Washington Update

FASEB Reiterates Concerns About Proposed Changes to F and J Visas

By: Yvette Seger
Wednesday, May 19, 2021

In response to a Request for Information (RFI) from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seeking input on ways to reduce administrative burdens and other barriers preventing foreign citizens from obtaining U.S. immigration services and benefits, FASEB reiterated concerns regarding a proposed rule affecting timelines for F and J visa holders.

Issued in September 2020, the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking would alter the timeline for international students and researchers holding F and J visas from “duration of status,” typically the length of their educational program, to a fixed four-year term. FASEB’s comments in response to the proposed rule highlighted the impact of the change to a fixed-term on international STEM scholars, particularly the misalignment of the four-year maximum term with the 5.8 year average time of completion for PhDs in STEM fields in 2018. FASEB’s response to the current DHS RFI recommended withdrawal of the proposed rule to minimize administrative barriers for non-citizen scholars.