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New Premium Processing Available for Change of Status Applications to F, J and M (posted 6/13/2023)

6/12/2023: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced the expansion of premium processing for applicants filing Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, and seeking a change of status to F-1, F-2, M-1, M-2, J-1, or J-2 nonimmigrant status. Online filing of Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, will also be available for these applicants.

The premium processing expansion will occur in phases, and nonimmigrants requesting premium processing should not file before these dates:

  • Beginning June 13, USCIS will accept Form I-907 requests, filed via paper form or online, for applicants seeking a change of status to F-1, F-2, M-1, M-2, J-1, or J-2 status, who have a pending Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status.
  • Beginning June 26, USCIS will accept Form I-907 requests, filed either via paper form or online, for applicants seeking a change of status to F-1, F-2, M-1, M-2, J-1, or J-2 status, when filed together with Form I-539.

This phase of premium processing service is only available for change of status requests.

  • Premium processing fee in addition to I-539 filing fee: $1750
  • Premium processing time guarantee (calendar days): 30

Applicants must submit their biometrics before premium processing can begin for these specific categories.


Effective May 11, 2023, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) ended its Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) guidance, consistent with the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, following the end of the COVID-19 National Emergency on April 10, 2023.

While the SEVP’s COVID-19 guidance is terminated as of May 11, 2023, Active F and M students will be able to complete the 2022-23 academic year under the COVID-19 flexibilities. However, Active F-1 students will not be permitted to count online classes toward a full course of study in *excess of the regulatory limits stated in 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(G) and 8 CFR 214.2(m)(9)(v) for the 2023-24 academic year. *One course or 3 credits, whichever is less, may be counted toward full-time status each term.

Students participating in OPT and STEM OPT may work remotely as long as they continue to comply with the regulatory requirements regarding practical training at 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(ii) and continue the training’s mentoring relationship, including completion of the Form I-983, “Training Plan for STEM OPT Students,” for STEM OPT participants. Please contact the OISS with any questions.

USCIS Government FAQ

To date, the J Exchange Visitor Program has yet to report an update.  We will post it here as soon as it becomes available.

Yeshiva University Updates COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

As of May 12, 2023, the University’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate will no longer be in effect for most schools/programs. However, we strongly encourage that everyone continue to follow CDC guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination which recommend that everyone be up to date with COVID-19 vaccines including booster doses, and to follow applicable guidance regarding masking. Please note that all students are still required to submit proof of MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) immunizations as per NYS law. Visit the YU COVID Update page for the list of YU policy by school and complete information.

Increase in Student and Exchange Visitor Visa Fee May 30, 2023

The US Department of State (DOS) published a final rule announcing an increase to certain nonimmigrant visa application processing fees, including student and exchange visitor visa fees (F, M and J). The cost for student and exchange visitor visas will increase from $160 to $185 and will take effect on May 30, 2023.

For additional information regarding the Final Rule on Nonimmigrant Visa Fee Increases, please refer to DOS press release. 

Student Visa Applications

Student (Fand M) visas for new students can be issued up to 365 days in advance of the start date for a course of study. However, students will not be allowed to enter the United States on their student visa more than 30 days before the program start date.  Student Visa (  Please keep in mind that validity period of the F-1 visa is based on diplomatic reciprocity, not the length of the program of study.

4/27/2023: J Exchange Visitor DS-2019 forms can be signed and sent electronically!

A Department of State (DOS) interim final rule published at 88 FR 18249 (March 28, 2023) allows digital signing and electronic transmission of exchange visitor Form DS-2019, effective April 27, 2023.

Exchange visitors and their J-2 accompanying spouses and dependents, if any, should print out their Forms DS-2019 after their sponsors transmit them electronically and sign them with ink. They must continue to present paper Forms DS-2019 at U.S. embassies or consulates when they apply for a J-1 or J-2 nonimmigrant visa and at the U.S. port of entry to participate in the Exchange Visitor Program. They should continue to use printed Forms DS-2019 when applying for a social security number or driver’s license and if they depart and re-enter the United States. Sponsors should advise exchange visitors that they may not reprint their initial forms if they are lost, stolen, or damaged.

The Department of State has informed U.S. embassies and consulates and CBP of the Interim Final Rule to minimize confusion as exchange visitors travel to the United States.

On March 10, 2023, CDC removed the requirement for air passengers from China, Hong Kong or Macau to show a negative COVID-19 test or documentation of recovery before boarding a flight to the United States.

Temporary Protected Status has been expanded to include people from:

If you are interested in applying for Temporary Protected Status, it is recommended that you visit the USCIS website for background information and then consult an immigration attorney. Please inform the OISS if you are in F-1 or J-1 status and intend to apply for TPS.

Special Student Relief (SSR) is different from Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and is available for students from select countries who are experiencing emergent circumstances (natural disasters, war, national financial crises). Students can check their eligibility for SSR on Study in the States. If you believe you qualify for Student Special Relief, please email for assistance. 

SSA Resumes Walk-In Services

As of April 7, 2022 the Social Security Administration (SSA) Office has resumed offering walk-in services for SSN applications, however, they still highly recommend calling in advance to schedule an appointment!  

Please refer to our SSN section of our website for full information about how to apply for an SSN.

New SEVP Policy Guidance: Use of Electronic Signatures and Transmission for the Form I-20

On November 1, 2021 SEVP announced a new policy to formally continue to permit designated school officials (DSOs) to electronically sign and transmit the Form I-20 to initial and continuing students and their dependents. Once a student receives an I-20 they should print it out and sign it at the bottom of page one. This policy only applies to I-20s, not other documents such as Form DS-2019.

SEVP coordinated with its government partners within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of State and U.S. Social Security Administration* to ensure continued acceptance of electronically signed Forms I-20. If a student or school official encounters an issue with a government partner accepting an electronically signed Form I-20 or has questions about this guidance, please contact the SEVP Response Center.

*Social Security continues to insist on original documentation and signatures. F-1 students applying for a social security number should always present original documentation with a wet signature, not an electronic signature.

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