The United States (US) Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is planning to introduce fixed time limits for international students, exchange visitors and foreign information media representatives to combat overstays.
The proposal made on September 24, 2020 could see African students being restricted from pursuing four-year University degree courses in the US.
Per the proposal, citizens or people born in the following countries would be banned from getting student visas longer than two years, meaning they would be banned from getting a four-year degree in the United States.
The countries include: Afghanistan, Benin, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo (DRC) Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, and Kosovo.
Also expected to be affected are: Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Moldova, Mongolia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Rwanda, Samoa, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Togo, Tonga, Turmenistan, Tuvalu Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen and Zambia.
Should the DHS's new proposed rule goes through, international students from countries like Nigeria and Kenya would be effectively banned from getting four-year degrees in the US.
The agency announced its plans to mandate fixed time periods for certain visitors, citing goals to “encourage program compliance, reduce fraud and enhance national security.” The move would change current policy that allows these visitors to stay as long as they follow the “terms of admission.”
According to DHS, there has been “significant growth” in all three nonimmigration programs, and the proposal would “ensure the integrity of the U.S. immigration system.”