The first installment in this series discussing the International Entrepreneur Parole (IEP) program identified the challenge and a potential solution for foreign entrepreneurs to legally enter the United States to develop a business concept and outlined the detailed program requirements. This part of the series will examine the specific documentary requirements necessary to satisfy those requirements.

Assembling Documents

The IEP program imposes significant documentary requirements. The governing regulations require assembling documents not only from the foreign entrepreneur applying for parole. Investors in the start-up company where the entrepreneur will play a central and active role also bear a significant burden to document their investment history in completely unrelated enterprises. The following discussion examines each of these requirements.


The IEP program requires foreign entrepreneurs to have a qualifying ownership interest of at least 10% in the start-up company and be able to demonstrate they will play a central and active role in the start-up. Ownership may be proved by assembling commonly available establishment documents such as articles and certificate of incorporation, organizational minutes in which share distribution is recorded, or the membership agreement of a limited liability company. The central role to be actively performed by the international entrepreneur may be described in a detailed job description. But these, alone, are insufficient documents to support a successful IEP application.

The regulations governing the documentary requirements for IEP represent a significant departure from those that apply to many categories of nonimmigrant worker visa categories. Regulations governing certain nonimmigrant classifications require only a detailed statement from an employer filing a petition explaining the factual basis of the beneficiary’s eligibility for the visa category. While such a detailed statement should be sufficient in most cases, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has become ever more aggressive in its demands for additional documentary evidence to corroborate the petitioner’s statement. Even highly detailed, uncontroverted statements by petitioners routinely receive demands from USCIS for documents to corroborate such statements. The propriety of such demands is beyond the scope of this discussion. However, the demand for corroborating documents is entirely consistent with the regulations and policy promulgated to administer the IEP program.

Additional documents that may be presented to corroborate the central and active role to be performed by the entrepreneur may be drawn from a wide range of sources. These include:

  • Letters from government agencies, business associations, and qualified investors.
  • News articles about the start-up and the role of the entrepreneur may be provided.
  • Documentation demonstrating participation in an established business accelerator, as well as evidence of prior start-up successes by the entrepreneur.
  • Degrees or documents demonstrating key experience or knowledge of the entrepreneur, such as patents or other recognition for achievements.

These examples are neither mandatory nor exclusive. Any one or combination of these documents, as well as any other probative documentation, may be provided to corroborate the applicant’s statement describing the central and active role to be performed by the entrepreneur.

              Start-Up Enterprise

Demonstrating that a company qualifies as a start-up enterprise for purposes of the IEP program is the least arduous requirement. Documentation common to most businesses should be readily available. Organizational documents used to demonstrate the entrepreneur’s minimum ownership participation such as articles and certificate of incorporation, organizational minutes in which share distribution is recorded, or the membership agreement of a limited liability company also can be produced for this purpose. These documents, along with tax and other financial records should conclusively demonstrate that the company was not established greater than five years before the IEP application is filed.

              Qualified Investment, Award, or Grant

                            Private Investment Source

Documenting the investment enterprise has received private investment funds from a qualifying investor imposes a significant documentary burden. Foreign entrepreneurs applying for parole are required to prove the investor’s U.S. citizenship or resident status along with their investment history. For both elements, the applicant — who is not the investor — will be required to request documents from the investor that includes both personal and financial records.

Individual investors will need to be willing to provide proof of their U.S. citizenship, such as a birth certificate or passport identity page or, for permanent residents, a copy of their Permanent Resident Card (aka “green card”). Where investment funds are provided through a business entity, the company must be not only organized under a U.S. jurisdiction but also majority-owned and controlled by U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Organizational documents illustrating place of establishment and ownership of the company making the investment as well as the citizenship or resident status of its owners will be required.

Provided that the company is majority owned and controlled by U.S. citizens or residents, it is not necessary to document the provenance of the investment funds. It is not necessary to demonstrate that more than 50% of the capital is from a U.S. source. Applicants are required, however, to demonstrate that the funds are not derived from unlawful activity.

In practice, demonstrating the legitimate source of investment funds may make it necessary to trace them to their source, much like is currently required for immigrant investors under the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. There are troubling implications of such a documentary burden, however, for a temporary parole program. First, the effort of tracing funds to their source to obtain the benefit of permanent resident status as an immigrant investor under the EB-5 program may be justified, whereas completing the exercise for a third party — the foreign entrepreneur — to gain a temporary, 30-month parole may cause investors to hesitate. Second, the time taken by USCIS to evaluate the voluminous documentation required for EB-5 classification currently extends to years. A similar waiting period may be impractical for an entrepreneur seeking to capitalize a new business concept through the IEP program.

The most significant demand international entrepreneurs will need to make on their investors is proof they have a successful track record of investing. Investors must be able to satisfy the procrustean requirements of having made previous investments equal to or greater than $633,952.00 that included at least two start-ups each of which created at least five jobs or generated at least $528,293.00 in revenue with average annualized growth equal to or greater than 20%. To do so, qualifying investors must be willing to produce detailed financial records relating to completely unrelated companies. For example, bank records, equity agreements, capitalization records, audited financial statements, or similar documents will be needed. Employment creation can be documented by producing, inter alia, Forms I-9, payroll records, and tax records. These documentary requirements, coupled with the need to prove the funds do not derive from unlawful sources, create a documentary burden similar to that of the EB-5 immigrant investor category, albeit, with lower capital requirements.

Notably, the application an international entrepreneur must file with USCIS to obtain parole requires the applicant to swear under oath to the accuracy of documents and information submitted. A significant volume of the documents to be produced will come from others over whom the applicant has no control. It remains unclear what steps the applicant must take to verify accuracy of such third-party documentation.

                            Government Awards or Grants

In contrast to the documentary burden of demonstrating that investment funds from private individuals satisfy the requirements of the IEP program, documenting government awards or grants should be much simpler. Letters from the awarding or granting government may be produced to demonstrate both the source and the amount of the funds provided. Bank records of the start-up company may be provided to document receipt of the funds.

                            Documentation Alternatives

If the start-up company only partially satisfies either the individual or government funding requirements, it still may be possible for the entrepreneur to qualify for IEP. Where funding falls short of the regulatory minimum, the entrepreneur must produce alternative reliable and compelling evidence that the start-up has substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation. There is no specific, mandatory list of alternative documents. Instead, guidelines provided by USCIS recognize that the type of documentation may vary depending on the nature of the business. Examples of appropriate documentation includes evidence of the number of users of a product or customers for a service. Revenue generated or additional investment attracted also may demonstrate the start-up’s potential for growth.

Intangible factors also will be considered by USCIS as proof of the potential for rapid growth. Evidence of the social impact, national scope, or positive local effects may be sufficient to demonstrate growth potential.

These factors are intended to be illustrative rather than comprehensive. Other relevant and probative evidence may be considered to successfully argue that the significant potential for rapid growth may overcome a deficiency in the funding requirements for the start-up.

Certain funding sources will not be considered by USCIS when evaluating whether an applicant has proved sufficient qualifying investment funds have been received by the start-up. Neither non-monetary contributions nor foreign funds are recognized as contributing to the qualifying investment amount.

              Significant Public Benefit

Parole of any kind must be based on either a humanitarian need or a significant public benefit. There is no definition in law or regulation to provide guidance for when circumstances justify parole as a significant public benefit. The IEP rules, however, describe circumstances in which the presence of an international entrepreneur in the United States with a central and active role in a start-up company with substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation may create such a benefit.

Many of the factors identified by USCIS policy that may be used to demonstrate an international entrepreneur will play a central and active role in a start-up also may support a finding that the individual’s presence in the United States will provide a significant public benefit. To satisfy this requirement, an IEP applicant may present records of additional investor or government funds from any source, support letters from government entities, business associations, news articles favorably covering the start-up or the entrepreneur’s role in it, participation in a reputable business accelerator, the entrepreneur’s educational degrees or patents, evidence of one or more prior roles by the applicant in successful start-ups, and any other probative material.

The final installment in this series will review the procedures for requesting IEP.

Please contact a Jackson Lewis attorney if you have any questions.

Texas did not have standing to challenge the Biden Administration’s policy priorities regarding removal of noncitizens, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled. United States v. Texas, No. 22-58 (June 23, 2023).

In February 2021, recognizing that, of the more than 11 million removable noncitizens in the United States, the majority have become contributing members of their communities, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas issued guidelines prioritizing the apprehension and removal of noncitizens who posed a threat to national security, public security, and border security based on a case-by-case assessment.

Texas, joined by Louisiana and, later, by other states, challenged that policy, alleging it was not in compliance with the law stating that the Department of Homeland Security “shall” take into custody certain noncitizens. Texas claimed it had an interest in this policy because it had an interest in protecting its citizens from the criminal activity of aliens who were subject to mandatory detention. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas agreed and held the policy guidance had to be vacated.

The Biden Administration appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and, ultimately, to the U.S. Supreme Court seeking a stay of the vacatur. Neither court would issue a stay, but the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case even prior to a Fifth Circuit decision.

The Supreme Court requested briefing on three questions: 1) standing; 2) whether the guidance violated the Immigration and Nationality Act or the Administrative Procedure Act; and 3) whether the remedy of vacatur is barred. The Court reached only the question of standing in its decision.

In an 8-1 vote, the Court wrote that the executive branch had broad discretion in enforcing the laws and that past administrations have all had to prioritize enforcement due to a lack of resources necessary to arrest and deport all noncitizens who are deportable. Justice Brett Kavanaugh, writing for the majority, held that granting standing in this case could open the door to allowing states to challenge any number of enforcement policies. But, he did stress that this ruling was a narrow one. Justices Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett wrote concurring opinions. Only Justice Samuel Alito dissented, writing that Texas did have standing.

Secretary Mayorkas has noted that, due to various formalities, it likely will take a month before the guidelines will be reinstituted. In the meantime, individual requests for prosecutorial discretion should continue to be pursued.

Jackson Lewis attorneys are available to assist with questions regarding the the Court’s opinion and the Department of Homeland Security enforcement guidance.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may require employers to file amended H-1B visa petitions when relocating employees to new locations and did not fail to follow or otherwise circumvent rulemaking requirements in doing so, the U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Columbia has ruled. ITServe Alliance Inc. v. DHS, No. 22-5074 (June 27, 2023).

The H-1B nonimmigrant visa classification is for “specialty occupation” employees working under facts, terms, and conditions of employment, as certified by the U.S. Department of Labor and approved by USCIS. Just as in other employer-employee relationships, H-1B employers sometimes may need to change some fact, term, or condition of their H-1B employees’ previously approved employment. This may include a change in work location.

In 2015, in an administrative ruling in Matter of Simeio Solutions LLC, PM-602-0120, USCIS confirmed that changes in an H-1B worker’s employment location can be a “material change” requiring employers to file amended petitions. This ruling led to increased filing fees and paperwork for employers “materially changing” their employees’ work locations.

In December 2020, information technology industry group ITServe, which represents member companies that often have needs to change employees’ work locations, filed suit challenging Matter of Simeio Solutions LLC as “procedurally defective rulemaking.” In February 2022, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled USCIS had not run afoul of the Administrative Procedure Act’s notice and comment period in issuing its decision.

In ITServe Alliance Inc. v. DHS, the D.C. Circuit Court agreed, concluding that Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC constitutes “an informal adjudication resting on USCIS’s interpretation of the material change regulation” and “functions like a judicial decision interpreting an agency regulation and then applying it to resolve a case or controversy.” The three-judge panel further stated the applicable regulation on “material change” allows USCIS to “monitor changing facts,” understanding that facts, terms, and conditions of employment, when modified, are subject to further review and adjudication by the agency.

The consequence for employers is that one approved H-1B petition is not necessarily sufficient to cover the full temporal period of approval if an employee’s work location changes within that time frame and amended petitions may be necessary when such material changes occur. While employers likely have been proceeding accordingly since Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC, the D.C. Circuit’s ruling confirms the procedural soundness of USCIS’s requirements.

If you have questions as to whether an H-1B amended petition is necessary, please reach out to your Jackson Lewis attorney.

Certain foreign entrepreneurs have a new pathway available to enter the United States to develop a business concept through a start-up company. Entrepreneurs who will have a central and active role in a start-up company that has attracted private investment or government funding may benefit from the International Entrepreneur Parole (IEP) program. While complex and imperfect, the IEP program creates a remedy for certain foreign entrepreneurs who can demonstrate potential for rapid business growth and job creation.

This is the first of a series of three commentaries examining the legal basis for the IEP, reviewing the program requirements, discussing the necessary documentary evidence, and describing application procedures.

The Challenge

The current immigration selection system used in the United States was created by the Immigration Act of 1990. The provisions of that late 20th century Act often fail to serve the economic needs of the third decade of the 21st century. Immigration options for foreign professionals or entrepreneurs are extremely circumscribed by outdated quota limitations of the nonimmigrant H-1B visa category, the unavailability of temporary immigration options for many entrepreneurs, and the lengthy agency processing time currently required for most immigrant visa categories. These limitations leave foreign innovators in many cases without a visa option to enter and remain in the United States, while actively participating in the development a business concept.

The recognized need for reform of the legal immigration system is effectively precluded in the highly charged political environment resulting from illegal immigration. The IEP program was created as an executive branch initiative in the absence of legislative action.

The Response

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) delegates to the executive branch of the federal government a wide range of discretionary authority to implement its provisions. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has authority, pursuant to INA 212(d)(5), to parole foreign persons into the United States for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.

The parole authority provided by 212(d)(5) does not confer a particular status or even a right to remain in the United States. Instead, a grant of parole is a discretionary determination by DHS that an individual’s presence in the United States will satisfy a humanitarian need or significant public benefit.

Finding a significant public benefit in the entry to the United States by foreign entrepreneurs who will be instrumental in facilitating rapid growth and job creation by a start-up company, DHS published the IEP regulations on January 17, 2017, creating a framework for granting parole to such persons. The regulation suffered a lengthy and complicated path to full implementation. On May 29, 2018, under a new presidential administration, DHS published a proposed rule to rescind the IEP. Subsequently, on May 11, 2021, under the current presidential administration, DHS withdrew its proposed rescission of the IEP regulation, clearing the way for its full implementation.

The federal agency within DHS with responsibility for adjudicating applications for benefits is U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). On March 10, 2023, USCIS published new chapters in its Policy Manual with detailed criteria, required evidence, and procedures used to seek eligibility for IEP.

The regulations promulgated by DHS and the policy for their implementation outlined in the USCIS Policy Manual combine to create a complex set of rules with a significant amount of documentary evidence required for a successful application. Together, these rules limit the number of international entrepreneurs who may benefit from the program. Given the discretionary nature of permission to enter and remain in the United States based on parole authority and the documentary requirements of the IEP program, caution with its use is appropriate. For those who satisfy the requirements, however, the IEP program creates a new, viable option to enter the United State to develop a business concept.

Requirements for International Entrepreneur Parole (IEP)

There are four groups of criteria set forth in the regulations creating the IEP program. These requirements apply to the entrepreneur, the start-up enterprise, the investment sources, and the need to demonstrate a significant public benefit.


Foreign entrepreneurs seeking parole to develop a business concept in the United States must be able to demonstrate they will have a central and active role in the start-up company. An entrepreneur must be well-positioned to substantially assist the growth and success of the start-up. The individual must demonstrate knowledge, skills, education, or experience that is key to developing the business concept.

The entrepreneur must have a substantial ownership interest in the start-up company. In this context, this means that the entrepreneur must hold a minimum 10% ownership interest at the time that USCIS adjudicates the application for IEP. After USCIS approves the application, the ownership interest can diminish to less than 10% during an initial period of 30 months. However, the entrepreneur’s ownership interest in the start-up cannot fall below 5%.

Up to three international entrepreneur owners may participate in a qualifying start-up. Each entrepreneur would be required to hold a minimum 10% ownership interest in the entity at the time USCIS adjudicates each IEP application.

An international entrepreneur can be both an owner and an employee of the start-up company. Stated differently, the entrepreneur can perform a central and active role by providing executive strategic vision and leadership, through technological expertise, or both.

Start-Up Entity

A qualifying start-up company can be organized in any form of business entity, such as a corporation or limited liability company. The start-up must be conducting business in United States and may engage in virtually any legal activity, except trading in securities or other financial instruments.

To qualify as a start-up, the company cannot be formed more than five years before the IEP application is filed with USCIS. The start-up must be able to demonstrate potential for rapid growth and job creation. Importantly, the start-up must have received qualifying investment funds within the 18-month period before the parole application is filed. The minimum investment amount depends on the source of the investment funds.

Investment Source

Investment funds in a start-up enterprise that will support a successful IEP application must be derived from specific sources. There are three possibilities. These include certain individual investors, government awards or grants, or a combination of either individual or government funds plus compelling evidence of substantial potential for rapid growth.

                            Individual Investors

Qualifying investors include U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or a company in the United States majority-owned by U.S. citizens or permanent residents. However, citizenship or resident status, alone, is insufficient to demonstrate that an individual or group of individuals are qualifying investors to support an IEP application.

Qualifying investors must be able to demonstrate that they have regularly made investments in start-up enterprises during the five-year period before the application for IEP is filed. Regulations governing the IEP process mandate certain minimum investments in start-ups must have been made previously by the investor.

The required amount is adjusted at three-year intervals based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). As a result, the investment minimums described throughout the IEP regulations are not expressed as round numbers. For example, to qualify as an investor, an individual or company currently must be able to demonstrate previous investments equal to or greater than $633,952.00. This minimum investment amount must have included at least two start-ups each of which created at least five jobs or generated at least $528,293.00 in revenue with average annualized growth equal to or greater than 20%.

The minimum individual investment in a start-up company is $264,147.00. These funds must be received by the start-up within the 18-month period before the application for IEP is filed.

Certain investment funds do not qualify to be counted toward the required IEP minimum. These include funds contributed by the entrepreneur or the entrepreneur’s family, foreign source funds, funds from certain individuals or companies that engaged in violations of securities laws, or unlawfully gained funds.

The exclusion of funds contributed by a foreign entrepreneur from the minimum investment requirement does not preclude payment of such funds into the start-up company. Indeed, the entrepreneur is required to hold a minimum 10% ownership in the company. However, the IEP program is structured to value the entrepreneurs’ expertise more than their cash. The entrepreneur can contribute intellectual property or technical skill in exchange for an ownership interest.

                            Government Awards or Grants

A start-up company may receive funds from certain government sources, rather than from individuals. Qualifying funds may come from federal, state, or local government. Funds dedicated to economic development, research, or job creation may qualify as investment funds for an IEP start-up.

The minimum government award or grant needed is $105,659.00. As with individual investments, funds must be received within the 18-month period before an IEP application is filed.

                            Alternative Funding Option

It is possible for an international entrepreneur to be excused from the minimum funding requirements if funds received from qualifying investors or government sources only partially satisfy the usual criteria. To qualify for this exception, the entrepreneur must provide other reliable and compelling evidence that the start-up has substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.

Significant Public Benefit

There is no statutory or regulatory definition of circumstances establishing a significant public benefit. Instead, DHS makes discretionary determinations on a case-by-case basis in view of the totality of the circumstances surrounding a given request for parole. The significance of this completely discretionary, vaguely defined requirement will be further explored in the next part of this series addressing documents to be assembled to support an IEP application.

Please contact a Jackson Lewis attorney if you have any questions.

Years ago, people employed in manufacturing were seen as bit players in an industrial machine, but no longer. Many manufacturing jobs today require high-level STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills. 

Despite encouraging U.S. students, veterans, and those in underrepresented communities to pursue careers in manufacturing, not enough prospective employees are available. 

Manufacturers have their eyes on foreign national students and others from abroad who have the necessary skills notwithstanding the difficulties of this route. Indeed, it is becoming more difficult because some U.S. immigration law is as outmoded as the idea that employees in manufacturing are easily found in the U.S. labor pool. Any manufacturer looking to employ foreign talent must understand the H-1B visa and its alternatives.

Please see our full publication here.

On June 13, 2023, the Department of Homeland (DHS) announced that it would extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months for current beneficiaries from El Salvador, Honduras, Nepal and Nicaragua.

Soon-to-be-published Federal Register notices will explain the eligibility criteria, timelines, and procedures necessary for current beneficiaries to re-register for TPS. Indications are that individuals in TPS will need to re-register for TPS in order to be eligible for the extensions. No action should be taken by employers or employees until those notices are available. In conjunction with these re-registrations, it appears that Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) will be automatically extended.  

These four countries have been subject to TPS extensions based upon pending litigation.

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas stated:

Through the extension of Temporary Protected Status, we are able to offer continued safety and protection to current beneficiaries who are nationals of El Salvador, Honduras, Nepal, and Nicaragua who are already present in the United States and cannot return because of the impacts of environmental disasters . . . .

El Salvador

TPS will be extended until March 9, 2025. Only current beneficiaries who have continuously resided in the United States since February 13, 2001, will be able to re-register.


TPS will be extended until July 5, 2025. Only current beneficiaries who have continuously resided in the United States since December 30, 1998, will be eligible to re-register.


TPS will be extended until June 24, 2025. Only current beneficiaries who have continuously resided in the United States since June 24, 2015, will be eligible to re-register.


TPS will be extended until July 5, 2025. Only current beneficiaries who have continuously resided in the United States since December 30, 1998, will be eligible to re-register.

You can find further information about TPS work authorization for all covered countries by using our TPS tool.

If you have any questions about TPS work authorization and how to complete Forms I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification or make E-Verify submissions, Jackson Lewis attorneys are available to assist.

Jackson Lewis will provide updates as they become available.

An alliance of U.S. technical workers has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to find the OPT and STEM OPT programs invalid.

Since 2014, WashTech has been challenging the validity of OPT and STEM OPT through litigation. The alliance’s major concern is the allegation that the programs harm U.S. workers. Questions about the validity of these programs seemed to end in October 2022, when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held the programs were valid. That was not the end of the uncertainty. In May 2023, WashTech sought certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court. A number of amicus briefs have been filed in support of WashTech, including one from several Republican Senators – headed on the brief by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.

Senator Cruz argues that the Obama-era expansion of OPT is contrary to the limits in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) on temporary employment visas, that F-1 visas are valid only for individuals who are bona fide students, and that the ruling below actually undermines other provisions of the INA regarding maintenance of status.

STEM industries continue to struggle to find enough highly skilled workers to fill positions. Recognizing the importance of STEM to the U.S. economy, the Biden administration has made policy changes to expand opportunities for STEM graduates.

Jackson Lewis attorneys will provide updates as they become available.

As demand for talent surges in the fast-growing life sciences industry, U.S. employers continue to face challenges in their search for immigration options to retain their high-skilled foreign workers. Please see our full publication here.

The Department of State has delayed the effective date of the increase in consular fees from May 30, 2023, to June 17, 2023 (to provide a 60-day delay after the final rule was received by Congress).

The most relevant fee increases remain:

Visa TypeCurrent FeeRevised Fee
Non-petition-based nonimmigrant visas: B/1-B/2, F, M and J$160$185 ($25 increase)
Petition-based nonimmigrant visas: H, L, O, P, Q, and R$190$205 ($15 increase)
E nonimmigrant visas$205$315 ($110 increase)

Jackson Lewis attorney are available to assist with any questions or concerns about the new fees, consular processing, or the submission of visa applications at consulates abroad.

With the end of the COVID-19 National Emergency in the United States, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has reinstated its preexisting policy regarding online classes.

Accordingly, for the 2023-24 academic year (starting fall 2023), students will have to comply with the SEVP’s pre-COVID-19 restrictions. Students will be able to complete the 2022-23 academic year under the COVID-19 flexibilities – including through any summer session.

For F-1 students, per 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(G), this means:

No more than the equivalent of one class or three credits per session, term, semester, trimester, or quarter may be counted toward the full course of study requirement if the class is taken on-line or through distance education and does not require the student’s physical attendance for classes, examination or other purposes integral to completion of the class …. If the F-1 student’s course of study is in a language study program, no on-line or distance education classes may be considered to count toward a student’s full course of study requirement.

For M-1 students, per 8 CFR 214.2(m)(9)(v), this means:

No on-line or distance education classes may be considered to count toward an M-1 student’s full course of study requirement if such classes do not require the student’s physical attendance for classes, examination or other purposes integral to completion of the class.

The SEVP always intended its COVID-19 flexibilities to be temporary measures meant to allow students to continue their studies with as little disruption as possible during a time of significant and changing travel restrictions, as well as substantial shifts in teaching methods.

This is just one of a number of COVID-19 flexibilities and restrictions that have terminated with the end of COVID-19 National Emergency, including I-9 flexibility and COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Jackson Lewis attorneys are available to assist with any questions regarding the termination of any and all COVID-19 flexibilities.