Donald Trump's administration issued a draft policy which tightens the rules of overstaying of foreign students in the United States, the Times of India reported.
According to the report, the policy, which is currently open for public comments, will come to effect on August 9. It states that unlawful presence days (stay beyond a student's visa tenure) will be computed from the day the student fails to maintain 'immigration status'.
The calculation of the number of days of unlawful presence begins from the day authorities discover the violation or an immigration judge passes an order of deportation, the report said.
"For example, students on an F-1 visa are given a grace period of 60 days post completion of their study to change their status (say to a work visa) or to leave the US, " the paper reported.
The policy also mentioned that students who have stayed for more than 180 days during a single stay may be subject to a ban of 3-10 years from entering the US, depending on the number of days overstayed. An overstay of more than a year could result in a permanent ban, the report said.
"The new policy can create hurdles for students who fall out of their immigration status and wish to apply for a visa or change their status to that of a US permanent resident," stated Fragomen, a global firm specialising in immigration laws, as quoted by the paper.
This policy memorandum issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said that to assess whether there has been an overstay, the officer can look into the immigration history of the student, which would include information contained in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information system (SEVIS)and various records. The officer can even solicit details from the students through a recognised process.
"USCIS is dedicated to our mission of ensuring the integrity of the immigration system. F, J, and M non-immigrants are admitted to the US for a specific purpose, and when that purpose has ended, we expect them to depart, or to obtain another lawful immigration status," said USCIS director L Francis Cissna in an official statement, as reported by the paper.
Of the 1.86 lakh students in the US, Chinese and Indian students account for the most foreign students in the country, according to the International Student Data from the Open Doors Report (2017).
A Homeland Security report for fiscal 2016 (the latest publicly available data), shows that 4,575 of the 98,970 students from India scheduled to leave the US or change their status had violated norms and overstayed, the report said.