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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is changing how it calculates unlawful presence for F-1, J-1, and M-1 nonimmigrants and their dependents. These changes are designed to clarify how USCIS implements the unlawful presence grounds of inadmissibility.  In particular, individuals in F, J, or M status who fail to maintain their status on or after August 9, 2018, will start accruing unlawful presence on the earliest of any of the following:
  • The day after they no longer pursue the course of study or the authorized activity, or the day after they engage in an unauthorized activity;
  • The day after completing the course of study or program, including any authorized practical training plus any authorized grace period;
  • The day after the I-94 expires; or
  • The day after an immigration judge, or in certain cases, the BIA, orders them excluded, deported, or removed (whether or not the decision is appealed).

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