Visa Crunch

Foreign Students rejoice as Biden administration might promise visa stability.

International students in the USA have been under a lot of pressure and stress due to the changing immigration policies and restrictions imposed by the Trump administration. Over their tenure, the Trump administration posed several threats to the future of most international students, by contemplating to pose limits on the duration of the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program.

International students, currently at home or in their dorms because of the imposed COVID-19 restrictions have been following the nail-biting US elections, with the hope that a Biden win would bring forth the visa stability that most students want.

One of the other controversial restrictions imposed on student visas under the Trump administration was regarding compulsory in-person attendance for international students at universities, otherwise risking deportation, while the COVID-19 pandemic raged on. This was met with widespread furore as international students would not be able to return to their homes without risking the threat of deportation, at a time when they would prefer to be with their loved ones, in the safety of their home. This rule was overturned, following backlash from universities and students.

Trump has already limited the freedoms granted by the student visa to Chinese nationals. This move came amongst strained ties between the US and China, due to a trade war.

However, while some students remain optimistic, other students have a more moderate outlook on the future of their visas. Many students feel that while the Biden administration will not bring forth any ground-breaking changes to the student visa process, there won’t be any nasty surprises as well, promoting an atmosphere of stability and welcomeness for all. The most optimistic students are hoping for a change in the federal aid structure as well, as most international students pay for their tuition fees from their own private funds.

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