Visa and Immigration Policy: Reform for a System that Works

NAFSA advocates for creating a comprehensive visa and immigration process that reflects our values as a welcoming and inclusive nation, helps to attract the world’s brightest students, meets the needs for progress and competitiveness, and recognizes our global interconnectivity.

International students, scholars, and their families are assets to academic and scientific innovation, public diplomacy, economic vitality, national security, and global leadership. By making it difficult for international students and scholars to enter the country, travel while here, and engage in experiential learning or collaborate on cutting-edge research, we cripple our ability to compete for global talent, risk harming our national and economic security, and deprive U.S. students and institutions of the diverse and enriching contributions international students and scholars bring to our campuses.

NAFSA recommendations span both the executive and legislative branches of federal government, requesting executive and agency-level implementation or congressional action.

Policy Priorities

  • Pass the Dream Act to provide a permanent solution for children raised in the United States;
  • Remove the requirement for students to prove non-immigrant intent;
  • Develop a proactive recruitment and marketing strategy for international students, coordinating relevant federal agencies;
  • Revise visa interview policy, expediting the process for low-risk, extensively-vetted known travelers; and
  • Reform employment-based immigration policy, increasing green card and H-1B availability.

International Students Data And Trends

Policy Recommendations

Timeline Of International Students And Scholars Activity

NAFSA's international students and scholars advocacy has focused on advancing policies that reflect our values as a nation and foster greater global connectivity.

Review these successes on this interactive timeline.

Additional Reports

NAFSA Resources