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International Center

The International Center at Bunker Hill Community College provides programs, services, and activities that address the unique needs of our growing international population. Established in 1999 to further BHCC's goal to expand Global Learning, the Center serves as the focal point for the College's international student population, offering friendly, helpful information and advice about life in Boston and at Bunker Hill Community College.

The US Citizens and Immigration Services (USCIS) has made a significant change to the policy on international students accruing unlawful presence. The policy is attached for your review.

Individuals in F, J, and M status who failed to maintain their status before Aug. 9, 2018, will start accruing unlawful presence on that date based on that failure, unless they already started accruing unlawful presence on the earliest of any of the following:

  • The day after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) denied the request for an immigration benefit, if DHS made a formal finding that the individual violated their nonimmigrant status while adjudicating a request for another immigration benefit;
  • The day after their Form I-94, “Arrival/Departure Record,” expired; or
  • The day after an immigration judge ordered them excluded, deported or removed (whether or not the decision is appealed).
  • Individuals in F, J, or M status who fail to maintain their status on or after Aug. 9, 2018, will start accruing unlawful presence on the earliest of any of the following:
  • The day after they no longer pursue the course of study or the authorized activity, or the day after they engage in an unauthorized activity;
  • The day after completing the course of study or program, including any authorized practical training, plus any authorized grace period;
  • The day after the Form I-94 expires; or
  • The day after an immigration judge orders them excluded, deported or removed (whether or not the decision is appealed).

Under the new policy, an F or J nonimmigrant may begin to accrue unlawful presence the day after a status violation occurs, even without a formal finding by a government official or judge. Students who accrue six months of unlawful presence may be barred from the US for a period of 3 years, and those who accrue one year or more of unlawful presence could be barred for 10 years. This new policy also applies to F-2 family members who are over the age of 18. If you have questions about this policy change may affect your case, please contact one of the advisors at the International Center, or consult an immigration attorney.

The policy is available here: https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Laws/Memoranda/2018/2018-08-09-PM-602-1060.1-Accrual-of-Unlawful-Presence-and-F-J-and-M-Nonimmigrants.pdf

International Student Services

Serving as a "home away from home" for hundreds of students from more than 90 countries, the International Center provides a range of practical, academic, and personal services to help students adjust to student life in the United States. These services include orientation programs, academic counseling, and advice on such issues as immigration and visa regulations, school transfers, work permission, and travel to other countries.

Intercultural Programs and Activities

The International Center coordinates cultural and educational programs designed to unite the entire BHCC community around common concerns and areas of interest. Frequently featuring prominent international guests of the Center, these programs also draw upon the vast international and multicultural experiences of BHCC faculty, staff, and students.

World Studies Emphasis Certification

The World Studies Emphasis Certification is an additional credential that students can obtain to demonstrate that they have acquired the knowledge, skills, and competencies necessary to live in a globally interdependent world. Students can obtain the certificate without any additional coursework through careful selection of general education and associate in arts degree requirement to fulfill their degree requirements. Students are required to complete five courses in three distinct areas from the World Studies Emphasis menu of courses.

Faculty and Curriculum Development Programs

The International Center coordinates a federally funded competitive scholarship program that enables faculty to participate in international professional development programs abroad. The Center also supports faculty in developing new international courses or updating their existing courses to include a global perspective.