Hundreds of thousands of student visas are issued by the United States every year. F visas and M visas allow foreign students to enter the country for the purpose of pursuing a U.S. higher education. A new proposal from the Trump administration would make pursuing a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree much more difficult for certain foreign students. Specifically, the proposal appears to target students from many countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.
The rule, as proposed, would limit the length of a student visa to two year for students who come from countries that have more than a 10 percent rate of student visa overstays and countries labeled as state sponsors of terrorism. Though the majority of student visas come from China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Canada, the new rule could affect tens of thousands of students from countries such as Vietnam, Nigeria, Nepal, and Iran. Students coming from any country on the list would need to seek and obtain student visas every two years to pursue a U.S. education.
There are approximately 59 countries whose students would be affected. The list includes Tuvalu, population 11,192. Six students from Tuvalu were issued student visas, of whom one student overstayed his or her visa, a 17 percent rate of visa overstay, qualifying Tuvalu for the visa restrictions. A full list of countries that would be affected is mapped in the following tweet: