Up to 65 universities in the US of which Harvard and MIT are included, have taken the Trump administration to court over its new strict visa policy for international students. These universities warn that the newly introduced “backdating rule” will boomerang on the higher education system in the US.   The Trump administration announced these new policies in August, with restrictions placed on overstaying a student visa. Under the old immigration policies which had been in place for a long time, when a non-immigrant no longer has permission to stay in the US — for instance, when their visa expires — the individual enters into a period of unlawful presence. After this period, this individual could be forcefully returned to their country of origin and will be banned entry into the US for three years. Before Trump changed the visa policy in August, individuals only became guilty of ‘unlawful presence’ a day after the government officially notified the individual that they were ‘out of status.’ With the new policies, the Department of Homeland Security — DHS for short — can fix retroactive dates for the start of unlawful presence. These dates will begin after the completion of an international student's degree program or the day after the expiration of an individual's visa.

The new policy will subject the international student to make tough choices

The top universities, which include Harvard, Yale, MIT, Princeton, and Cornell, signed a brief that was filed on Monday. These schools argue that the new policy puts international students in a tight corner where they are forced to make ‘tough choices.’ The brief which had the signatures of the 65 universities and one Higher Education System Board, urged the federal court to give them the motion to facilitate a preliminary injunction. The brief argues that the new ‘backdating policy’ does not clearly define ‘unlawful presence’ and therefore, makes its calculation bleak. For this reason, international students will become prone to devastating re-entry bans. Stay connected to Visa Time to get updates about visa news from Asia, Africa, US, Americas, Australia, Europe, and the Middle East! We will also assist you with the visa process for the chosen country.

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