Changes in U.S. Student Visa Policy

May 3, 2002

In mid-April, the U.S. Senate unanimously (97-0) approved an amended version of the House Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act (H.R. 3525). It is expected to be signed into law without delay.

The major university associations have supported the bill, whose provisions are stricter than those in place before September 11, but less so than strategies advocated by many members of Congress in the first few months after the attacks.

The bill affects universities by establishing (1) new conditions for the issuing of visas to any student from "a state sponsor of terrorism," (2) new procedures for university documentation of acceptance of foreign students, and (3) new requirements for university reporting of the names of "no-shows" and the fields of study of students from the designated countries.

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