The government of the United States is planning to impose stricter rules for student visas. To achieve this, the government intends to set new time limits for student visa holders, so as to cut down on overstays.
This notice was published on last week Wednesday, informing the public that the government would propose this rule by fall of 2019. The new rule will establish a maximum period for which student visa holders, as well as holders of other non-immigrant visas, are authorized to stay in the States.
By this, the government hopes to prevent cases of students overstaying in the country after their visas have expired. This rule will also maintain or improve the standard of the non-immigrant student visa.
Could this backfire on the US?
Experts in international exchange worry that this move could hamper the efforts of US universities in recruiting international students. US used to be a top choice in international student destinations but in the passing school year – the 2017/2018 school year – the numbers began to fall.
The current rule allows international students to continue to remain in the US provided that they are still students, even if their visas have expired. But the new rule would be introducing a maximum period of stay for all holders of the students’ visa and other non-immigrant visas. At the moment, this new period of stay is not yet known.
There have been critics who opposed the new idea saying that international students went through a thorough vetting process, are monitored in the US and also play significant roles in their various US campuses. This rule is sure to cut down on the flexibility of the student visa, but will, in turn, draw the line on “unlawful presence” in the States.
A lot of institutions in the US rely on revenue acquired from the high school fees paid by international students. These institutions are likely to be threatened, as the number of international students in the US keeps dwindling. The international students also help fulfill the objectives of these schools to create an environment of wide global representation.
Some of the factors affecting the fall in the international student population include the sky-high school fees, the social and political environment in the US as well as the fact that other universities in other countries have risen to the challenge of competing with US schools.
Policies made since the beginning of the Trump administration have engendered a 3% fall in the number of international students in the US. Some experts fear that the number could double in 2019 while other countries enjoy an increased influx of international students.
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