DHS Proposes Limits On International Students [SEE FULL LIST]

September 25, 2020
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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has proposed a new rule that would give foreign students and exchange program participants on F and J visas two- to four-year time limits before requiring them to apply for an extension.

Those visas remain valid under existing rules for as long as the student continues to meet program requirements.

Under the proposed rule, students and others would be admitted into the United States (US) up to the end date of their program, not to exceed four years.

The DHS is also proposing a decrease in the amount of time students will have to prepare for departure from 60 to 30 days, as well as adding biometric data collection requirements.

The proposed change is expected to be published in the Federal Register on Friday.

This will follow a public comment period and the final rule could be changed as a result.

The changes will improve program oversight and prevent foreign adversaries from “exploiting the country’s education environment”, said Secretary Ken Cuccinelli, DHS Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Deputy.

Vice president for global engagement at the American Council on Education, Brad Farnsworth, said his organization plans to issue a detailed response but is still reviewing the proposed changes, which were outlined in a 256-page document.

Farnsworth, whose organization represents about 1,800 colleges and universities, said “this will be a deterrent for international students. … The immediate impact is going to be additional confusion and additional anxiety.

“The question I think everyone’s asking, as other countries are making it easier to study, why is the United States making it harder?”

Under DHS’s new proposal, citizens or people born in the following countries would be banned from getting student visas longer than 2 years:

  • Afghanistan
  • Benin
  • Bhutan
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Congo (DRC)
  • Congo (ROC)

Citizens or people born in countries that would be banned from student visas lasting over 2 years:

  • Côte d’Ivoire
  • Djibouti
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Gabon
  • The Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Kenya
  • Kosovo

Citizens or people born in countries that would be banned from student visas lasting over 2 years:

  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Moldova
  • Mongolia
  • Nepal
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • North Korea
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Philippines
  • Rwanda
  • Samoa

Citizens or people born in countries that would be banned from student visas lasting over 2 years:

  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Togo
  • Tonga
  • Turmenistan
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vietnam
  • Yemen
  • Zambia

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