Policy Priorities

NAFSA advocates for public policies that lead to a more globally informed, welcoming, and engaged United States.

Rebuilding and Restoring International Education Leadership

The Biden-Harris administration takes over at an unprecedented moment in U.S. history, when rebuilding and restoring U.S. global leadership and economic strength is critical. This will require reaffirming a dedication to international education. NAFSA stands ready to work with the Biden-Harris administration to advance key policy priorities that will enable the U.S. to "build back better."

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Protect Optional Practical Training

The United States needs to attract the best minds to help get the economy back up and running again. We need the next great innovations and ground-breaking research to happen here. The opportunity to engage in Optional Practical Training program (OPT) helps to attract foreign students in the United States. The current administration should not continue the prior administration’s plans to pause or end the OPT. The United States cannot afford to take away this option for international students and scholars. Foreign students benefit America’s colleges and universities, American students, and also our businesses and the wider economy.

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Preserve Duration of Status for Foreign Students and Exchange Visitors

For decades, students have been granted immigration status that lasts for the period of time they are engaging in their studies and practical training, known as duration of status, or D/S. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has released a proposed rule to limit the amount of time international students can stay in the country by eliminating the "D/S" policy.

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Revive and Restore International Education Impacted by COVID-19

NAFSA urges Congress to provide critical financial resources, oversight, and policy changes in order to revive and restore international student enrollment and study abroad programs at U.S. colleges and universities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the global response to it.

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The Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Program Act

To make study abroad the norm, not the exception, for today's U.S. college student Congress should pass the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Program Act to incentivize higher education to increase study abroad and provide a cost-effective, sustainable way to ensure more diverse U.S. undergraduates can study internationally.

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NAFSA supports the Dream Act and urges Members of Congress to call for a vote on a permanent legislative solution for Dreamers. A permanent legislative solution is the best way to ensure DACA recipients are protected and can continue to help America grow and prosper.

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