The Trump administration has come up with rules to fix the period of admission for international students and foreign media representatives on F, J, and I category visas to four years, and two for those from particular countries.

Foreigner students and journalists on these visas can currently stay for “duration of status”, for the duration of their study course and for journalists’ the duration of their employment. This includes also the dependents of principal visa-holders.

The new rule published by the department of homeland security will be open for objections for the 20 days. But it was not confirmed when it will go into effect. President Donald Trump has only a few months to finalize the rule by January 2021, and longer if he is re-elected. If he loses, Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, will be under no obligation to implement it.

The duration of stay will now be four years, which can be extended either by filing for an extension with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or by getting fresh visas from their countries of origin. The two-year rule will apply to people from countries that are either on state department list of state sponsors of terrorism or who have an overstay rate more than 10%.

“The significant increase in the number of F academic students, J exchange visitors, and I foreign information media representatives causes a challenge to the Department’s ability to monitor and oversee these categories of non-immigrants while they are in the United States,” the notice said.

The department added it is “concerned about the nobility of the programs and a potential risk to national security” from people on these visas. There are an estimated 200,000 Indian students in the United States and has admitted an estimated 1 million international students every year. Together, they have generated around $41 billion worth of economic activity and supported 450,000 jobs, according to the American Council on Education, which represents US colleges and universities. Incomes generated from foreign students are critical to the financial health of many US colleges.

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