State Department Updates Guidance on F-1/M-1 Student Intent to Depart and Residence Abroad Requirements
The State Department updated its Foreign Affairs Manual on intent to depart and residence abroad requirements for F-1 and M-1 students. The new guidance clarifies that although F-1 and M-1 students are required to show a residence abroad when applying for a student visa, the context is inherently different than that for B visitor and other short-term visa applicants. While students are required to have an intent to depart the United States at the end of their studies, they likely will not have evidence of ties to property, employment, and continuity of life typical of B visa applicants. Accordingly, the residence abroad requirement for student applicants should be considered in the context of the usual limited ties that a student has and their immediate, present intent to depart the United States at the conclusion of their studies. An F-1 or M-1 visa should not be denied because there is some likelihood that their intent will change in the future.