By Allison Posner
The following are the unofficial minutes from a teleconference with the Nebraska Service center on February 13, 2014. Please note that this teleconference was part of a series of informal monthly stakeholder calls held by the NSC. If you wish to participate in the monthly calls, email CEO.NSC2@USCIS.DHS.GOV with your contact information, and you will be added to the center’s mailing list.
Q. It is a known fact that a re-entry permit is necessary for LPRs who live one year or more our side the US. Is it still needed if a person goes out for 6 months -one year or less than six months? For example if a person just received his or her green card and comes here to stay for 3 months and then goes back to his own country to wind up business for more than six months but less than one year does he/she need a reentry permit? What time period is safe (to go out without a re-entry permit)?
A. US Customs and Border Protection is the agency responsible for the inspection and admission of travelers to the United States. Per 8 CFR § 211, a Lawful Permanent Resident may reenter the United States with a valid unexpired I-551 Permanent Resident card if he or she has been absent from the U.S. for less than one year. If you plan on being absent for more than one year, it is advisable to apply for a Reentry Permit. The Reentry Permit will allow an individual to reenter during its validity without needing to apply for a Returning Resident Visa from a U.S. consulate abroad.
Q. If biometrics for a re-entry permit are needed for a child under the age of 14, i.e. no fingerprinting required, and there are reasons why the child cannot appear for biometrics, for example if the family is already overseas, would NSC consider accepting passport photos in lieu of requiring the child to appear for biometrics?
A. All applicants for a Reentry Permit, regardless of age, must complete biometrics. Failure to appear for biometrics may be a reason for denial of the application.
Q. Will a F1 student visa holder be able to remain in the States and transfer to another program after his/her EAD expires if he/she obtains a new I-20 for a new program? For example, the EAD expires on 8th July 2014 and the new I-20 is effective from August 15, 2014.
A. A student who has completed a course of study and any authorized practical training following completion of studies will be allowed an additional 60-day period to prepare for departure from the United States or to transfer in accordance with 8 CFR § 214.2(f).
Q. Does enrolling into a graduate program which is named "Part-time Evening Program" but has minimum 12 credits per semester satisfy the minimum credit requirements of an F1 visa?
A. Per the regulations, a full course of study means post graduate or post doctoral study at a college or university certified by a Designated School Official (DSO) as a full course of study
Q. Could you please give tips to follow to seek OPT following completion of their course of study and graduation, in filing of I-765, when and with what, and time frame? Also, what if the student needs to travel overseas after the EAD is issued?
A. A student may file form I-765 for post-completion Optional Practical Training up to 90 days prior to the program end date and not longer than 60 days after the program end date. The applicant must include an I-20 from the DSO recommending OPT.