regulation students is effective as of the
date of publication, April 12, 2002, and the proposed regulation regarding
visitors will be subject to notice and comment rulemaking prior to becoming
a final rule.
Interim Regulation Requiring Change of Status from Visitor (B-1/B-2)
to Student (F-1 or M-1) Prior to Pursuing Course of Study. The
interim regulation eliminated a rule allowing a visitor for business or
pleasure to begin attending school prior to INS approving a change of status
to student. Effective as of April 12, 2002:
B-1/B-2 visitors must first apply for and obtain INS approval of a request
to change status to an F or M student prior to attending school.
B-1/B-2 visitors admitted or who extend their stay after April 12, 2002
are prohibited from enrolling in a course of study after April 12, unless
they have notified the INS upon their initial entry of their intent to
begin a course of study in the U.S. The INS officer will make a notation
regarding the visitorís intent to study on the visitorís I-94 (arrival/departure
The rule does not apply to individuals admitted to the U.S. prior to April
12, 2002, except that the rule does apply to individuals who arrived prior
to April 12, 2002 and change their status to B-1/B-2 after that date. Thus,
B-1/B-2 visitors who are currently studying and who arrived prior to April
12, 2002 do not have to stop taking classes while the INS processes their
request for change of status to F or M student status.
The rule applies to B visitors who apply for an extension of their B nonimmigrant
status on or after April 12, 2002
Proposed Regulation Limiting the Period of Admission for B Nonimmigrant
The INS has also proposed to amend its regulations concerning visitors,
INS proposes to eliminate the minimum admission period of B-2 visitors
for pleasure. Thus, visitors for pleasure will no longer presumptively
qualify for a six-month stay upon admission to the U.S.
INS officers at the port of entry will determine the minimum length of
stay based on what is fair and reasonable for the completion of the purpose
of the visit. Thus, INS officers will utilize their discretion in
determining the period of authorized stay in the U.S.
The burden rests with the arriving visitor to explain the precise nature
and purpose of the visit. Thus, people from other countries will
need to have sufficient communication skills to make their purpose known
to the inspecting INS officer.
The preamble to the proposed rule states that it is reasonable to expect
B-1/B-2 visitors will depart the U.S. within 30 days. When an INS
officer is unable to determine a fair and reasonable period of admission,
INS will grant a 30-day period of admission.
INS proposes to reduce the maximum admission period of B-1 (business visitors)
and B-2 (visitors for pleasure) from one year to six months. Thus
B-1/B-2 visitors will have a harder time extending their stay in the U.S.
The proposed rule restates current policy providing that an individual
requesting an extension of stay bears the burden of proving adequate financial
resources to continue the stay and maintenance of a residence of abroad.
Those interested may submit comments to the INS regarding the proposed
regulation. Comments are due by May 13, 2002. Send comments
to Director, Regulations and Forms Services Division, Immigration and Naturalization
Service, 425 I Street, N.W., Room 4034, Washington, D.C. 20536. Reference
INS No. 2176-01 on your correspondence. INS will review the comments
and publish a final rule at a later date.
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