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.

Message from Provost Akridge and Dean Brzezinski on Recent Regulatory Proposals and Revisions

Dear Colleagues, Today Purdue University elected to join other universities, public and private sector employers and the American Immigration Lawyers Association in a legal challenge to a federal rule that impacts H-1B sponsorship. The rule involves a change by the Department of Labor in the computation of prevailing wage levels for H-1B workers, which we believe will severely impact the University’s ability to recruit and retain these workers consistent with internal and external market pay levels.  We expect to be joined in the Department of Labor suit by additional universities, nonprofit institutions and national higher education associations. 

The focus of the legal challenge to the DOL rule will be the rushed process used to promulgate it, which did not provide sufficient time to allow the government to complete a thorough cost-benefit analysis and thus to understand its practical real-world impacts.  As we know, but as federal officials may have failed to appreciate without the benefit of receiving input from affected stakeholders over a meaningful comment period, these impacts have the potential to create significant new costs for universities and great personal hardship for individual students and scholars.

The University is also actively exploring the opportunity to join a separate challenge to a recent rule issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in connection with the H-1B program. This rule narrows the definition of “specialty occupation” by stipulating that there must be a direct relationship between the required degree field and the duties of the position to be held by the H1-B worker. We believe this restriction will unduly limit the University’s ability to hire international employees in more cutting edge or emerging fields where there is not a single or linear educational path to competency.  This could include such disciplines as computational fields and quantum engineering, for example.

Finally, International Students and Scholars (ISS) is continuing to monitor another proposed DHS rule change that would severely restrict international students and exchange visitors by, among other things, eliminating the “duration of status” designation allowing those on F-1 or J-1 visas (and their dependents) to remain in the U.S. for the duration of their academic objectives, and instead limit them to a subjective fixed period of time which will add undue financial and administrative barriers. Purdue will submit an official comment to the DHS arguing against this rule before the 30 day comment period expires.

We are hopeful that our efforts will lead to favorable results for our international students, faculty, post-docs, lecturers and staff.  We will keep you apprised of developments as we move forward.


Jay T. Akridge

Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Diversity

Michael A. Brzezinski

Dean, International Programs

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Duration of Status (Sept. 25, 2020)

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a proposal to alter the admission period structure for F, J and I visa types on September 25.

The published rule is proposed, and a final ruling has not been reached. The proposed rule will be open on the Federal Register for public comment for 30 days.

After the comment period closes, DHS will complete a comment analysis and then decide whether to proceed with the proposed rule or if it will issue a new or modified proposal.

The current proposed rule is lengthy and complex.  The Office of International Students and Scholars is working with stakeholders across campus as well as peer institutions and associations nation-wide to analyze the proposed rule to better understand how it will impact foreign nationals who are affiliated with Purdue University (those present in the F or J visa categories). Please monitor this web page for additional information and updates that come our way.

We understand that you have already faced much uncertainty during the beginning of this academic year, and that this proposed rule would create new barriers and roadblocks and would place burdens on thousands of our Boilermakers from Abroad.

Please know that Purdue University will continue to advocate for flexible and welcoming policies that should reflect the tremendously positive impact those affected have in our Purdue community, across the country, and around the globe.

Please feel free to contact us at (students) or (scholars, faculty, staff) with any questions or concerns.

Stay safe and well!

Office of International Students and Scholars

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.



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. 



R 281944Z DEC 05

COVID-19 ISS Updates

Purdue's official COVID-19 Website


3/17/2020 Student Email Update:

Dear students:

As you are aware, late yesterday President Daniels and Provost Akridge announced that classes will continue to be delivered online through the remainder of the spring semester.  This is welcome news for those of you carefully considering your options to stay in place or travel back to your home country or other location of preference.  Below you will find some important information about your student visa and your lawful status that you should consider before making your final decisions.

Will ISS still provide service?

Yes.  Our office will not be open to the public, however we will continue to provide service, information, and support via phone, email, and local postal mail.  Below you will find the necessary changes to our normal business processes:

  1. Beginning at 4:00 PM today (3/17/2020), we will no longer provide “in-person” service;
  2. 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 
  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 remain local and want the document(s) mailed to you via normal United States Postal Service (USPS), we will mail the document(s) to your local address at our expense.  If you would like the document shipped to you via courier service other than normal USPS, whether local or not, 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 do or do not choose to relocate, you must continue to pursue your degree objectives full-time for the remainder of the spring semester to maintain your student visa status;
  2. If you relocate from your current on- or off-campus residence, you must update your address via the myISS portal;
  3. 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 would 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. 
    3. FAQ’s about students who have pending or active Optional Practical Training will be addressed in a separate email and on our website soon.

Other considerations:

The most up to date information about other topics such as residence hall availability, dining halls, meal plans, etc can be found on the Purdue University COVID-19 website.

During this time of planned self-isolation, it is important to stay virtually connected to friends, family, fellow students and your university resources.  Stay focused on your educational objectives; limit your exposure to news related to the negative impact of the current environment; make a point to fit regular physical activity into your daily schedule; engage with your affinity groups remotely; seek out mental health resources, if needed; call your health care provider if you exhibit any of the COVID-19 symptoms; reach out to others if you have food insecurity; and do your best to maintain a positive state of mind.  This is an unprecedented time, but it is not insurmountable.  Self-care first, then care for others.

Very best wishes for good health and well-being,

Christine K. Collins

Director, International Student Services
Office of International Students and Scholars


Schleman Hall, Room 136
475 Stadium Mall Drive
West Lafayette, IN



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Travel Bans

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

On January 31, 2020 Alex Azar, Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services declared the COVID-2019 a public health emergency in the United States.  The Secretary also announced that effective 5 P.M. EST February 2, 2020 certain restrictions would be in place for U.S. citizens returning from various regions in China.  More information related to this announcement and corresponding restrictions may be found here and here.

Also on January 31, 2020 President Trump signed a Presidential Proclamation titled Proclamation on Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus. The full text of the proclamation can be found here. On Saturday February 29, 2020, President Trump's administration expanded the Proclamation barring Foreign Nationals who have visited or been inside mainland China or Iran within the last 14 days from entering the Untied States.

On March 2, 2020 Purdue President Mitchell Daniels and Provost Jay Akridge issued a joint update to the Purdue University community.  That update is here.  For updated information and resources, please visit the Purdue University News resource Things you need to know about COVID-19.


"Travel Ban 4.0"

On January 31, 2020, President Trump issued a new executive order entitled Proclamation on Improving Enhanced Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry. The full text of the new order can be found here. The January 31 2020 proclamation does not affect any individual maintaining F-1 or J-1 student status. Instead, as explained further below, it specifically targets only certain individuals seeking to immigrate to the U.S. (seeking ‘lawful permanent resident’ status, or ‘green card status’).


The January 31 2020 executive order suspends entry into the United States for nationals of six new countries. The ability of nationals of most of the listed countries (Burma (Myanmar), Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria) to enter the USA as immigrants (except if eligible as a Special Immigrant) is suspended. The ability of nationals of Sudan and Tanzania to enter the USA as Diversity Immigrants also is suspended. The January 31 2020 proclamation applies to only certain foreign nationals, namely, those who are outside the USA on the effective date of the proclamation (February 21, 2020), who do not have a valid visa on that date, and who do not qualify for a visa or other travel document under the applicable provision of the proclamation.  


For additional information please see the Press Release issued by the Department of Homeland Security here.


 "Travel Ban 3.0"

On June 26, 2018 the Supreme Court of the United States upheld Presidential Proclamation 9645 Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists Or Other Public-Safety Threats (commonly referred to as the "Travel Ban"). 

Among other things, Section 2 of the Proclamation suspends, and/or limits (subject to categorical exceptions and case by-case waivers, as described in sections 3 and 6 of the Proclamation) entry into the United States of nationals of the following countries:

Chad*, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, and Somalia

For more information, please see the Department of Homeland Securities Fact Sheet located here

if you believe you may be impacted by Proclamation 9645, and subsequent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court: 

  1. The Office of International Students and Scholars strongly encourages you to consult with licensed legal counsel prior to planning any travel outside the United States, if you have an expectation of subsequent reentry to the United States.
  2. If you are currently outside the United States, and plan to enter or reenter the United States, we strongly recommend that you consult with licensed legal counsel prior to making an application for a visa to the United States, and prior to making travel plans to enter the United States on a previously issued, but unexpired visa.

*Following a March 20, 2018 report from the Secretary of Homeland Security, and with consultation from the Secretary of the Department of State, President Trump removed Chad from list of countries subject to Proclamation 9645. 

Historical Context

On June 26, 2017 The United States Supreme Court rendered the following statements in an unsigned opinion:  "We grant the government's applications to stay the injunctions, to the extent the injunctions prevent enforcement" of the Executive Order.  The ruling continued on "with respect to foreign nationals who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States."

Countries affected by the March 6, 2017 Executive Order are Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen.

Please see the following link Travel Advisory for Nationals of Certain Countries Pursuant to Executive Order 13769 published by NAFSA Association for International Educators for more detailed information.

On March 16, 2017, the following was published on the NAFSA ( website:

On March 16, 2017, the U.S. District Court in Maryland issued a nationwide preliminary injunction, preventing the Government from enforcing Executive Order 13780's 90-day entry bar, which had been scheduled to go into effect on March 16, 2017. Also read the court opinion supporting the preliminary injunction order.

  • On March 15, 2017, the U.S. District Court in Hawaii issued a nationwide temporary restraining order, preventing the Government from enforcing Executive Order 13780's 90-day entry bar and 120-day refugee entry bar, which had been scheduled to go into effect on March 16, 2017.

Other sections of Executive Order 13780 that are not enjoined by court order became effective at 12:01 a.m. eastern time on March 16, 2017

The original announcement is here, for your information...

At approximately 11:30 AM EST Monday March 6, 2017, President Trump signed a new executive order entitled Executive Order Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States.  The full text of the new order can be found here:

A memorandum to the United States Secretary of State can be found here:

Department of Homeland Security Fact Sheet:

Department of Homeland Security Q&A:

Updated NAFSA Travel Advisory:

Purdue ISS will continue to monitor official communications and post updates to this website are they are made available. 

Notice To Appear - Initiating Removal Proceedings

On October 1, 2018 the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service implemented a policy change introduced in June of 2018.  Under the new policy, USCIS is directed to issue a Notice to Appear (NTA) in ALL cases where the beneficiary of an application is out of status at the time the benefit is denied because the applicant was not eligible for the benefit.

The Notice to Appear requires the respondent to appear before an immigration judge in a United States immigration court for trial.  The respondent may be subject to removal proceedings (deportation).

Individuals are strongly advised to seek legal counsel for more information.

The USCIS announcement can be found here.

Days of Unlawful Presence for F and J Visa Categories

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

On February 6, 2020, the a Judge in the federal district court in North Carolina issued a permanent nationwide injunction blocking the August 8, 2018 USCIS policy memo that sought to change how days of unlawful presence are counted following a violation of F, M, or J nonimmigrant status.


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.

USCIS Updates Notice to Appear Policy Guidance to Support DHS Enforcement Priorities

On June 28, 2018, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services issued updated guidance for referral of cases and issuance of Notices to Appear.  A link to the Policy Memorandum can be found here.

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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