22 October 2020

Action Alert: Take a Stand on Proposed Regulation to Limit Duration of International Student Visas

Proposed Regulation to Limit Duration of International Student Visas


The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is planning to roll out new restrictions on international student visas, limiting durations to two or four years depending on the country of origin.

Make your voice heard now, as the deadline for commenting on the proposed regulation is Monday, 26 October. Your voice is important and will complement the organizational comments being sent on behalf of the Society by AAS President Paula Szkody. To date, over 23,000 comments have been filed.

It is much easier to send a statement now, thanks to the user-friendly interface made available to us by our friends at the American Physical Society (APS). Just go to https://p2a.co/AXj9Ptc and follow the simple instructions. Let DHS know the impacts that these proposed changes would have on you and your immediate colleagues (you’ll be guided through such questions). Upon your last click, the letter will be sent to Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf.

Share your own thoughts and feel free to borrow from the two examples below. For additional talking points, templates, and other resources to help you write your comment, please also consult this excellent resource from the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration and NAFSA: Association of International Educators.

As an example of a statement, APS President Phil Bucksbaum said that “APS is extremely concerned that the revocation of these visas will negatively impact the United States as a destination of choice for highly skilled, talented international students. At a time when our global counterparts are stepping up their recruitment of these students, the US should be working even harder to both attract them to and keep them in America, ensuring that they can help keep our nation on a path of cutting-edge research, robust innovation, and job creation.”

Here's what I sent: “Some of the most talented and dedicated students are foreign, and they play an important role in the advancement of science and job growth in our country. We should be trying to attract these great minds by making the United States an appealing and welcoming destination. The new restrictions on international visas, proposed by the DHS, will have a big negative impact on research in my department and university. As an American Astronomical Society member and Professor at the University of Michigan, I oppose the new restrictions on and revocation of international visas.”

Background Information:

Finally, voting is a non-partisan activity and a cornerstone of democracy. Please make sure that you are registered to vote (if still permitted where you reside) and that your vote is counted. Go to vote.org for more information.

Thank you,

Joel Bregman
AAS Committee on Astronomy and Public Policy

Related Posts