Friday, October 23, 2020
Home Africa Major overhaul to student visa rules

Major overhaul to student visa rules


Trump administration proposes revamping visas so students would have to apply for an extension after fixed terms of no more than four years. Some students would have to reapply after two years, depending on their country of origin.

The Trump administration is set to publisha new proposed ruletoday that would set fixed terms of up to four years for student visas and establish procedures for international students to apply to extend their stay and continue studying in the United States. Applications for extensions of stay could be approved “if the additional time needed is due to a compelling academic reason, documented medical illness or medical condition, or circumstance that was beyond the student’s control,” the new rule states.

Currently, student visas are good for “duration of status,” meaning students can stay in the U.S. indefinitely if they remain enrolled in school and otherwise abide by the rules relevant to their immigration status.

The fixed four-year term is notably shorter than the length of a typical Ph.D. program — andshorterthan the time many students take to finish a baccalaureate program — meaning that if the proposed rule were to take effect as written, many students would need to apply for an extension of stay midprogram.

The Trump administration says the proposed rule is necessary to increase oversight of international students and combat fraud and visa overstays. Advocates for international students say the proposed rule creates unnecessary new burdens for international students and makes the U.S. a less welcoming destination at a time when international student enrollment hasalready been declining.

The more than one million international students in the U.S. areestimatedto have a $41 billion economic impact andaccount for 5.5 percentof all students enrolled in higher education in this country.

“This proposed rule is set to replace a proven, flexible policy that has served international students and exchange visitors for decades, with one that is both complicated and burdensome,” Esther D. Brimmer, the executive director and CEO of NAFSA: Association of International Educators, said in a statement. “In a system that is already extremely complex, this rule would undoubtably create a high degree of uncertainty for international students and exchange visitors. If finalized, this rule would also make it more difficult for international students and scholars to maintain their legal status in the United States and make it far more difficult for international educators to administer. Sadly, this proposal sends another message to immigrants, and in particular international students and exchange visitors, that their exceptional talent, work ethic, diverse perspectives, and economic contributions are not welcome in the United States.”

The proposed rule is open for public comment for 30 days. While it sets a maximum visa term of four years, with the possibility of applying for extensions, the rule also limits the initial visa term for certain categories of students to just two years based on their country of origin. Specifically, students born in countries designated as state sponsors of terrorism — a list that encompasses Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria — or citizens of countries with student and exchange visitor visa overstay rates exceeding 10 percent would only be eligible for two-year visas with the possibility for renewal.

The latter restriction based on countrywide visa overstay rates would disproportionately impact students from Africa and, to a lesser degree, parts of Asia. A list of countries that would be affected based onthe latest data from the Department of Homeland Security on overstay ratesis below at right. The National Foundation for American Policy, an immigration-focused think tank, argues in a draft analysis that DHS’s mechanism for calculating visa overstay rates is flawed in that it is “not an actual overstay rate but only an upperbound estimate of individuals who DHS could not positively identify as leaving the United States” and therefore should not be used as a basis for rule making for international students.

Countries with visa overstay rates for student and exchange visitors exceeding 10 percent, according to DHS:Afghanistan, Benin, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Burma, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Moldova, Mongolia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Rwanda, Samoa, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Togo, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen and Zambia.

Among other changes, the proposed rule would limit the time students could spend in English language training to no more than two years over a lifetime and impose limits on the number of times students can change programs at the same degree level or move to a program at a lower degree level. The rule change would also reduce the time international students can stay in the U.S. after completing their course of study or authorized work program from 60 to 30 days.

The proposed rule would also give DHS officials discretion over academic decisions typically left to institutions. It states that “a pattern of behavior demonstrating a student is repeatedly unable or unwilling to complete his or her course of study, such as failing grades, in addition to academic probation or suspension, is an unacceptable reason for program extensions.”

Ken Cuccinelli, the senior official at the Department of Homeland Security performing the duties of the DHS deputy secretary, said in a statement that the proposed rule “would create a fixed time period of admission for certain aliens, consistent with most other temporary visa classifications, while still allowing these aliens an opportunity to legally extend their stay or re-apply for admission where appropriate. Amending the relevant regulations is critical in improving program oversight mechanisms; preventing foreign adversaries from exploiting the country’s education environment; and properly enforcing and strengthening U.S. immigration law.”

The text of the proposed rule argues that “admission for D/S [duration of status], in general, does not afford immigration officers enough predetermined opportunities to directly verify that aliens granted such nonimmigrant statuses are engaging only in those activities their respective classifications authorize while they are in the United States. In turn, this has undermined DHS’s ability to effectively enforce compliance with thestatutory inadmissibility grounds related to unlawful presenceand has created incentives for fraud and abuse.”

The text also says the current visa rules have enabled the activities of “pay-to-stay” school operators who have been accused of running fraudulent colleges as a way for foreign nationals to maintain their immigration statuses on student visas. It also suggests that some unspecified number of students have abused the flexibility of the student visa program.

The proposed rule states that DHS has identified some individuals who have stayed in the U.S. since the 1990s or early 2000s on student visas.

“To extend their stay, these aliens enrolled in consecutive educational programs, transferred to new schools, or repeatedly requested DSOs [designated school officials] to extend their program end dates,” the proposed rule states. “This practice is not limited to any one particular type of school; students at community or junior colleges, universities, and language training schools have maintained [student visa] status for lengthy periods. While these instances of extended stay may not always result in technical violations of the law, DHS is concerned that such stays violate the spirit of the law, given that student status is meant to be temporary and for the primary purpose of studying, not as a way to remain in the United States indefinitely.”

Some experts argued that the proposed rule, if enacted, would set up roadblocks for hundreds of thousands of legitimate students and threaten the United States’ historical position as the top attractor of international talent.

“It’s a totally unnecessary and a massive self-inflicted wound on the United States if it actually goes into effect, which one can reasonably hope it never does,” said Doug Rand, a senior fellow at the Federation of American Scientists who worked on immigration policy in the Obama White House.

“As a general matter, this is not a good-faith attempt to better monitor students who present a national security risk or any other legitimate purpose,” Rand said. “DHS acknowledges in this proposed rule that plenty of people need more than four years to complete an undergraduate degree, let alone a Ph.D., and they just brush that concern aside. The fact is that if this rule were to go into effect, people would get four years, or two years in some cases, and then they’d have to file for an extension, and the grounds for an extension are extraordinarily narrow. If you set up a system where no one can be guaranteed more than four years in this country, who’s going to take that risk?”

“The last thing we want to do is make people think twice before coming here and make them think a) they’re not welcome and b) they might get booted out of the country before they finish their course of study,” Rand added. “If we’re going to do something like this, we better have a very good reasons, and presenting a handful of anecdotes about people who stayed too long is not a good enough reason.”

Stephen Yale-Loehr, a professor of immigration law practice at Cornell University, said the proposed rule may not be finalized before Jan. 20 and could be withdrawn if there is a change in presidential administration.

“On the one hand, students and people advising international students and scholars in higher education should not panic — these are not immediate changes,” Yale-Loehr said. “On the other hand, if this rule does get finalized without any changes, it will be the biggest change in international student regulations in 20 years. Over all, the proposed rule sends a chilling message to prospective international students and makes the United States seem more unwelcoming — and this is in line with other things that the administration has done in other areas of immigration.”

21 COMMENTS

  1. I have not checked in here for a while since I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are good quality so I guess I will add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

  2. My wife and i have been fortunate Ervin managed to complete his investigations through the precious recommendations he made from your web pages. It’s not at all simplistic just to happen to be giving for free tricks that many other folks may have been making money from. We understand we now have the writer to be grateful to for that. All of the explanations you have made, the simple blog navigation, the relationships you give support to foster – it’s many superb, and it’s leading our son in addition to us know that that matter is entertaining, and that is exceedingly indispensable. Thank you for the whole lot!

  3. I truly wanted to post a simple comment in order to say thanks to you for all the marvelous pointers you are sharing here. My incredibly long internet investigation has at the end of the day been honored with reputable strategies to go over with my companions. I would declare that many of us readers are unequivocally fortunate to live in a magnificent network with many marvellous professionals with very beneficial advice. I feel truly happy to have encountered the webpages and look forward to tons of more fun minutes reading here. Thank you once again for all the details.

  4. I enjoy you because of your entire efforts on this blog. My niece takes pleasure in setting aside time for investigation and it’s easy to see why. Almost all notice all relating to the lively form you convey advantageous secrets on your blog and as well as encourage response from visitors about this matter then our favorite simple princess is becoming educated so much. Have fun with the rest of the new year. You are always doing a fabulous job.

  5. A lot of thanks for all your effort on this site. Betty really loves getting into research and it is simple to grasp why. Most of us hear all concerning the compelling mode you deliver advantageous tips and tricks by means of the web site and therefore increase response from some others on this topic plus our girl is discovering a lot. Take pleasure in the remaining portion of the new year. You have been doing a pretty cool job.

  6. I wanted to post a quick message so as to express gratitude to you for these superb guidelines you are placing on this website. My considerable internet investigation has at the end of the day been rewarded with good content to exchange with my friends and family. I would repeat that most of us site visitors are very much blessed to dwell in a remarkable place with very many brilliant professionals with insightful solutions. I feel truly grateful to have used your entire webpages and look forward to some more entertaining minutes reading here. Thanks again for everything.

  7. My wife and i felt fulfilled when Albert managed to conclude his basic research through the precious recommendations he came across from your own site. It’s not at all simplistic just to possibly be handing out information and facts which other folks could have been selling. Therefore we already know we now have the website owner to be grateful to for this. Most of the explanations you have made, the simple web site navigation, the friendships you can assist to promote – it’s mostly incredible, and it’s assisting our son and our family reason why this idea is enjoyable, which is particularly indispensable. Thank you for all the pieces!

  8. I would like to show appreciation to this writer just for rescuing me from this particular scenario. After checking through the the net and seeing basics that were not beneficial, I was thinking my entire life was well over. Being alive devoid of the solutions to the issues you have sorted out all through your report is a serious case, as well as ones that could have negatively damaged my career if I had not come across the website. Your own expertise and kindness in maneuvering a lot of stuff was excellent. I am not sure what I would have done if I hadn’t come across such a thing like this. I’m able to at this point look ahead to my future. Thanks for your time so much for your specialized and sensible help. I will not think twice to refer your web sites to any individual who needs care about this matter.

  9. I would like to express appreciation to you just for rescuing me from this type of trouble. Right after exploring through the the web and getting suggestions which are not productive, I believed my life was well over. Being alive without the presence of solutions to the problems you have sorted out by way of your good website is a crucial case, and ones which could have adversely affected my entire career if I had not come across your web blog. Your own knowledge and kindness in controlling all things was very useful. I don’t know what I would’ve done if I had not discovered such a stuff like this. I can now look ahead to my future. Thanks for your time very much for this impressive and results-oriented guide. I won’t be reluctant to recommend your web page to any individual who needs direction on this topic.

  10. A lot of thanks for all of your work on this website. My mother enjoys engaging in internet research and it is simple to grasp why. Almost all hear all regarding the dynamic ways you produce powerful solutions via the website and even welcome response from some other people on this subject matter while our own girl is without a doubt becoming educated a lot of things. Have fun with the remaining portion of the year. Your performing a first class job.

  11. Thanks for your entire efforts on this blog. My daughter enjoys carrying out internet research and it’s obvious why. Many of us notice all of the dynamic medium you convey important suggestions via this web site and even welcome participation from other ones on that theme while our simple princess is in fact understanding a great deal. Take advantage of the remaining portion of the year. You’re performing a terrific job.

  12. My spouse and i have been so thankful when Louis managed to carry out his studies through your ideas he got out of the site. It’s not at all simplistic to simply find yourself giving out facts which often others may have been making money from. We really fully grasp we need the writer to appreciate for this. The entire explanations you made, the easy website navigation, the relationships your site help engender – it’s most wonderful, and it is helping our son and our family reckon that that matter is entertaining, and that’s highly serious. Thank you for all the pieces!

  13. I’m also writing to make you understand what a helpful discovery my friend’s girl enjoyed going through yuor web blog. She realized so many things, which include what it’s like to have an excellent coaching character to have many more effortlessly master specific problematic subject matter. You undoubtedly surpassed our own expected results. Many thanks for distributing these invaluable, healthy, informative and in addition cool tips about your topic to Gloria.

  14. Thank you so much for giving everyone an extraordinarily splendid possiblity to read in detail from this site. It really is so amazing and also packed with a good time for me personally and my office mates to search the blog particularly thrice a week to study the latest guides you have. And definitely, I’m so certainly amazed with all the good strategies you give. Certain two ideas in this post are rather the most efficient we have ever had.

  15. My spouse and i got absolutely comfortable that John could conclude his analysis while using the ideas he got using your site. It’s not at all simplistic just to happen to be giving out ideas some others may have been making money from. So we do understand we need you to be grateful to for that. Those illustrations you’ve made, the straightforward site menu, the friendships you make it easier to promote – it’s got most terrific, and it’s facilitating our son in addition to the family consider that this issue is awesome, which is certainly rather pressing. Thanks for all the pieces!

  16. I want to express thanks to the writer for rescuing me from this particular challenge. Because of exploring through the world wide web and coming across techniques which are not powerful, I assumed my entire life was gone. Existing without the presence of approaches to the issues you’ve solved by means of the report is a serious case, as well as the kind which may have badly affected my entire career if I had not encountered your blog. Your main training and kindness in controlling all areas was crucial. I’m not sure what I would’ve done if I had not encountered such a subject like this. I’m able to at this point relish my future. Thanks very much for your high quality and sensible guide. I will not hesitate to endorse the blog to anybody who would need tips on this issue.

  17. Thanks a lot for giving everyone an exceptionally breathtaking chance to read from here. It’s always very brilliant and also full of fun for me and my office friends to search the blog particularly three times in one week to study the new items you have got. Not to mention, I’m actually pleased with the stunning creative ideas you serve. Selected two facts on this page are indeed the simplest we’ve ever had.

  18. I enjoy you because of your entire hard work on this blog. Kim delights in managing investigations and it’s really easy to understand why. A lot of people hear all relating to the powerful tactic you create reliable ideas on the web blog and in addition increase participation from some other people about this area of interest then my princess is certainly starting to learn a lot. Take pleasure in the rest of the year. You’re the one carrying out a really great job.

  19. My husband and i ended up being now excited Louis could round up his investigations from the precious recommendations he made from your very own web pages. It is now and again perplexing just to possibly be freely giving guidelines a number of people may have been trying to sell. And we also grasp we need the writer to give thanks to for that. The most important explanations you have made, the easy website navigation, the friendships your site give support to create – it is all awesome, and it’s really leading our son and the family recognize that this subject is pleasurable, which is certainly very mandatory. Many thanks for all the pieces!

  20. I want to convey my appreciation for your kind-heartedness supporting those people that need assistance with the area. Your real dedication to passing the message throughout appears to be especially invaluable and have usually encouraged folks like me to attain their desired goals. Your own insightful advice means so much to me and especially to my mates. Many thanks; from each one of us.

  21. I in addition to my pals have been looking through the good thoughts found on your site and so instantly developed a horrible suspicion I never thanked the website owner for those techniques. Those men happened to be for this reason thrilled to read them and have in fact been taking advantage of them. Appreciation for indeed being indeed helpful as well as for making a choice on certain superior things most people are really needing to know about. My honest regret for not expressing gratitude to earlier.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Ryder Cup 2010

McDowell knew the Twenty Ten course like the back of his hand. He’d won the Wales Open on the course that year and during a period when he lived in Cardiff he used the venue as his practice area.As the match descended into the home stretch McDowell sunk a 15-foot birdie to go 2-up on…

GB’s Evans calls opponents ’embarrassing’

Evans was knocked out in the singles in the first round by Kei Nishikori of JapanBritain's Dan Evans said his doubles opponents were "embarrassing" after becoming involved in an on-court row at the French Open.The British singles number one and Polish partner Hubert Hurkacz beat Dutchman Matwe Middelkoop and Brazilian Marcel Demoliner in the first…

US team walks off after ‘homophobic slur’

Collin Martin (pictured playing for former club Minnesota United) came out as gay in 2018Landon Donovan said his San Diego Loyal "would not stand" for bigotry having left the pitch in protest after an alleged homophobic comment was aimed at openly gay midfielder Collin Martin.An opposition player from Phoenix Rising was accused of making the…

As colleges reopened, many more young people got covid-19, CDC reports – msnNOW

Covid-19 cases surged nationally among 18- to 22-year-olds between Aug. 2 and Sept. 5, according to a report released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which urged young adults as well as colleges and universities to take precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.Weekly cases among the age group jumped 55…