Immigration Alert: New Policy Imposes Stiff Penalties for F, J and M Nonimmigrants Who Fail to Maintain Status

Effective August 9, 2018, nonimmigrants in F, J and M status who fail to maintain status will begin to accrue unlawful presence, irrespective of whether there has been an official or formal finding by the Department of Homeland Security on the matter. This is a significant departure from past practice, and one that eliminates a previously held distinction between failure to maintain status and unlawful presence. Nonimmigrant visa holders who accrue unlawful presence may become ineligible for immigrant benefits (such as extension and change of status applications) and may also be subject to bars to readmission to the U.S., including permanent bars.

What This Means for Foreign Nationals

What to Expect

If you have any questions regarding this alert, please contact your designated Gibney representative, or email

The general information provided herein is not intended to serve as a source of legal advice for any purpose. Please contact your designated Gibney representative or immigration counsel for specific legal advice.