US likely to adopt a “time-bound” student visa system

US likely to adopt a “time-bound” student visa system

The Trump administration is most likely to replace the current more lenient ‘duration of status’ for study visas with a more strict maximum time period of authorised stay US student visa for international students.

Though foreign students will have the option of requesting an extension, this time bound visa will clearly state the date by which international students must leave the US.

This time-bound visa system will replace the more flexible ‘duration of status’ time period for international students

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) submitted the new law to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review on the 3rd of June.

The new immigration clause is titled ‘Establishing a fixed time period of admission and extension of stay procedure for non-immigrant academic students, exchange visitors and representatives of foreign information media’.

Earlier this year, the US announced it will seek to further aid to international students who have been forced to remain in the country as a result of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic with special work permits and visa extensions.

Student visa changes planned by US government

Currently, international students have the option to stay in the US as long as they are involved in the activity for which the visa was granted.

But when the time-bound system will be implemented, international students will only be granted entry up to a certain date, after which they must leave the country. 

At present, students with F1, M and J visas were allowed to stay for the duration of their academics, and for any training respectively, and then another additional 60 days known as the ‘duration of status’.

In the fall of 2018, the current government announced its intentions to discontinue the ‘duration of status’ clause. 

The Times of India reported that immigration attorneys are speculating that though this change will decrease the overstay rate, it will be a financial burden and time constraint for students. These international students will now have to apply for extensions if they wish to further pursue their academics or training. 

According to the data released by the Department of Homeland Security, at the year-end of September 2019, around 3.09% of the international students overstayed in the U.S once their studies ended after the 12 month period.

Pic: Kelly Sikkema

Zahra Hamdani - Reporter, Global Education Times (GET News)

Zahra Hamdani is an Ireland-based reporter for Global Education Times who focuses on European and South Asian education news. When she is not writing for GET News, Zahra is a school-teacher and educationist with experience in both Primary and Secondary schools in the Republic of Ireland as well as in Pakistan.

You can reach Zahra at zahra@globaleducationtimes.org

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