Market intelligence for international student recruitment from ICEF
30th May 2018

Report: US introduces restrictions for some Chinese visas

Amid growing political and trade tensions, the US State Department said this week that the administration will introduce new limits affecting some visa applicants from China. Full details have yet to be released but the Associated Press is reporting that US embassies have been instructed to limit the term of visas issued to Chinese students or researchers in specific fields of study, including robotics, aviation, and high-tech manufacturing. The new practice is due to take effect on 11 June, and will mark a departure from the current approach of issuing visas for the maximum allowable term of up to five years. Speaking on background to Bloomberg, a State Department official said that the measures “would in some cases cut short the amount of time that a Chinese citizen could stay in the US and would be decided on a case-by-case basis…the maximum validity for Chinese student visas would remain the same, five years, but that consular officials have the authority to put an earlier expiration date on some visas.” The move appears to follow on from the government’s concerns around protecting US intellectual property, as set out in an updated national security strategy from December 2017: “Every year, competitors such as China steal US intellectual property valued at hundreds of billions of dollars…The United States will review visa procedures to reduce economic theft by non-traditional intelligence collectors. We will consider restrictions on foreign STEM students from designated countries to ensure that intellectual property is not transferred to our competitors, while acknowledging the importance of recruiting the most advanced technical workforce to the United States.” It may also reflect the current climate of trade relations between these two massive economies, with the US actively considering the introduction of new tariffs on up to US$50 billion in Chinese exports. Either way, this week’s announcement is only the latest in a series of policy decisions by the US administration that bear on international student mobility to the United States. Responding to earlier news reports of potential visa restrictions on Chinese students NAFSA Executive Director Esther Brimmer said in March, “With international students contributing US$36.9 billion to the US economy last year and supporting more than 450,000 jobs, any drop in enrolment would have severe consequences. Chinese students alone contribute US$12 billion, alongside countless other benefits, so even a modest reduction in Chinese enrolment would be devastating. Because Chinese students and scholars contribute so much to our science and innovation, virtually every community in America would feel the impact if Chinese student visas were restricted in any way. International students and scholars create jobs, drive research, enrich our classrooms, strengthen national security and are America’s best ambassadors and allies. Students should never be used as bargaining chips, and we cannot afford to lose this valuable resource.” China is by far the leading sending market for international students in the US. As of March 2018, there were just over 377,000 Chinese students with an active US study visa, representing nearly one in three (31.3%) foreign students in the United States this year. For additional background, please see:

Most Recent

  • The impact of immigration settings, affordability, and job opportunities on international students’ study abroad decisions Read More
  • Hong Kong needs to build more student housing Read More
  • ChatGPT for international education marketing: What is “Prompt Engineering?” Read More

Most Popular

  • Canada’s foreign enrolment grew by more than 30% in 2022 Read More
  • Measuring cost of study and cost of living across study destinations Read More
  • Recruiting in the Emirates: Big goals, world-class education, and new scholarships Read More

Because you found this article interesting

Hong Kong needs to build more student housing In his October 2023 address, Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee set out some ambitious goals for the...
Read more
Canadian immigration minister releases official cap figures and targets for 2024 In many respects, the implementation of Canada’s newly established cap on international student enrolment has been shrouded in...
Read more
Australia: Record-high foreign enrolment but tighter immigration settings now taking hold The Australian government has further increased its scrutiny of international student applicants in an effort to ensure incoming...
Read more
Business school survey again signals declining non-EU enrolment in UK The most recent survey from the Chartered Association of Business Schools in the UK reveals that, “International student...
Read more
US study visa refusals reached record levels in 2023 More than a third of prospective international students applying to study in the US last year were turned...
Read more
Canada: More provincial cap numbers announced; IRCC moves up end date for post-graduate work for partnership programmes Since the Canadian government’s announcement in January that it would be capping the number of new study permits...
Read more
Canada: Ontario’s cap implementation plan allocates nearly all study permit applications to public colleges and universities On 26 February 2024, the Government of Ontario – Canada’s most-populous province and host to just over half of...
Read more
New Zealand’s international enrolment continued to recover in 2023 New Zealand’s international education sector welcomed significantly more students in 2023 than in 2022, according to data released...
Read more
What are you looking for?
Quick Links