The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has proposed limiting the amount of time international students can stay in the U.S. by eliminating the "duration of status" or "D/S" policy and replacing it with a maximum period of authorized stay, among other harmful provisions.

Why Duration of Status is Important

For decades, international students and scholars have been granted immigration status known as “duration of status,” or “D/S” that lasts for the period of time they are engaging in their studies and practical training. They are carefully screened, vetted, and monitored through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Maintaining the D/S policy is necessary because the time for study or research can fluctuate given the changing goals and actions of the student or scholar. The U.S. is in a global competition for talent, and this change will only hurt our standing in attracting international students to our campuses and communities.

What You Can Do

The public has until October 26, 2020 to offer comment on the proposed rule. It is vitally important that DHS hear how these rule changes would impact international education in several serious ways. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Submit a comment to regulations.gov in opposition to the proposed rule, as an individual and/or as an institution. Note that it is very important that comment letters are personalized, to ensure that each comment is recorded as a unique submission. Refer to a talking points template NAFSA prepared with the Presidents' Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration to guide the preparation of your submission.

  2. Urge your member of Congress to oppose the proposed rule change through our Connecting Our World advocacy portal. Be sure to sign up to receive advocacy updates, too.

  3. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Dianne Feinstein and Chris Murphy are leading a sign-on letter to DHS in defense of duration of status and are seeking their colleagues in the Senate to add their signature. Help get your Senators onboard! Sign up to request a sample message and their immigration staffer's contact info. The deadline for new signatures is Monday, October 26 at 12 noon, ET so act now!

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