Duration of Status Proposed Rule

On September 24th, the Department of Homeland Security proposed a new rule that could dramatically change the visa process for international students and post-doctoral trainees. The rule, if adopted, would have significant implications for those who hold or intend to apply for J-1 and F-1 visas. 

 Proposed rule changes:

  • Require most international students and post-doctoral trainees to finish their studies or training in four years rather than the time it should take to complete their education or training (e.g., five to seven years for most at Weill Cornell Medicine)

  • Limit stays for some international students or post-doctoral trainees to two years if more than 10% of students from that country have overstayed their visas

  • Bar extensions for international students or trainees who the agency decides in its discretion are not making progress toward completion of their education or training

Learn more about the rule by reading the fact sheet developed by the Presidents' Alliance and the Center for Immigrants' Rights Clinic at Penn State Law School.

If you are interested in this issue, comment on this proposed rule before 11:59 p.m. on October 26, 2020 here.

Your comments could offer your perspectives on the following:

  • Impacts you foresee on students or trainees completing their education or training

  • Any possible risks for students or trainees who might be unable to finish after years of investment

  • How this proposed rule may change perceptions on whether international students or trainees feel welcomed in U.S. educational programs, future collaborations, and more

  • The financial impacts this change could impose on students or trainees

NOTEWhen submitting comments, it’s best to use your own language and your own examples rather than form letters. It is particularly important to state the reasons for your comments, rather than simply indicating support or opposition. If you decide to submit comments, those comments are your own and you should not submit comments with language such as “on behalf of Weill Cornell Medicine” or any particular department, division, institute or center. Institutional letterhead should not be used if you upload a letter. If your comments exceed the word limit in the comment window, uploading a letter is a way of overcoming that.

IMPORTANT: Comments to the proposed rule can only be submitted online and, as described in the introduction to the proposed rule, comments and information submitted on the proposed rule are entirely public and will be posted online. You may, therefore, wish to limit the amount of personal information you share in submitting a comment.

For more information contact Daniel Pollay, Executive Director of Government and Community Relations, at dcp2003@med.cornell.edu.

Additional resources:

Link to the proposed rule here.

Links to analyses and other information on the proposed rule: 

National Association of Foreign Student Advisers (NAFSA) Resource here.

Forbes "Disputed Policy On Foreign Students Uses Flawed Report" article here.

Forbes "New Immigration Rules Will Have Big Impact On International Students" article here.


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