Sep 12, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump admin planning new restriction for foreign students

Illustrated collage of a student whose backpack is covered in travel stamps, surrounded by stars.

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Trump administration plans to propose a rule in the coming weeks to make international students request visa extensions after two or four years of study, administration officials tell Axios.

Between the lines: Right now, foreign students can stay indefinitely as long as they meet requirements proving they are students. The proposal would essentially set up mandatory check-ins with the Department of Homeland Security in an attempt to prevent overstays.

  • While ICE oversees the student visa program, the proposed extension process would go through the backlogged U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

What they're saying: NAFSA President Ravi Shankar told Axios a regulation of that kind would likely restrict international enrollment. Educators are concerned about an increase in already heavy workloads for universities and additional fees, as well as what happens if USCIS can't process extensions on time.

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