“Restrictions on International Students’ Visa Could Harm US”

In a bid to restrict international students and scholars who extend their visas, the Trump administration is planning to implement new rules which would hinder their stay in the US.

The proposed rules will force international students and scholars coming from certain countries of the world to leave the US within two or four years, and only those who provide a convincing reason would be allowed to continue their stay in the country, Erudera College News reports.

The restrictions proposed by the US Department of Homeland Security and highlighted in a 256-page document could harm not only students and researchers but also the country in general.

According to David L. Di Maria, the Associate Vice Provost for International Education, at the University of Maryland located in  Baltimore County, the new regulation could affect the interest of the United States to attract talents from across the globe.

According to Di Maria over the next decade, DHS evaluates that the implementation costs of the new rule could reach an amount of $2 billion.

DHS predicts the higher education sector will lose $93 million during the first year of the rule and roughly $30 million each year thereafter because of staff time spent on training, implementation and supporting petitions for longer stays,” he points out in an opinion for The Conversation.

What Do the Proposed Restrictions Foresee?

Whether a student is required to leave the country for two or four years, it depends on some criteria. At the moment, international students and scholars are admitted for the “duration status”, meaning that they are allowed to stay in the country as long as they respect the visa terms.

Students or scholars who are allowed to stay for the maximum time limit of two years depending on the country they come from, study courses they follow or whether their university participates in E-Verify which is the web-based federal document verification system.

Once completing their academic program, students will have 30 days or half of the time to leave the country. Whereas, petitions on extending the stay should be approved by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

According to federal data, four years and four months are usually needed to complete a Bachelor degree. In 2012, only 44 per cent of freshmen who were full-time students pursuing studies in a four-year institution had managed to complete the Bachelor degree within four years.

Meanwhile, 52 per cent of international students graduate in four years, meaning that nearly half of all international students need more than four years to complete their studies.

Meanwhile, as the National Science Foundation reports, around five years and ten months are needed for students to complete the doctorate.

The changes are justified with the argument that people who extend their visas could pose a risk to national security. Based on this argument, months ago, the United States cancelled the visas of over 1000 Chinese students and researchers.

Meanwhile, several universities in the United States have declared against the decision of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) regarding the restrictions imposed for international students’ length of stay in the country.

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