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
- Issue Brief: Attract and Retain International Students
- Recommendations for the Biden-Harris Administration
- NAFSA submitted a statement for the record and also joined the American Council on Education and four other U.S. higher education associations on a separate letter for the record for a June 14, 2022, Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, and Border Security hearing on "Strengthening Our Workforce and Economy Through Higher Education and Immigration".
Key International Student/Scholar Legislation
The following are bills introduced during the 118th Congress that include positive provisions for international students and scholars. Each bill is unlikely to pass on its own during this Congress, but provisions from each may be incorporated into other bills. NAFSA will advocate for international student provisions to be included in “must pass” bills as they make their way through the legislative process.
- Dignity Act (H.R. 3599)
- Putting Higher Degrees First Act (H.R. 4358)
- Keep STEM Talent Act (S.2384/H.R. 5477)
- Visa Processing Improvement Act (S.2632)
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International Students Data And Trends
- Losing Talent: An Economic and Foreign Policy Risk America Can't Ignore (March 2020)
- A Visa and Immigration Policy for the Brain-Circulation Era: Adjusting to What Happened in the World While We Were Making Other Plans (December 2009)
- Restoring U.S. Competitiveness for International Students and Scholars (June 2006)
- In America's Interest: Welcoming International Students (January 2003)