On December 20, 2023, USCIS published a Policy Alert, announcing changes to its Policy Manual, specifically the guidance for F and M nonimmigrant students.

The guidance clarifies that a student does not violate his or her nonimmigrant status by simply having a green card application pending with USCIS. A student in F and M status, upon entry to the US, is required to demonstrate that he or she has a foreign residence and plans to leave the US after finishing his or her studies. However, a student’s intent can change after arrival in the US. At the time the student enters in F or M status, a student can intend to leave the US at the completion of his or her schooling and then can later change his or her intent and decide to apply for a green card in the US.

The guidance also announced several additional cosmetic changes to the Policy Manual, including a few new chapters and transferring of section information.