Oct. 2, 2020
The University of Colorado Denver is concerned about the September 25, 2020 proposed change to the Department of Homeland Security’s longstanding “duration of status” policy for international students and exchange visitors. Limiting international students to two or four years to complete their degrees in the U.S. would have a detrimental effect on students at all degree levels. This proposed time limit would have a negative impact on international Ph.D. students, as the average time for earning a Ph.D. is over five years. International students are essential contributors to the vibrancy of our classrooms and to the research competitiveness of the United States and often go on to become entrepreneurs and leading academic researchers here. We concur with NAFSA: Association of International Educators that the proposed rule would replace a proven, flexible policy that has served international students and exchange visitors, institutions of higher education, and the United States for decades with one that is both complicated and burdensome. The uncertainty and additional administrative and financial burdens this rule would create for students, researchers, universities, and businesses would lead to further declines in international student enrollment, ultimately resulting in a significant negative impact on the strength and competitiveness of our national higher education system and our economy.