DHS Seeks Comments on Rule to Restrict Student Visas

October 8, 2020

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on September 25, adding to the list of the administration’s efforts to limit international students’ ability to pursue an education in the United States. The rule aims to restrict visas for international students – F (student), J (exchange), and I (foreign media) – by establishing a fixed time period of admission that was previously the duration of a student’s degree program. The rule lists stricter penalties — if F-1/J-1 students fail to apply for an Extension of Stay (EOS), they must leave the country within 30 days (decreased from 60 days) after the end of their status.

Scientific societies, including FABBS, are expressing concern that this order contradicts the history of welcoming foreign-born scientists to study and work in the United States, and to contribute to science, discovery, and innovation.

Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Chairwoman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee and Subcommittee on Investigations, and Bill Foster (D-IL), Oversight Chairman, co-sponsors of the “Keep STEM Talent Act of 2019,” issued a statement opposing the rule and requesting the 30-day comment period be extended. Currently, comments are due by October 26.