The Department of Homeland Security final week announced proposed regulations that may have a tiny impression on visa mills, and maybe on the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program as well, however one wants a microscope to determine these adjustments.
Visa mills are fourth-rate, post-secondary academic establishments that give aliens a smattering of schooling plus documentation that permits them, normally immediately, to get jobs within the United States — jobs by way of the Optional Practical Training program which might be sponsored by the absence of payroll taxes (due to the authorized fiction that the employees are nonetheless “students”). No citizen faculty grads, or their employers, get these subsidies.
The proposed laws have been introduced in a press launch that carried the tasteless title: “DHS Proposes to Change Admission Period Structure for F, J and I Nonimmigrants”.
Most worldwide college students have F-1 visas; J nonimmigrants consists of some college students, some students, and a few others; these carrying the I visas are representatives of the overseas media, an odd combination. Fs and Js make critical impacts on the U.S. labor market, whereas the comparatively tiny I program doesn’t. In my many years of labor with the U.S. immigration system, i’ve by no means seen these three packages listed collectively.
The fundamental change contemplated by DHS is to create considerably tighter management of the overseas scholar number living and overseas journalists; any impacts on visa mills or the OPT program are minor elements of the scheme.
Currently, nonimmigrants in these three teams are admitted for various durations, relying on the size of this system intertwined. Under the brand new laws, most college students must re-apply for the standing after 4 years, and a few (in suspect lessons) after two years. The overseas journalists (who will in all probability protest) are to be admitted initially for a interval of not more than 240 days, “with an opportunity to extend their stay for a maximum of 240 days based on the length of relevant activities.”
That seems like no overseas reporter might keep right here for greater than 480 days, and can in all probability be interpreted by them as threatening their standing by the shortness of permitted stays, however that is another person’s space of concern.
Visa Mills and the OPT Program. In addition to the four-years rule for the F-1 visas (which will be prolonged) there’s a provision calling for — on a one-at-a-time foundation — discount of this to 2 years for people considered probably problematic. According to the discharge: “Additional factors that may trigger a two-year period … include … whether [a student is at] a school accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the Secretary of Education.”
Thus if an alien’s standing as a scholar is in query, and if the alien goes to considered one of a handful of-non-accredited colleges, then that standing is in additional bother.
Frankly, the non-accredited colleges should not quite a few, and must be completely banned from the overseas scholar enterprise, so that is solely a tiny, tiny step in the fitting route. The drawback is that it’s all too easy for a marginal faculty to be licensed by a state, and accredited by a DoED-recognized entity, as we’ve reported up to now.
While the phrase “accredited” seems within the textual content of the press launch, the phrases “Optional Practical Training” don’t. If one has to re-apply for F-1 standing after 4 years, this will trigger some alien college students within the OPT program to undergo a visa-renewal course of, together with the biometric screening at a USCIS workplace, which could, in flip, discourage participation on this program. Some of them may not get the requested extension.
As we’ve instructed earlier, OPT needs to be addressed directly, and both diminished to a manageable dimension or eradicated fully.
Why ought to the federal authorities bribe (through a tax break) employers to rent alien faculty grads when loads of citizen and inexperienced card grads can be found?