NU submits public comment opposing proposed DHS rule impacting international student visas


Daily file photo by Colin Boyle

The Office of International Student and Scholar Services. The University sponsors over 6,500 students and scholars on F-1 or J-1 visas, according to the public comment signed by President Schapiro and Provost Hagerty.

Isabelle Sarraf, Campus Editor

Last week, Northwestern submitted a public comment opposing a proposed rule by the Department of Homeland Security which would establish a fixed time period of admission and extension of stay procedure for many international students.

In a letter to members of the NU community, University President Morton Schapiro and Provost Kathleen Hagerty wrote the proposed DHS rule would be of “great detriment” to NU international students, scholars and visitors. The University sponsors over 6,500 students and scholars on F-1 or J-1 visas, according to the public comment signed by Schapiro and Hagerty.

“We know this year’s policy proposals aimed at our academic and international communities have caused great concern and disruption for many, and the University will continue to lobby our elected representatives on these issues,” Schapiro and Hagerty wrote.

The proposed rule would create fixed two-year and four-year maximum time periods for admission, which administrators wrote ignore the federal government’s own statistics on completion of degrees and are inconsistent with federal practices.

Schapiro and Hagerty added that the proposed extension of stay provision — which would require international students to petition to extend their visas past the allotted two-year or four-year maximum — is vague and will cause uncertainty for students and institutions.

The new process would create thousands of new applications, which the federal government, they wrote, may not be able to process in a timely manner. Those delays could cause a “significant number” of international students and scholars to “abandon” American institutions and choose those in other countries with easier paths to degree completion, they added.

If enacted, Schapiro and Hagerty wrote the Office of International Student and Scholar Services will ensure that all international students and scholars will be supported to remain in compliance with any new visa regulations.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @isabellesarraf

Related Stories:

ICE says newly enrolling international students cannot come to the U.S. if taking entirely online courses

DHS and ICE to rescind guidelines barring international students taking online courses

Students draft statement against ICE ruling, demand Northwestern take action; Schapiro writes NU to support Harvard and MIT lawsuit