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USCIS has recently issued comprehensive policy guidance for F and M student nonimmigrant categories in the United States, covering critical areas such as employment authorization, extensions, and reinstatement for students and their dependents. This move aims to clarify existing policies, benefiting international students and educational institutions by addressing topics like eligibility, transfers, and on- and off-campus employment.

The guidance emphasizes the necessity for F and M students to maintain a foreign residence while also acknowledging their eligibility for permanent labor certification or immigrant visa petitions while intending to depart after a temporary stay.

Additionally, it outlines stringent criteria for STEM degree-holding F students seeking optional practical training (OPT), permitting employment with startups provided strict conditions regarding training plans, E-Verify compliance, and equitable compensation for U.S. workers are met.

Highlighting distinctions between the F-1 academic student and M-1 vocational student classifications, it enables entry into various academic institutions and vocational programs, excluding language training.

For comprehensive insights, USCIS Policy Alert, Volume 2, Part F of the Policy Manual, and the SEVIS program by ICE serve as valuable resources, aiding international students and educational institutions in navigating the structured framework within F and M student nonimmigrant classifications in the U.S.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us for a consultation. Our dedicated team is here to support you through the petition process and address any concerns you may have.