U.S. proposes “fixed period of stay” for international students, foreign journalists

A normally student filled campus square at Millsaps College in Jackson

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on Thursday a proposed rule to require “a fixed period of stay” for international students, exchange visitors, and foreign information media representatives.

The new rule proposes to remove the duration of status framework that currently allows aliens in “F,” “J” and “I” classifications to remain in the United States for as long as they maintain compliance with the terms of admission.

Under the rule, “F” or “J” non-immigrants would be admitted into the United States for a period up to the end date of their program, not to exceed four years, unless the DHS determines that the non-immigrant is subject to a shorter period of authorized stay limited to two years, the agency said.

It added aliens from places associated with high visa overstay rates will be limited to up to a two-year fixed period of stay.

For foreign information media representatives, the DHS suggested a time limit “necessary to complete the planned activities or assignments” not exceeding 240 days, with an opportunity to extend their stay for a maximum of 240 days based on the length of relevant activities.

Other updates in the proposed rule include decreasing an “F” non-immigrant’s period to prepare for departure from 60 to 30 days and collecting routine biometrics from “F,” “J” and “I” nonimmigrants seeking an extension of stay.

The proposed change will be published in the Federal Register on Friday for public comments. 

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