Immigration Changes

Purdue's Office of International Students and Scholars is closely monitoring information about the Presidential executive orders and the impact they may have on the international community at Purdue.

As we receive more information and guidance, we will update this page.

Please be aware that ISS is not authorized to provide advice beyond the scope of the information contained on this page. If, after reviewing this information, you still have questions, please consider contacting a licensed, legal professional knowledgeable in immigration law. Visit USCIS for more information.

Disclaimer: The information and resources listed on this page should not be construed as legal advice.

COVID-19 Important ISS Updates

Because CDC health advisories are still in place and COVID cases continue to surge, the Department of Homeland Security has authorized pandemic related procedural adaptations regarding enrollment requirements for international students pursuing a degree with a U.S. based institution throughout the summer and fall 2021 semesters.  Minimum enrollment requirements have not changed, however limitations on courses delivered via distance or online modalities have been relaxed for most, but not all, continuing students.  If you have questions related to your enrollment requirements, please contact International Student Services during our normal business hours.  Contact information can be found here:

Our office is currently open for document pick up only, however we continue to provide service, information, and support via phone, email, virtual advising, and student preferred shipping.  Below you will find the necessary changes to our normal business processes:

  1. Phone counseling/advising will continue to be available as follows:
    • Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri – 9:00 – 11:30 AM and
    • Mon through Fri 1:30 – 4:00 PM 
  2. Virtual advising sessions are also available via webex.  Check our office hours page for current times and sessions available.
  1. We will continue to accept and respond to questions and inquiries during normal business hours via email at
  1. We will continue to timely process requests submitted via the myISS portal; 
  1. We will continue to make updated I-20/DS-2019 documents available.  If you are local, you may visit our office Monday through Friday 1:30 - 4:00 to pick up your document.  If you would like the document shipped to you via courier service, you may create and pay for a courier shipping label via the myISS Information will be provided to you regarding document delivery options when we notify you that your document is ready for delivery. 

Should I stay or should I go? 

Visa implications:

  1. If you relocate from your current on- or off-campus residence, you must update your address via the myISS portal;
  2. If you choose to exit the United States, please keep in mind that you may be restricted from reentering to resume your educational objectives during the summer or fall semester. If you are unable to return for the fall semester, our office may be require to end your current visa status.  If this happens, we will be prepared to assist you in regaining your status when you are able to return to campus.  Note: your student visa status does not affect your continued eligibility to enroll at Purdue University:
    1. If you are unable to return to campus for the fall semester, you should engage with your academic advisor, graduate coordinator, or faculty advisor to learn about options for continuing to pursue your degree objectives from outside the United States.  Please keep ISS informed of your plans.
    2. If you are currently authorized for Curricular Practical Training and your employer changes your work location, responsibilities, hours, or end date, you must contact our office immediately so we can take steps to help you preserve your status. 


Presidential Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry as Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting Coronavirus Disease 2019

On April 30, 2021 President Biden issued a Proclamation prohibiting certain non-immigrant travelers from entering the U.S. directly if they have been physically present in India in the 14 calendar days immediately preceding seeking admission at the U.S. Port of Entry.  The President included an option for the Secretary of State to allow for National Interest Exceptions for certain individuals seeking to enter the U.S. to conduct activities related to our National Interest.  This proclamation is effective at 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on May 4, 2021.  This proclamation does not apply to persons aboard a flight scheduled to arrive in the United States that departed prior to 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on May 4, 2021.  This Proclamation is in addition to the other Presidential Proclamations already in place (China, Iran, Brazil, 26 countries in the EU, UK, and Ireland).

Student Summary:

Students in the F-1 category who wish to come to the U.S. to engage in a program that begins or resumes before August 1, 2021 must request and be approved for a National Interest Exception (NIE) at their nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Students in the F-1 category who wish to come to the U.S. to engage in a program that begins or resumes AFTER August 1, 2021 are automatically eligible for the NIE and are not required to apply for the NIE at a U.S. consulate or embassy.  However, these individuals may not seek admission to the U.S. before 30 days from the start or resumption of their academic program.

Students in the J visa category who wish to come to the U.S. to begin or resume in an academic program must request and be approved for a National Interest Exception (NIE) at their nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Based on the following language, ISS believes the nonimmigrant spouse and/or children of eligible non-citizens who are excepted from or not subject to the Proclamation may also be eligible for the National Interest Exception.  However, students should contact their nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to be sure.

“Derivative family members accompanying a noncitizen who is excepted from or otherwise not subject to the Proclamation and who is engaging in certain types of long-term employment, studies, or research of four weeks or longer.”

At this time, at least one embassy in India has stated the following under their FAQs:  "We are unable to facilitate travel for F/M/J visa holders with a program start date before August 1, 2021, including whose who have already been issued a visa. Students with a program start date before August 1, 2021 should contact their respective educational institutions to discuss their options."  If other embassies adopt this same principle then traveling back to Purdue, directly from one of the highlighted countries, to engage in academic objectives that begin or resume before August 1, 2021 may not be possible.

Full Text of the Presidential Proclamation issued 4/30/2021

Full Text of the State Department National Interest Exception issued 5/1/2021

Examples of Department of State responses to FAQs about the National Interest Exception including how to request an Exception may be found here:  Note:  This represents information published by U.S. embassy.  Students should always refer to the website of their preferred U.S. embassy or consulate.

Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry as Nonimmigrants of Certain Students and Researchers from the Peoples Republic of China

On May 29, 2020, President Trump issued a proclamation intended to suspend and limit "The entry into the United States as a nonimmigrant of any national of the PRC [People's Republic of China] seeking to enter the United States pursuant to an F or J visa to study or conduct research in the United States..." 

The proclamation is effective June 1, 2020, however it requires the U.S. Secretary of State and the head of the Department of Homeland Security to make recommendations about procedural implementation within 60 days of the effective date.  Purdue University is is aware of, and evaluating, the situation. Until implementation details are released, any attempts to fully evaluate the proclamation are premature. Updates will be here provided as the situation clarifies.

Additional information Published by NAFSA: Association of International Educations may be found here.  

Please refer back to this website often.



Emergency Visa Appointments

Emergency Visa Appointments

Students are eligible for emergency visa appointments, however they may not request an emergency appointment more than 60 days before their academic program begins or resumes.  Information regarding how to request an emergency appointment is available on the U.S. embassy or consulate website where they will apply for the visa.  Emergency appointments are not guaranteed.

Your formal admission letter combined with your I-20/DS-2019 demonstrate the last date of arrival to begin or resume your academic program.

COVID-19 the "Five Month Rule"

The Five Month "Rule"

It is important to understand that there is a difference between being outside the United States for an authorized temporary absence during a break in studies, and otherwise maintaining status while outside the United States for more than five months. 

As long as students are otherwise maintaining their visa status while they are outside the U.S. and there is no gap in  their status, the five month "rule" does not apply. Examples of maintaining status while outside the U.S. include participating in official study abroad programs; conducting research in absentia; or now under this special exception continuing to pursue coursework online full-time toward the degree objective.

The simple but important point is, as long as there is no break in studies as per the special exception adaptations currently approved, if students choose to exit the U.S. to complete the Spring semester via online coursework, they are considered to be maintaining status. 

Students who are unable to return for the fall semester, may be at risk with regard to the five month rule, however we will provide guidance on next steps should this occur.

Additional supporting information is below for your reference...

8 CFR 214.2(f)(4) Temporary absence. An F-1 student returning to the United States from a temporary absence of five months or less may be readmitted for attendance at a Service-approved educational institution, if the student presents:

(i) A current SEVIS Form I-20 (or, for readmission prior to August 1, 2003, a current Form I-20ID which was issued prior to January 30, 2003), properly endorsed by the DSO for reentry if there has been no substantive change to the most recent Form I-20 information; or

In 2005 The United States Department of State issued guidance* to "All Diplomatic and Consular Posts Collective" under the subject:  Validity of Student Visas subsequent to a Break in Studies [our emphasis].

The relevant guidance from the directive is provided below:

Summary: This message is to clarify the issue of whether a F-1 or M-1 visa remains valid after a student has a break in studies longer than five months. There are two circumstances where a student's visa is automatically invalidated after such a lengthy break.

Students who are not studying but remain in the United States are subject to the five month rule.

5. Students who are enrolled in schools in the United States will often take a break from studies and return home for a semester or more. When a student has been out of the country for more than five months [during a break in studies], the student's F-1 or M-1 visa would be considered to be invalid under 22 CFR 41.122(h)(3).

6. Under DHS regulations (8 CFR 214.2(f) (4)), an F-1 student returning to the United States from a temporary absence [break in studies] of five months or less may be readmitted for study upon presentation of a valid I-20. After an absence of more than five months, an alien is no longer admissible as a continuing student. Under 22 CFR 41.122(h)(3), an immigration officer is authorized to physically cancel a nonimmigrant visa of an alien who appears to be inadmissible. Because a student who has been out longer than five months can be found inadmissible, that student's F-1 or M-1 visa is subject to cancellation and should not be used, even though it remains valid on its face. A student who wishes to resume study in the United States must obtain a new visa. In order to apply, the student should either obtain a new I-20 from the school or verify that his/her previous I-20 remains valid and SEVIS record is in active status before applying for a new F-1 or M-1 visa.

7. Students who have the approval of their schools to take an extended break from study must have their SEVIS record terminated for Authorized Withdrawal. When the student is ready to resume study, the school will issue the student a new initial Form I-20 wia new SEVIS number. These students must pay the
SEVIS I-901 fee.

8. Some students depart the United States for extended periods of time for activities related to
their course of study, such as field research. Schools are expected to maintain those students in an active SEVIS status. Since these students continue to maintain their student status while overseas, their F-1 visas are not considered to be invalid after an absence of more than five months. 



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USCIS to Begin Using More Secure Mail Delivery Services

On 4/27/2018 The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced that it will begin phasing in the use of the United States Postal Service's Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery service.  More information on the announcement is available on the USCIS website here.  If you have any pending application with USCIS you should make sure that the address on the application is your personal address, and that you will be physically present when document(s) related to the pending application is/are delivered.  Purdue University cannot receive documents from USCIS on your behalf.  You should not use any Purdue University address on any personal application that you submit to USCIS.  Instructions for changing your address with USCIS can be found here.

Examples of personal applications are:

  • I-765 Application for Employment Authorization (frequently referred to as and OPT application);
  • Application for Change of Status;
  • Application for reinstatement. 

Please note that a Purdue filed H-1B petition is not a personal application.  Purdue University is the petitioner, therefore Purdue must receive documents related to the petition.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

ISS cannot provide legal advice related to this topic, but here we offer some excellent resources intended to inform those affected in our Boilermaker community, and that will lead to other resources which may be helpful.:

Immigrant Legal Resource Center:  What Do I Need to Know About the End of DACA

NAFSA:  DACA Resource Page

Requirement to Carry Immigration Registration Document and Report Change of Address

The following information was published on the NAFSA Association for International Educators on March 10, 2017.  Excerpts are posted below for your reference and convenience.  The full text of the notice can be found here:

Nonimmigrants and lawful permanent residents must make sure to do these two things. The penalty for not doing so can be severe, under long-standing laws.

  • Carry their immigration registration document - Nonimmigrants and lawful permanent residents must carry their "evidence of registration" document at all times. Usually, this is Form I-94 for nonimmigrants, or Form I-551 (green card) for lawful permanent residents.
  • Report address changes within 10 days - All aliens living in the United States must report any change of address within 10 days of the address change.

As the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) intensifies its immigration compliance efforts, advisers should review these two important requirements with their students and scholars. This NAFSA advisory provides some helpful background.

F and J visa holders compliance with address reporting requirement through SEVIS

Students and exchange visitors in F, M, or J status must comply with their address-change reporting obligation by notifying the P/DSO or A/RO of their school or exchange visitor program of an address change within 10 calendar days of the change. The F-1 or M-1 school must then update SEVIS with the new address within 21 days of receiving the new address information from the F-1 or M-1 student; J exchange visitor programs must update SEVIS with this information within 10 business days of receiving the new address from the exchange visitor. [see 8 CFR 214.2(f)(17); 8 CFR 214.2(m)(18); 8 CFR 214.2(j)(1)(viii); 22 CFR 62.10(d)(3)-(4)

Students:  To report and/or update your address with ISS, please go to click the blue log in button, and enter your Purdue credentials to log into myISS. Once you are logged into the portal, please expand F-1 and J-1 Student Services, and click Address Update (U.S. Residential)


Requirement to report changes of address

Another requirement, related to the "registration" requirement, is that aliens living in the United States for 30 days or longer must report to USCIS any change of address, within 10 days of the address change. [INA 265(a); 8 CFR 265.1]

  • USCIS has designated Form AR-11 to be used for this purpose. The USCIS website has the most current version of Form AR-11 and the mailing address for that form
  • The change of address can also be filed online through the USCIS website; if you use the online change of address, do not file a paper Form AR-11

The law also provides for rather severe penalties for failing to notify USCIS about an address change. INA 266(b) states:

"Any alien or any parent or legal guardian in the United States of any alien who fails to give written notice [of an address change] to the Attorney General, as required by section 265 of this title, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined not to exceed $200 or be imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both. Irrespective of whether an alien is convicted and punished as herein provided, any alien who fails to give written notice to the Attorney General, as required by section 265, shall be taken into custody and removed in the manner provided by chapter 4 of this title, unless such alien establishes to the satisfaction of the Attorney General that such failure was reasonably excusable or was not willful."

Provisional Revocation of Visas

The information contained on this website should not be construed as legal advice.  ISS recommends you consult with a licensed, legal professional experienced in immigration law. 

It’s important to understand the difference between the purpose of the U.S. visa, and an individual’s lawful status in the United States. 

A valid and unexpired U.S. visa grants a foreign national the right to be received at the United States Port of Entry for inspection.  The official at the Port of Entry examines the visa and other relevant documents and information to determine if admission is warranted.  If admission is granted, the individual is admitted to the United States with a particular “status”.

Status is a bundle of legal rights and obligations that are given to foreign nationals while they are in the U.S.  It is granted for a specified period of time, depending upon the visa classification.  As long as the foreign national does not violate the terms of their status, they may remain in the United States for the duration of their authorized stay, as indicated on the Form I-94 Record created during admission and accessible online at  Once the individual exits the United States, they must have a valid and unexpired visa with which to seek reentry in the same status classification.

Provisional Revocation of a visa does not require a foreign national to exit the United States, however it will prevent them from reentering the United States, in the same status classification, if they exit.  Provisional Revocation of a visa could result in additional (and significant) complications for those foreign nationals who also have violated certain other laws while in the U.S. – if this is your situation we recommend that you immediately seek the advice of an immigration attorney. For more information on Visa Revocation, please see the following article, published by NAFSA Association of International Educators

Suspension of Personal Appearance (Interview) Waivers

As per the executive order, the U.S. has suspended the personal appearance waiver program. This means any individual applying for or renewing a U.S. visa must undergo an in-person interview. You should allow for plenty of time for visa processing, as this change will likely lead to increasing interview wait times.

Please note that the visa waiver program is still in effect at this time. The executive order applies to the personal appearance interview waiver program.

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