Wednesday, May 17, 2017


In This Issue:
·         PIER Announcements
·         Next PIER Meeting
·         PIER Board Membership
·         NAFSA Academy
·         NAFSA Region XII 2017 Conference    
·         USCIS Policy on COS to F1/M1
·         PIER Meeting Dates

PIER Announcements

Dear SD PIER Members,

We hope your spring is going well.  It was great to see all of those who were able to participate in the tour of the U.S. Consulate General, Tijuana on April 27, 2017.  PIER looks forward to providing future opportunities such as these to gain more insight into our field and connect with your PIER colleagues. 

We look forward to seeing you at our final 2016-2017 PIER meeting. 

Next PIER Meeting

Date: Friday, June 23, 2017
Location: Mira Costa College, San Elijo Campus
3333 Manchester Ave.
Cardiff, CA 92007
Time: 1:00 – 3:00 pm
(Please note that the meeting time has been changed from 2:00 pm to 1:00 pm)

Additional meeting information to follow.  If you are interested in including any items to the agenda, please email PIER at by June 9, 2017.  We welcome your presentations and ideas.

Volunteer to be on the 2017-2018 PIER Board

Have you thought about volunteering as a PIER Board member? Are you interested in lending your skills and collaborating with your fellow colleagues in the International field?  Do you know what happens outside of the PIER meetings as a PIER Board member?  The busiest times on the PIER Board are at the beginning and end of the membership year. We are deciding on agendas, meeting locations, membership applications, budgets, and more.  Throughout the year, we correspond by email and conference call to keep up to date on PIER updates, meetings, and agendas.

Open Positions for the 2017-2018 PIER Board:
Communications Coordinator

If you are interested in including your name as nominee for one of the above positions, please email by no later than May 26, 2017.  If you would like details and requirements for each PIER Board position, please review the PIER Bylaws. In addition, please email if you have any questions or speak with one of the current PIER Board members who will be happy to answer your questions.

PIER Board Elections

Stay tuned as we will send out a ballot for the new PIER board nominees. 

NAFSA Academy Coach Application for Class 15 are open! Applications will close on June 15, 2017.

The Academy for International Education is a yearlong professional development program designed to provide newcomers with an introduction to the field of international education and those who are more experience with an opportunity to broaden their experiences. Experienced international education serve and coaches and guide the learning process of a cohort of up to six Academy trainees.

The NAFSA Academy for International Education is now accepting applications to select two Coaches from Region XII for Academy Class 15. Academy coaches will have the opportunity to improve their mentoring and training skills, connect with other regional coaches and grow their NAFSA network, and most importantly, contribute to the professional development of international educators in their Region.

Becoming a NAFSA Academy Coach is a fun and rewarding way to become involved with NAFSA on a higher level! Applications are due by Monday, June 15, 2017. Please visit the NAFSA Academy page to read more about becoming an Academy Coach and to download the application.

2017 NAFSA Region XII Conference: Call for Proposals Now Open!

The 2017 NAFSA Region XII Conference will be taking place from October 23-October 27, 2017 in Sacramento, CA.  Have you considered submitting a proposal for the regional conference? Here is some basic guidance from NAFSA for thoughtfully and intentionally developing a session proposal!  Accepted proposals submitted before June 8, qualify for a $40 discount each for up to two presenters.

If you have any questions about proposals, please contact the Proposal Committee Chair, Steve Jacques, at  Go to to submit your proposals.

USCIS Policy on Filing Bridge Applications During COS to F-1 or M-1 Status
On April 13, 2017 USCIS updated its website to clarify that an applicant changing from B-1 or B-2 visitor status to F-1 or M-1 student must file a separate "bridge" I-539 application if needed to make sure that the applicant's visitor status expires no later than 30 days before the F-1 or M-1 program start date, including circumstances where the program start date is deferred in order to prevent the SEVIS record from canceling while the COS application is pending.  USCIS included the following information for applicants changing from B-1 or B-2 visitor status to F-1 or M-1 student:
You must maintain your B-1 or B-2 status while your Form I-539 is pending. You will need to file a second Form I-539, with a separate fee, to request an extension of your B-1 or B-2 status if:
·         Your current status will expire more than 30 days before the initial F-1 or M-1 program start date. We may approve your Form I-539 change of status request only if you are maintaining your B-1/B-2 status up to 30 days before your program’s initial start date. If your status will expire more than 30 days before your F-1 or M-1 program’s initial start date, you must file a second Form I-539 requesting to extend your B-1 or B-2 status. If you do not file this extension request on time, we will deny your Form I-539 request to change to F-1 or M-1 status. Please check our processing times to determine if you need to file a request to extend your B-1/B-2 status.

·        Your F-1 or M-1 program start date is deferred to the following academic term or semester because we did not make a decision on your Form I-539 change of status application before your originally intended F-1 program start date. You must file a second Form I-539 in order to bridge the gap in time between when your current status expires and the 30 day period before your new F-1 program start date.
Because extending your current stay in B-1 or B-2 status and changing from B-1 or B-2 to F-1 or M-1 status are two distinct benefits, you must pay a separate filing fee for each request. See the User Fee Statute, 31 U.S.C. 9701.
For more information regarding this update please visit the USCIS and NAFSA resources (below):
PIER Meeting Future Dates

Please save the date for our final 2016-2017 PIER meeting.  

Date: June 23, 2017
Location: Mira Costa College, San Elijo Campus
3333 Manchester Ave.
Cardiff, CA 92007
Time: 1:00 pm

Do you have an item or job posting you would like to post in the PIER newsletter that is valuable to PIER members? Please email with your inquiry. Thank you. The PIER Board reserves the right to edit content.
PIER Board
Chair - Eric Abutin, National University
Chair-Elect Rhonaliza Reyes, University of San Diego
Treasurer Vanessa Fennell, Stafford House San Diego
Membership Coordinator Mia Scavone, Mira Costa College
Communications Coordinator John Akapito, National University