Immigration News

The ISSO releases a monthly newsletter to keep you informed of relevant immigration changes from USCIS and the International Center.

  • ISSO Immigration Workshops Available in February


The ISSO puts on many workshops for students during the Spring. See below for opportunities that might interest you.

OPT Workshops for F-1 Students 

Learn about the OPT application process, reporting requirements and travel considerations on Thursday, February 8, 15, and 22 from 2:30pm to 3:45pm in SSB 3.107.

Journey From F-1 to H-1B and Beyond

Use the immigration process to your advantage! On Thursday, February 22 at 5:00pm in the SU Galaxy Room A, learn about the secrets and strategies for U.S. full-time employment for international students: Extension of F-1 status under cap-gap regulations, transition from OPT to H-1B and Permanent Residency, and how to explain the benefits of sponsorship to your potential employer.

Overseas Travel for International Students

Topics include procedures for renewing your visa and what to expect when re-entering the U.S. Bring your most recent I-20 or DS-2019 and a picture ID, so advisors can provide a travel signature and a status letter to you if you need them. The workshop takes place from 2:00pm to 3:30pm in SSB3.107 on Tuesday, February 27.

  • Advising and Processing Not Available


Immigration advising and processing will not be available all day on Friday, February 16 and on Thursday, February 22 from 1:00pm – 5:00 pm. Task processing will be delayed by one business day. Please plan accordingly.

  • Spring Graduation OPT Dates


If completing your academic program this semester and plan to apply for post-completion OPT, the ISSO has begun accepting OPT applications for Spring 2018 graduates. The last day USCIS can receive your OPT application is July 6, 2018. F-1 students applying for Optional Practical Training (OPT) are required to complete either the in-person OPT workshop or the OPT eLearning workshop before applying for post-completion OPT. Only students who have applied for Spring 2018 graduation will have access to the OPT eLearning workshop.

  • Embassy Letter Requests from Registrar


The Office of the Registrar has announced they will no longer be printing embassy letters for students inviting family members to attend graduation. Students may log in to the Orion Student Center to print an embassy letter themselves. For further information, review these instructions.

  • Splitting Post-Completion OPT


According to recent USCIS practice, splitting post-completion OPT between two degrees at the same educational level may no longer be an option for F-1 students. In the past, students were able to retain OPT time not used for a subsequent degree at the same educational level however, it is unclear whether USCIS will allow F-1 students to have this option. Refer to future Immigration News updates for additional information.

  • Don’t Get Scammed!


If you receive a call from anyone you do not know demanding money, money orders or iTunes gift cards, contact UT Dallas Police at 972-883-2222. As a general guideline, never give out personal information, such as a Social Security number or bank account numbers, or send money to people you do not know.

  • Help Keep our Campus Safe and Welcoming


All members of our University community share in a collective responsibility to make our campus peers feel welcome, safe and comfortable. Stand up and step in by recognizing potentially harmful situations (physical, mental, social or emotional) affecting individuals or groups, and respond in a way that could positively influence the outcome. For more information, visit Comet Voice.

  • USCIS Resumes Acceptance of DACA Renewals


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has resumed accepting requests to renew previously granted deferred action under DACA.

USCIS is not accepting requests from individuals who have never before been granted deferred action under DACA.

USCIS will not accept or approve advance parole (authorization to enter the United States) requests from DACA recipients.


Affected Individuals:

  • Individuals whose previously approved DACA expired on or after Sept. 5, 2016, may still file their DACA request as a renewal request.
  • Individuals whose previously approved DACA expired before Sept. 5, 2016, or their DACA was previously terminated at any time, cannot request DACA as a renewal. They may, however, file a new initial DACA request.


Effective Dates:

Until further notice, the DACA policy will be operated on the terms in place before it was rescinded on Sept. 5, 2017.


Implications for the non-immigrant population of UT Dallas:

The resumption of acceptance by USCIS of DACA applications affects prospective and current UTD students whose previously granted DACA has expired.

  • Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Designation for El Salvador Terminated


On Jan. 8, 2018, the Secretary of Homeland Security Nielsen announced her decision to terminate the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for El Salvador.

Affected Individuals:

  • Citizens of El Salvador who were previously granted TPS.


Effective Dates:

  • The TPS designation for El Salvador will terminate on September 9, 2019.


Implications for the non-immigrant population of UT Dallas:

  • Salvadorans with TPS will be able to continue re-register for TPS and apply for Employment Authorization Documents in order to legally work in the United States until the termination of El Salvador’s TPS designation becomes effective.
  • On the date that the designation is terminated, Salvadorans who do not have another valid immigration status in the United States will be here without a valid status and subject to enforcement actions including deportation proceedings.
  • The termination of the TPS designation for El Salvador will impact prospective and current UTD students who were previously granted TPS who are studying and working at UT Dallas.