OPT Stem update for f-1 students
The OPT STEM program regulations will remain in place through May 10, 2016. This is pursuant to a new court order delaying the effective date of the previous court order which vacated the STEM regulations effective Feb. 12, 2016. For more information, please see this news article.
Notice to students on Optional Practical Training
Please note that the F-1 OPT STEM extension benefit is in a state of uncertainty given a recent court ruling which vacates the regulation for OPT STEM benefits to F-1 students effective Feb. 12, 2016. Detailed information. F-1 students at WMU may still apply for F-1 OPT STEM so long as the law recognizes that benefit in the future. However, if the court does not grant the Department of Homeland Security's motion to extend the stay of vacatur, the current rule would expire effective February 13, 2016, and DHS suggested that it may have to consider options like returning any pending STEM OPT applications and requiring that applicants refile after the effective date of a final rule.
Delays in visa issuance
Currently, there are delays in visa issuance by the U.S. Consulates abroad. This is affecting student and scholars who need visas to return to the U.S. Instead, visa applicants are facing long delays while waiting abroad for visa issuance. Student and scholars should take these delays into consideration before traveling if they are in need of a visa to return. For more information, please see this news article.
Notice to prospective F-1 students
Western Michigan University has become aware of an influx of prospective F-1 students applying to "school A" to obtain admission and immigration documents to enter the United States, who then immediately apply for transfer to "school B". Please be aware that this scenario has created significant difficulties for many prospective students.
If you arrive at WMU and immediately seek to apply for transfer-out to another university, please be advised this may cause severe complications for you, including SEVIS termination or the need to leave the United States immediately. See the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website, section 2.4.
WMU recommends that you enter the U.S. on the immigration form I-20 and visa for the university you wish to attend. If you request immediate transfer-out upon arrival to WMU, please be advised that due to the heavy volume of reporting at the beginning of each semester it will generally require up to ten business days from the start date of the WMU semester to process SEVIS transfer-out requests. In order for a transfer-out application to be processed, you must submit a complete application with all supporting documentation at the same time to WMU Immigration Services. For the WMU Transfer-Out SEVIS Record Request form, visit the immigration forms page.
DHS eligibility extension
Effective May 26, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security is extending eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants. DHS amended the regulations to allow these H-4 dependent spouses to accept employment in the United States. For more information, visit the USCIS website.
Recently, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program became aware that scammers are targeting students in the Chicago area in an attempt to solicit fund on behalf of the I-901 SEVIS fee. Scammers are requesting those targeted to send up to $4,000 to avoid deportation. These incidents are currently under investigation by the Chicago Police Department and SEVP intends to cooperate fully and will provide additional information as it becomes available.
Indications of fraud:
- Students should disregard any phone call from a person attempting to collect the fee. SEVP will not contact students via phone to threaten or request money.
- The scammers are reportedly requesting up to $4,000 in fees. The I-901 fee is $200 at the most.
If a student receives a phone call, do not give any information to the person on the phone and do not send funds to the scammers. Contact the WMU Police Department at (269) 387-5555 to report the incident and contact WMU's Immigration Services at (269) 387-5865 and a DSO will help report the incident to SEVP.
Special notice for Iranian students in energy or nuclear fields
Iranian citizens seeking to be students in the U.S. should be aware of U.S. legislation affecting certain fields of study. It is the position of the U.S. consulate to deny visas in select fields. Students should consider the following restrictions and consider this when making decisions with regard to applying for admission. Information.
A unit of the Diether H. Haenicke Institute for Global Education.