US: New Immigration Bill Aims To Allow Dual Intent For Int’l Students

Provisions for international students in the new US immigration bill, including the permission of dual intent, will send a welcome message to those wanting to study in the US, according to the American Council on Education.

The US Citizenship Act of 2021, introduced last month by senator Bob Menendez and representative Linda Sanchez, includes provisions that would help international students, the organisation said.

These include the permitting of “dual intent” for F-1 visa applicants and new rules which would make it easier for international STEM PhD students to stay in the United States after graduation.

“The dual intent provision is pretty big and I’m hopeful that that is going to be helpful in sending a welcoming message to international students,” Sarah Spreitzer director, government relations at ACE, told The PIE News.

“We do allow for dual intent on other visa programs, but it hasn’t been included for F-1’s before. And so this means that a student is not going to have to show that they have property in their home country to demonstrate evidence that they plan to return.”

Under the current system, which does not permit dual intent, international students have to say that they intend to leave the US when they finish their courses.

Visas are sometimes denied if a student cannot explicitly demonstrate that they plan to return to their home country after their studies.

According to Karin Fischer, nine in 10 visa denials – close to a quarter of all applications – relate to a failure to convince officials that they solely intend to come and study and then leave.

NAFSA and ACE have previously placed the allowance of dual intent at the top of their wish lists for the incoming Biden administration.

By Will Nott for THE PIE NEWS
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