U.S. and China to Extend Visitor Visa Validity Periods

Posted on November 10, 2014 by Kathryn N. Karam

The U.S. Department of State has announced that beginning November 12th, the United States and China will both increase the validity period of business and tourist visitor visas and student and exchange visitor visas. This will serve as a major benefit to Chinese nationals seeking to visit the United States temporarily may obtain 10-year multiple entry visas, whereas in previous years, visitor visas were issued to Chinese nationals for only one year.

USCIS Comments on Travel During F-1 Cap-Gap OPT period

Posted on May 05, 2014 by Kathryn N. Karam

Members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) recently noted at a USCIS headquarters meeting that the Q & A on Post-Completion Optional Practical Training and F-1 Status for Eligible Students under the H-1B Cap-Gap Regulations available on the USCIS website states that a student granted a cap-gap extension who elects to travel outside the United States during the cap-gap extension period, will not be able to return in F-1 status. However, AILA members noted that this statement conflicts with the regulations on this subject, which indicate that an F-1 student who is the Beneficiary of an H-1B petition filed for change of status and a valid post-completion OPT EAD may travel and return to the U.S. after a temporary absence and resume OPT employment if the student has a valid F-1 visa stamp, a properly endorsed I-20, and an EAD card which has been automatically extended under 8 CFR §214.2(f)(5)(vi)(A), provided the student is otherwise admissible.

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