The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is asking for written comments and related materials regarding the proposed rule to eliminate duration of status (D/S) for F students and their dependents, J exchange visitors and their dependents, and I media representatives be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal on or before October 26.
EnglishUSA, TESOL International Association, and University and College Intensive English Programs (UCIEP) oppose the proposed rule: Establishing a Fixed Time Period of Admission and an Extension of Stay Procedure for Nonimmigrant Academic Students, Exchange Visitors, and Representatives of Foreign Information Media, which was published in the Federal Register on September 25. You can read the proposed rule published on regulations.gov (if that link takes you to an error page on the beta.regulations.gov site, go to https://beta.regulations.gov/document/ICEB-2019-0006-0001)
Comments on the proposed rule must be identified by DHS Docket No. ICEB-2019-0006, and submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal. A Comment Now! button appears at the upper right corner of the proposed rule on Regulations.gov, at: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DHS_FRDOC_0001-1933. Follow the website instructions to submit comments. Comments must be received by October 26, 2020. (If that link takes you to an error page on the beta.regulations.gov site, go to https://beta.regulations.gov/document/ICEB-2019-0006-0001).
A statement released by EnglishUSA, TESOL, and UCIEP, claims that “the proposed rule to replace a decades-long, proven, and flexible policy with one that is complicated, burdensome and unnecessarily punitive to English language students will undermine the continued opportunity for reciprocal exchange between international English language learners, negatively impact international U.S. diplomacy, and harm local U.S. economies that benefit from these students.”
“Eliminating the flexibility that the duration of status allows will undercut a student’s ability to pursue English language, undergraduate, and/or graduate study, as well as practical training. Eliminating duration of status (D/S) puts up artificial boundaries for these students to transition from one phase of their education to the next. The proposed rule is a significant and unnecessary intrusion by DHS into academic decision-making. Restricting English learners to a lifetime aggregate of 24 months of study (including breaks and annual vacations) is arbitrary and unfairly singles out language programs and their students. Limiting the period of language study is inappropriate; language learners have personal, academic, and career goals that take different lengths of time to achieve. English language professionals, supported by their administrators and Designated School Officials (DSOs), are the only parties who should determine the amount of time needed to study and obtain proficiency, not the government.” continued the statement.
According to Open Doors Data on intensive English Programs (IEP), 49% of IEP students intend to continue post-secondary education in the U.S. The English language program industry in the U.S. attracts over 136,000 students each year and plays a significant role contributing to the $41 billion (in 2018 alone) that all international students add to the U.S. economy.