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Administration Indicates Desire to get rid of “Duration of Status” for F-1s, and possibly other visas like the J-1

In the Fall 218 Regulatory Agenda published by the administration, there’s an item discussing replacement of the “Duration of Status” period of admission granted to F-1 Students, J-1 Exchange Visitors, M-1 Vocational visas and possibly some others such as A and G diplomatic visas with a finite end date. The stated reason is to clarify the expected end date for holders of these visa types.

Currently, individuals with these types of visas are admitted with a “D/S” notation on their I-94 entry record where other visa types are accorded a finite end date. This indicates that the end date is determined by the documents defining the program underlying the purpose for admission: I-20 documents for F-1 students, DS-2019 forms for J-1s, etc.

This has meant that these visas have been treated differently in the past with regard to calculations of certain kinds of time spent out of status. This separate treatment for visa holders admitted for Duration of Status has ended recently under separate policy guidance released in August, which we had covered here. Consequently, it isn’t entirely clear what problem such a change would actually solve.

This announcement isn’t at the level of even a proposed rule at this point – nothing formal has been done to move toward the elimination of the “Duration of Status” designation just yet. The announcement, however, tells us what we might expect.