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US Plans Stricter Steps Against Foreign Students Overstaying Visa Tenure

15 May 2018

The Department of Homeland Security has issued a change to its policy on foreign students and seasonal workers who overstay their visas.

Have you overstayed your visa once or twice?

Under the policy, calculation of "unlawful presence" by foreign students changes.

The latest publicly available data (Homeland Security report for fiscal 2016) shows that 4,575 of the 98,970 students from India scheduled to leave the United States or change their status had violated norms and overstayed.

The new policy guidance, however, holds that global students and exchange visitors could begin accruing unlawful presence the day after they violated the terms of their immigration status, not just the day after the Department of Homeland Security or a judge issued a formal finding of wrongdoing.

Earlier, those holding F, Jand Mvisas started accruing unlawful presence from the day the USA administration formally found the violation.

The policy, which is now open for public comments, will come into effect from August 9.

This new calculation complicates matters for foreign students because of United States immigration rules. People subject to a 3-year, 10-year or permanent bar to admission as a result of accrued unlawful presence are generally not eligible to apply for a visa, admission, or an adjustment of status to permanent resident unless they are eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility or other form of relief.

The three types of student visas in the U.S. are as follows - full-time students get an F visa, students studying vocational courses get an M visa, and research scholars get a J visa. "These non-immigrants can not overstay their periods of admission or violate the terms of admission and stay illegally in the United States anymore", USCIS Director Frank Cissna said in a statement, reported by Yahoo.

"Individuals who have accrued a total period of more than one year of unlawful presence, whether in a single stay or during multiple stays in the United States, and who then reenter or attempt to reenter the United States without being admitted or paroled are permanently inadmissible".

The announcement is in line with Trump's "Buy American, Hire American" executive order, and will improve information sharing among agencies for investigations into visa fraud and resultant "discrimination" against American workers.

US Plans Stricter Steps Against Foreign Students Overstaying Visa Tenure