Immigration News

The ISSO releases a monthly newsletter to keep you informed of relevant immigration changes from USCIS and the International Center.

  • ISSO Immigration Workshops Available in May


The ISSO puts on many workshops for students during the Spring. See below for opportunities that might interest you.

OPT Workshops for F-1 Students 

Learn about the OPT application process, reporting requirements, employment, and travel considerations on Thursday, May 4, 11, 18, and 25 from 2:30pm to 3:45pm in SSB 3.107.

Overseas Travel for International Students

Topics include procedures for renewing your visa and what to expect when re-entering the U.S.  Bring your most recent I-20 or DS-2019 and a picture ID, so advisors can provide a travel signature and a status letter to you if you need them. The workshop takes place from 2:00pm to 3:30pm in SSB3.107 on Tuesday, May 23.

J-1 Employment Workshop

Learn about J-1 employment opportunities such as On-Campus Employment, Academic Training, and Economic Necessity. The workshop takes place from 2:00pm – 3:30pm in SSB 3.107 on Tuesday, May 30.

  • Change to F-1 Status from B-1/B-2 Status


If you are in B-1/B-2 status and requesting a change to F-1 status, you must file a separate application with USCIS if your current status will expire more than 30 days before your initial F-1 program start date or your F-1 program start date is deferred to the following academic term because your F-1 application is still pending with USCIS. For more information, visit USCIS Special Instructions for B-1/B-2 Visitors Who Want to Enroll in School.

  • USCIS Redesigns Green Cards and Employment Authorization Documents


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced a redesign to the Permanent Resident Card (also known as a Green Card) and the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) as part of the Next Generation Secure Identification Document Project. USCIS began issuing the new cards on May 1, 2017.

  • Temporary Protected Status Expiration


USCIS reminds beneficiaries of temporary protected status for Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone that their status will expire on May 21, 2017. For more information, visit USCIS Temporary Protected Status.

  • F-1 Change of Level


If you will finish a degree program or end OPT in Spring 2017, and will begin or continue another degree program in Summer or Fall 2017, you will need to apply for a Change of Level I-20. If you will travel abroad, you will need this I-20 to re-enter the United States. For application information, visit the ISSO Change of Level webpage.

  • F-1 Optional Practical Training


If you will graduate in the Spring 2017 semester, you may be eligible for post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT). For more information attend an OPT workshop or visit the ISSO Optional Practical Training webpage.

  • Do Not Delay Your Graduation


Postponing graduation when you have completed all the courses required to earn your degree is a violation of the immigration regulations. For more information visit the ISSO Graduation and Beyond webpage.

  • Not Graduating in Spring 2017?

  • Ending Your OPT Period?


If you were approved for post-completion OPT in Spring or Summer 2016 based on the completion of a STEM eligible degree, you may be nearing the end of your OPT period and within your eligibility period to apply for an OPT STEM extension. Eligible students must apply for the STEM extension within the final 90 days of their current OPT period. Remember to check your EAD card dates and apply for your STEM extension before your current OPT period expires if eligible.

  • H-1B Cap Gap Relief


If a U.S. business submitted an H-1B petition on your behalf, you may be eligible to obtain a Cap Gap Status Verification Letter and/or an H-1B Cap Gap Extension I-20 from the International Center. Find more information at the ISSO H-1B Cap Gap Relief webpage.

  • Prepare for Travel


Visit the International Center webpages for Traveling Inside the U.S. and Traveling Outside the U.S for specific details on what immigration documents to carry when traveling. Remember that the law requires anyone who is not a U.S. citizen to carry evidence of status at all times.

  • Executive Order: Buy American and Hire American


On April 18, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order entitled, “Buy American and Hire American.” This executive order commits to the following:

• Rigorous enforcement of the laws governing entry into the United States of workers from abroad.
• Proposing new immigration rules and guidance.
• Suggesting future reforms to help ensure that H-1B visas are awarded to the most-skilled or highest-paid petition beneficiaries.

Speak with a qualified immigration attorney if you have questions regarding the impact of this order.

  • Immigration Scam Alert


The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a fraud alert on April 19, 2017, to warn the public about a scam using the DHS OIG hotline telephone number. Scammers have identified themselves as “U.S. Immigration” employees and have altered their caller ID to seem like the call is coming from the DHS OIG hotline (1-800-323-8603). If you receive a call demanding personal information or payment, hang up immediately. USCIS officials will never threaten you or ask for payment over the phone or in an email. If USCIS needs payment, they will mail a letter on official stationery requesting payment. Do not give payment over the phone to anyone who claims to be a USCIS official. If you receive such a call, contact UT Dallas Police at 972-883-2222 to report any suspicious activity. Learn more about how to avoid scams on the DHS website.