Comment Letters and Publications

Regarding Changes to Unlawful Presence for Students and Exchange Visitors

Regarding Changes to Unlawful Presence for Students and Exchange Visitors

USCIS issued a policy memorandum proposing changes to the way it counts days of "unlawful presence" for students and exchange visitors on F, J, and M non-immigrant visas and their dependents. While USCIS stated these changes were meant to send a message to those who overstay their visas, the proposed change could mean international students could be barred from entering the U.S. for three or ten years due to minor visa infractions or changes in immigration changes that the student does not learn about for years.

Regarding the Use of Social Media Information in Visa Applications

Regarding the Use of Social Media Information in Visa Applications

The Department of State has proposed significant changes to the visa application process with additional questions requiring 15 years’ worth of detailed information about travel, address and employment. IRT submitted comments to express concerns about the affect such changes could have on institutions of higher learning. NAFSA: Association of International Educators also submitted a letter explaining the negative impact such changes could have on US higher education and scientific collaborations.

Regarding "Extreme Vetting" Proposals

Regarding "Extreme Vetting" Proposals

In March 2018, the State Department proposed changes that would require all visa applicants (immigrant and non-immigration) to submit all of their social media accounts, phone numbers, and email addresses for the previous five years when applying for a visa. This requirement would affect the nearly 15 million individuals who apply for an immigrant and non-immigrant visa each year, and it would apply to more than 20 social media networks.