On Friday September 25, 2020 the Department of Homeland Security published a proposed rule that seeks to eliminate the practice of Duration Of Status and replace it with a date certain I-94 end date among other changes. What this means is that instead of being admitted for the duration of the program of study (D/S), individuals applying for admission in either F or J status would be admitted for the length of time indicated by the program end date noted on their Form I-20 or DS-2019, plus a period of 30 days following their program end date. All requests for extensions would need to be approved by USCIS or U.S. Customs and Border Protection and not through school officials, as is the current procedure. We write to let you know that at this time this is only a proposed rule and not a final rule and that, if implemented, it will only take effect after the APA public notice and comment procedures, a 30-day comment period that is followed by a period of time to review the comments and make changes. It is unclear if this will become a final rule at all, and, if so, when that would occur. In addition, it is also a possibility that it could be stopped through legal action after it is implemented.
In the interim, BIO is working with our colleagues in the office of Federal Government Relations at the University of California, Office of the President (UCOP) to put together a statement that jointly reflects the comments of all ten of the UC campuses and to fundamentally advocate against this rule.
BIO will keep you apprised of any developments in this area. In the interim, we want to assure you that the campus leadership has your best interest in mind. We understand the value of having international students and scholars on our campus and the many contributions you make to the intellectual life of the university. We will make every effort to advocate for regulations that advance international education.