The Washington Update
DHS Withdraws Proposed Visa Length-of-Stay Rule
By Jacqueline Robinson-Hamm
Last week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officially withdrew a prior notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would reduce the length of stay for F, J, and certain I nonimmigrants. The NPRM, released in September 2020, received more than 32,000 comments with 99 percent of commenters opposing the proposed rule. Primary concerns from commenters were that the proposed rule discriminated against certain groups of people based on nationality and would present significant financial burden for foreign students, exchange scholars, and media representatives. This would also burden U.S. employers as noncitizen applicants would have to delay possible start dates if an extension of stay was not granted in a timely manner, or it would cause employers to lose job candidates all together.
FASEB submitted a response opposing the NPRM in October 2020. If implemented, the proposed limitations on F and J visa programs would have dramatically impacted international students and scholars, who play essential roles in U.S. biomedical research. Additionally, increased administrative and financial burden was of great concern. “We are extremely appreciative that the Biden Administration has officially withdrawn this problematic proposed rule,” said FASEB President Patricia L. Morris, MS, PhD.