In a positive move for international students studying or looking to study in the United States, the Biden administration has formally withdrawn a controversial proposed rule that would have enacted fixed term limits of two or four years for United States student visas.
The rule, proposed by the former administration in September 2020, sought to eliminate the “duration of status” policy which allows international students to remain in the United States for the length of their studies. Instead, students would have had to apply for an extension when their fixed term expired.
It would have reduced the fixed visa term to four years, and just two years for international students from Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, and other countries where visa overstay rates surpass 10%.
What Does This Mean For International Students?
International students considering studying in the United States can be comforted by this new development, ensuring that the “duration of studies” policy will remain intact. International students will be allowed to stay in the United States for the entire length of their studies without having to reapply for a student visa as long as they:
- Remain enrolled in their studies
- Comply with all other visa requirements
A Welcome Message to International Students
This news will undoubtedly send a positive message to prospective students looking to study in the United States.
“We are very pleased that it has been formally withdrawn and it was one of the things that we asked Homeland Security to do right after Secretary Mayorkas was confirmed,” said Sarah Spreitzer, director of government relations for the American Council on Education. “I think it sends a much more welcoming message to our international students, who along with our institutions of higher education were very concerned when it was proposed.”
As ApplyBoard has previously reported, our data is showing increasing interest in the United States from international students around the world. This new development is an added element that makes the United States an even more desirable and welcoming destination for international students in a post-pandemic world.