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Increased federal oversight of international student programs

The laws and regulations here in the U.S. regarding international students are numerous and complicated. These include the immigration and visa rules that apply to international students. When a foreign student runs into problems or issues when trying to navigate these regulations in their efforts to get or maintain a student visa and international student status, they should consider discussing the issues/problems with an immigration attorney skilled and knowledgeable in U.S. student visa law.

Another area of regulation in this realm are the various special rules that are placed on U.S. schools that have international students among their student body. In recent years, the federal government has increased its oversight on schools with international students and such schools’ compliance with these rules.

Among the measures taken as part of these oversight efforts is the sending out of federal immigration field representatives to schools that have international students. Nationwide, 57 such representatives have been sent out in the past couple of years. These representatives serve multiple roles when they go out to schools. For one, they assist schools in complying with the applicable international student rules. They also keep an eye out for red flags that schools might be violating the rules that apply to them.

An important thing to note is that violations of international student rules by schools don’t necessarily come about through intentional conduct by the schools. Given the complex nature of such rules, it is possible for a school to inadvertently run afoul of them. This is among the reasons why some schools are finding the sending out of the immigration field representatives to be a welcome thing, as such representatives could serve as a source of clarification for rule issues a school is unsure of.

What impacts do you think the increased oversight the federal government is directing towards international student programs at schools will have on such programs?

When a U.S. school that an international student goes to has been accused of an international student rule violation (intentional or accidental) or is making notable changes in its program as a result of increased federal oversight efforts, the student may be concerned about whether the development will impact their ability to continue studying at the school. Immigration attorneys can help international students with questions they have following such a development occurring at the school they attend.

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