Tags: homelandsecurity | student | visas | length

DHS Proposes Limiting Student Visa Length

DHS Proposes Limiting Student Visa Length
A visa stamp on a foreign passport in Los Angeles on June 6, 2020.

By    |   Thursday, 24 September 2020 06:57 PM

The Department of Homeland Security is proposing to limit student visas to two- and four-year periods, ending the practice of issuing permission to enter the country for as long as the school says the student is in compliance with admission.

The DHS announced the proposed rule change on Thursday, which also affects exchange visitors and foreign media representatives.

The change is “to encourage program compliance, reduce fraud and enhance national security.”

“This effort 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,” DHS Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli said in a statement.

The DHS is claiming that one student has remained in the United States since 1991 on a visa to attend a dance school, The Wall Street Journal reported. It didn’t say how many other similar examples there were.

The new rule would issue a visa for a student to complete their program of study, as long as it doesn’t exceed four years. Students would be able to apply for an extension.

Foreign nationals that come from countries where more than 10% of previous visa grantees have overstayed their stays will be limited to a two-year visa. Others factors that could trigger a two-year limit is someone whose birth or citizenship is from a country on the State Sponsors of Terrorism list; whether or not a school or program sponsor is an E-Verify participant in good standing; and whether or not a school is sanctioned by an accrediting agency recognized by the Department of Education.

“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 laws,” Cuccinelli said.

Higher education and open-border advocates criticized the change.

“What this is doing is setting arbitrary time lines that do not match how many academic programs work, and it is creating barriers and uncertainty for international students who are going to wonder, ‘Is the U.S. the right place for me to come?’” the Journal quoted Miriam Feldblum, head of the of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, a group of college and university officials that supports open immigration policies.

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The Department of Homeland Security is proposing to limit student visas to two- and four-year periods, ending the practice of issuing permission to enter the country for as long as the school says the student is in compliance with admission...
homelandsecurity, student, visas, length
383
2020-57-24
Thursday, 24 September 2020 06:57 PM
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