The Trump administration on Friday did what it is best known for by tightening visa rules which makes it difficult for students to overstay in the country. With Chinese and Indian students being the largest group of foreign students in the US, it is bound to affect them.
The draft policy is set to come into effect on August 9th and is open to public opinion until then. According to this new policy, the number of days of overstay will be differently calculated than before. Under the current rules, the policy states that the number of days of unlawful presence will only be calculated from the day the authorities discover the violation or on the day an immigration judge passes an order.
The days will be calculated as soon as the student visa expires, that is when the student finishes his course. In certain cases like the F-1 visa, the students are given a grace period of sixty days after the completion of their course.
The policy punishes the offender heavily – if the number of days of unlawful presence is more than 180 days then the student can face a ban from re-entering the US for 3-10 years, depending on the number of days. If they students exceeds one year, he/she could possibly face a permanent ban.
This could affect a huge number of Indian students who are attempting to get permanent residency in the US. Students generally try to convert their student visa into a permanent visa, like a work visa, to settle in the US. This procedure however takes time and getting employment in the US is also a tedious task, hence leading to students over-staying.
Students looking to go the US for education or employment should look at immigration laws carefully and even keep track of changes especially with Trump’s government in power. Even after you get to the US, keep track of your visa restrictions so as to not get into any trouble, or even possibly face deportation.