Friday, January 15, 2016

PIER Newsletter: January 15, 2016

In This Issue:

PIER Chair Announcements
Other PIER Announcements


Dear PIER Members,

Happy New Year from the PIER Board!  We look forward to the potential a new year brings to everyone.  We wish everyone a healthy and prosperous year.  We will have several open positions for the 2016-2017 PIER Board and hope you will consider volunteering to be on the PIER Board. If you would like to learn more, please email

STEM OPT Update from NAFSA
As we start 2016, I am sure on the mind of many DSO’s is the proposed STEM OPT rule. NAFSA keeps schools up to date on their website here. Here is a summary of recent actions in December and January from NAFSA. On December 22, 2015 DHS moved the WashTech court to extend the vacatur of the current STEM OPT rule from February 12, 2016 to May 10, 2016. On January 11, 2016, the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers (WashTech) filed a response to DHS's December 22, 2015 motion, arguing that the District Court should not grant the extension until May 10, 2016 that DHS requested in its motion.  Resource:

USCIS I-539 Application Transfers
USCIS recently began transferring certain casework from the Vermont Service Center (VSC) to the California Service Center (CSC) and Nebraska Service Center (NSC) to balance workloads. The CSC will now process Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. Read more details about other USCIS applications and their processes here

SEVP Releases Stakeholder Issues Response Report
For those of you who attended a special meeting with SEVP Director Lou Farrell at the 2015 NAFSA Annual Conference in Boston, SEVP responded to many stakeholder concerns identified at this meeting.  You can find the 13-page report here.

Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) conference
Registration closes January 21, 2016. Follow this link to their registration site, schedule, pre-conference workshops and more.

Fulbright International Education Administrators Program
Do you know about the Fulbright International Education Administrators Program?
The International Education Administrators (IEA) seminars program helps international education professionals and senior higher education officials from the United States create empowering connections with the societal, cultural and higher education systems of other countries. Applications are open for France and Germany, but the deadline to apply is very soon, February 1, 2016. Learn more  

PIER Meeting Future Dates
Full meeting details and agendas are in the PIER calendar located at the bottom of our web page.
Date: February 19, 2016
Location: University of San Diego
Time: 2:00 pm

New Professionals Workshop
Date: March 11
Location: National University - Spectrum Business Park Campus
Time: 9:00 am
Please see details below

Date: April 8, 2016
Location: Grossmont College
Time: 2:00 pm

Date: June 24, 2016
Location:  San Diego State University
Time: 2:00 pm


Registration Now Open for 2016 New Professional’s Workshop: Friday, March 11th, 2016

Are you a new SEVIS Designated School Official? The PIER New Professionals Workshop is training from experienced PIER Members for new professionals working with F-1 students. Learn best F-1 procedures and best practices to take back to your school. This workshop is geared towards those working in the field less than three years or new to working with F-1 students.
The New Professional’s Workshop will be held on Friday, March 11th, 2016, from 9am-4pm at the National University Spectrum Campus in Kearny Mesa.  Registration is now open.  Please find the workshop schedule and registration information below:

Location: National University, Spectrum Campus (9388 Lightwave Ave, San Diego, 92123).
Time: 9:00 am to 4:00pm
Member Fee: $30.00 | Non-Member Fee: $35.00
Payment Due Date: February 29, 2016
Late Fee/On site Fee: $5.00
Price includes breakfast, lunch, and full workshop. 
To register please go to: Registration Form

Workshop Schedule 
9:00am – 9:30am -- Check-In & On-site Registration
9:30am – 9:45am -- Welcome from PIER Chair-Elect, Eric Abutin
9:45am – 10:00am -- The Role of the International Student Advisor
10:00am – 10:15am -- BREAK
10:15am – 11:45am -- Basic F-1 Procedures
Part I (Basic Terms & Concepts, Overview of Regulation and SEVIS Reporting)
11:45am -- 12:45pm -- Lunch
12:45pm – 3:00pm -- Basic F-1 Procedures
Part II (SEVIS Events, Status Updates, Status Updates and Employment)
3:00pm – 3:15pm -- Break
3:15pm – 4:00pm -- Q&A, Best Practices  

We hope you take advantage of this great opportunity and that we will have a good turnout.  May everyone have a prosperous 2016!
PIER Board
Chair - Kasey McCarthy, Gemological Institute of America
Chair-Elect – Eric Abutin, National University
Treasurer - Martha Delgadillo, EC San Diego
Membership Coordinator - LyKai Johnson
Communications Coordinator – John Akapito, National University