Education and Immigration for Students: The Problems Facing Foreign Students in Today’s America

Under the current administration, foreign students are facing more denials and delays than ever before. In fact, in the summer of 2019, Harvard University President Lawrence Bacow wrote an open letter to Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan outlining his concerns about the issues related to immigration for students.

The faculty and administration of other universities share these concerns. They have challenged President Trump’s Travel Ban, which created obstacles for students interested in obtaining a degree from universities in the United States. College leaders worry such obstacles will hurt America’s academic edge when competing with schools in other countries. As such, they feel now is the time to address immigration for students and policy reform.

What Makes a Student ‘Inadmissible’ to the U.S.?

Recently, immigration officials sent a student home just after his arrival from Lebanon at Logan International Airport in Boston. Customs and Border Protection officers denied him entry after finding that the student’s friends made social media posts that opposed the United States. Though the student in question did not like, share, or comment on the posts, the start of his college career in the United States was delayed.

In these situations, it is imperative to contact an experienced immigration attorney as soon as possible. These men and women will fight for your rights—oftentimes more effectively than you can on your own. They can also help keep you organized from the minute you apply for a visa to the moment you arrive in the country.

The Exact Problems Associated with Immigration for Students

There are four major problems at play when discussing immigration for students.

The first is the Department of State’s revised guidance on issuing student visas. The guidance now emphasizes that immigration officers must believe that an applicant intends to leave the country after completing the “approved activity.”

This can make it quite difficult for students to obtain visas, since many of them hope or plan to remain in the country following their studies.

Another problem is recently introduced onsite training restrictions, which limits the ability of foreign students to complete STEM OPT training. This includes a policy memo that led to students unknowingly violating their statuses. Some of these students became subject to a three to ten-year refusal period for entering the United States.

Perhaps the biggest problem has been the new visa restrictions placed on students from China. A large percentage of foreign students continuing their studies in the United States are from China. If changes from the current administration progress, that may no longer be the case.

Navigating immigration law can be extremely complex and frustrating, especially when it comes to immigration for students. However, you do not have to try and figure it all out on your own. If you are facing any of these problems or have concerns that you may face these problems in the near future, then contact a professional who can help you build your case.

Contact Our Experienced San Francisco Immigration Attorney

Have you or a loved one dealt with the ongoing denials and delays facing foreign students under the current administration? Contact our team of experienced San Francisco immigration lawyers at the Law Offices of Sweta Khandelwal by calling (408) 542-0499.

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Sweta Khandelwal

Sweta completed her Masters in Law from the University of California, Los Angeles and her JD from the Faculty of Law, Delhi University in India and has been practicing law for 15+ years getting visas, green cards, and citizenship for 1000+ clients, 100+ companies across 50+ nationalities.

Sweta has been recognized as a ” Super Lawyer, Rising Star,” and as amongst the ” Top 40 under 40″ immigration attorneys in California (American Society of Legal Advocates). She is also the recipient of the Advocacy Award by the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Sweta is also a chartered accountant — the equivalent of a CPA. This makes her uniquely positioned to understand the immigration needs of her business clients in the broader context of their corporate objectives.

Sweta is actively involved with immigration issues and immigrant communities in various capacities. She has assumed key roles at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), both at the local and national level. She has been a past chair at the Santa Clara Valley Chapter at AILA and has also been involved in various practice area committees at AILA National. Sweta has addressed multiple conferences/forums in the United States and worldwide on immigration and business issues.

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