US proposes more flexibility for overseas students and their families

by Ray Clancy on December 9, 2013


Changes to the visa programme in the United States for overseas students are set to change with new proposals aimed at making the system more flexible.

The major change will give spouses and children of people who are in the United States on foreign student visas more opportunities to study in the country.


The changes were recommended by the Department of Homeland Security, aimed at attracting students from around the world to the United States.

The proposals, announced by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, have been submitted for publication to the Federal Register and are open for public consultation until 21 January 2014.

The changes call for relatives to be able to study part time at schools that are certified for the Student and Exchange Visitor Programme, known as SEVP.

“These proposed changes will provide greater incentives for international students to study in the United States by broadening study opportunities for their spouses and children,” said SEVP director Louis Farrell.

The proposed change is a result of recommendations by the Department of Homeland Security, aimed at attracting students from around the world to the United States.

“The rulemaking supports DHS’s initiative to enhance the economic, scientific and technological competitiveness of the United States by finding new ways to encourage the most talented international students to study and learn about expanded post graduate opportunities in the United States,’ said DHS spokesman.

Under the plan the current limit of 10 designated schools would be removed.

The announcement comes days after US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) unveiled an enhancement to the E-Verify programme that seeks to crack down on identity fraud by detecting when a Social Security number presented for employment eligibility verification is bogus or belongs to another person.

USCIS director Alejandro Mayorkas said the more stringent system of checks and balances would have far reaching benefits. “We are committed to strengthening E-Verify’s ability to combat identity fraud,” she explained.

“This new enhancement provides yet another significant safeguard for E-Verify users and could assist employees who have had their Social Security numbers stolen or compromised,” she added.



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