Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Trump administration making it harder to overstay United States student visas

But, 4,575 Indians, and 18,075 Chinese students overstayed their visa durations. You might struggle to do so in the future as the USA is set to tighten visa rules to minimise those who overstay.

The United States administration is planning to enforce stricter measures against students and exchange visitors who overstay their visa in the country. Currently, global students and exchange visitors on F, J or M visas are only declared to be in the United States illegally when they are found to be in violation by the Department of Homeland Security and issued a formal notice of the findings.

As per the draft policy memorandum, the immigration status is considered not maintained from the day students stop pursuing their course of study or engage in unauthorised activity or complete their programme and complete their authorised grace period.

Now, however, "the day after" the student is no longer enrolled on their course they will be unlawfully in the U.S. and if they violate this law they could be unable to enter the country in the future. 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 new policy provides a catchall date, whereby at the very least, unlawful presence will begin to accrue on August 9, 2018, for any F, J, or M nonimmigrant who overstays or violates status. After the policy change, the USCIS will count the length of unlawful presence based on the number of days since a visa holder's status has lapsed in the United States.

For instance, 180 days of overstay during one visa tenure can result in a bar on entry to the U.S. for three to 10 years.

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"The message is clear".

But this is not a small-scale problem.

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 USA or change their status had violated norms and overstayed.

USCIS will be accepting comments on the new policy changes for a period of 30 days, ending on June 11, 2018.

The data showed 4,575 Indian and 18,075 Chinese students overstayed their visas, remaining in the USA after their due leave date.

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