The rule proposes fixed time periods and extension periods for the three visa categories which currently operate under the “duration of status” framework.

In line with the Trump administration’s progressive restrictions on visas, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposed a rule on Thursday limiting the duration of initial admission for foreign media (I visas), students (F visas) and exchange visitors (J visas).

The rule proposes fixed time periods and extension periods for the three visa categories which currently operate under the “duration of status” framework.

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Currently, visa holders in these categories are allowed to remain in the US for as long as the conditions of admission are met (for example, as long as an F visa holder is enrolled in a university and meeting other conditions). This rule, if finalised, will change that.

Under the new proposed rule F and J students would be admitted for an initial period of four years only (the normal duration of an American undergraduate degree). However, the duration of stay will be two years for those from countries with visa-overstay rates greater than 10% and those non-US citizens either born in or holding citizenship of a country on the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. F and J students already admitted will have their “duration of status” terms converted to a term ending with the end of their program (not to exceed four years) if and when the proposed DHS rule becomes final.

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“The significant growth of the F, J and I visa programs has necessitated this proposed update to ensure the integrity of the U.S. immigration system, but this rule does not propose changes to the underlying requirements to qualify for these nonimmigrant classifications,” a DHS press statement said.

Foreign Journalists to be admitted for 240 days initially

Foreign media visa holders will initially be admitted for a period not exceeding 240 days with “an opportunity to extend their stay for a maximum of 240 days based on the length of relevant activities,” the statement said.



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