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Ensuring International Students Remain in Compliance with Visa Regulations

Dear members of the Northwestern community,

The Department of Homeland Security recently proposed a new rule that would establish a fixed time period of admission and extension of stay procedure for nonimmigrant academic students, among others.

Northwestern University has submitted a public comment firmly opposing the proposed rule, which we believe would be of great detriment to our international students, scholars and visitors — a vital part of our campus community — as well as to American higher education in general.

The rule creates several problems including, but not limited to:

  • The fixed two-year and four-year maximum time periods proposed in the rule ignore the federal government’s own statistics on completion of degrees, and are inconsistent with other federal practices.
  • The proposed rule’s Extension of Stay provisions are vague and will cause uncertainty for institutions and students. 
  • This new EOS process will create thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of new applications, and we are concerned that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will be unable to process these in a timely manner.

If this rule is enacted, Northwestern’s Office of International Student and Scholar Services will ensure that all international students and scholars understand and have the support they need to remain in compliance with all visa regulations.

We know this year’s policy proposals aimed at our academic and international communities have caused great concern and disruption for many, and the University will continue to lobby our elected representatives on these issues.