It seems that misfortunes are following international students in 2020. They are facing challenges after challenges with no respite at all.
The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has thrown a fresh challenge for international students. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a fresh order for the international students. It is a new visa rule that is all set to curb the freedom of international students. Undoubtedly they are not happy with it.
New visa restrictions for international students
Docket No. ICEB-2019-0006 sets forth a deadline for the student visas. At present, there is the current protocol called the duration of status (D/S).
As per the D/S, international students can live in the country for a prolonged period. They can live in the country as long as they are doing an educational course.
The students and the university can determine the tenure. If international students want to study more or switch colleges, then they can do so. International students enjoy a flexible tenure. One of the key questions international students ask colleges is about flexibility. For example, how long can they stay in the country? What kind of courses can they apply for? Can they switch to other courses or colleges if required? Can they pursue higher studies here? So, a lot of questions are there in their mind. And that is fine since they are paying way more than the domestic students. They are also leaving their home country and staying abroad. Stakes are higher for them. It makes sense to be worried about their future.
The situation will change if the new visa rule is implemented. International students can’t stay in the country for as long as they want. They can stay in the country for a maximum of four years. And students from a few countries can stay in the country for two years only. The new visa rule is the brainchild of Trump’s administration.
Trump is determined to bring this visa rule in the country. Although Biden is all set to become the country’s new president, Trump is not yet ready to concede defeat. And even if Biden comes to power, he will take the oath in January 2020. Trump will try his best to impose the new oppressive visa rule before that.
If Trump is successful, then thousands of international students will be in trouble. Students with F-1 and J-1 visas can stay for a full four years in the country.
What if their study curriculum extends for another year? Well, in that case, students have to apply for Extension for Stay.
As per an imminent immigration lawyer, the new visa rule is a revolution. International students won’t be able to select a college of their choice. Plus, they won’t have any scope for switching to another college. That option will be closed in the future.
The new visa rule is discriminatory and regressive
As you read the fine details of the new visa rule, you will get shocks aftershocks. The new visa rule is not only discriminatory but also regressive.
As per the new proposal, there will be two sets of visas. The first one is the F-1 visa, and the second one is the J-1 visas. International students from countries like Syria, North Korea, Iran, and Sudan can study for only two years.
What is the fault of these international students? Well, they have a significant drawback. They live in countries, which are termed as terrorist countries.
Again, international students from the countries where there are above 10 percent overstay rate will also suffer in the long run. They can get only F-1 and J-1 visas. Most African countries fall into this category. So, Trump has cleverly imposed his racist discrimination in the visa rule.
What kind of challenges are international students going to face?
International students coming from African countries or the so-called terrorist countries have to go through many ordeals after the new rule is implemented. They have to do a lot of paperwork, and there is no guarantee that all the papers will be approved. They have to pay several application fees and then wait with an anxious mind.
Doctorate and post-doctorate students will face a significant problem. It takes around eight years to earn a doctorate. Now you have to understand one point. All international students do not get a doctorate in the first shot. Some students take more than eight years to receive a degree. Just think what will happen to these students? They have to apply for an extension to stay countless times. But there is a big question.
How many times will they get approval? What if they do not get the approval? What will happen to their career? Students cannot leave a doctorate midway. If the US immigration department does not allow them to stay in the country, they have to leave. If the unthinkable happens, then students will lose several thousands of money and also valuable time.
The chances are high that the US immigration department will not give an extension of stay countless times if Trump comes to power.
There is yet another factor that needs to be considered. The extension of stay is quite pricey and time-consuming. The process is relatively slow too. It takes around a year to complete the approval process.
After the new visa rule is imposed, the eligibility criteria will be stringent. So, it can be expected that students will face a more extended waiting period.
Students can apply for an extension of stay only under three circumstances:
It means that students who are facing problems in finishing their course cannot apply for the extension of stay.
All eyes are on Biden now. If Trump comes to power, the new visa rule will go into effect for sure. The international students are anxious and perplexed. If the new visa rule comes, international students will be less likely to apply to US colleges. Why would students suffer financially and emotionally after paying a hefty amount? Plus, racism is also a big concern for students coming from African countries. They are not ready to be bullied anymore.