The Dual Intent Bill: How has it improved the status of international students with F-1 Visa in the US?

There is no doubt that obtaining a US visa is a pretty heavy job, especially when studying in the US. The documentation and legal aspects might make one overly afraid about their visa applications or appeal to enter the country and pursue their careers. The trump government posed many challenges for international students, especially for India. The federal government previously made it difficult for overseas students to obtain an F-1 Visa to come to the US and pursue their higher education.

Indian students were already in a crisis period when the Trump government in the US decided to impose a ban on the F-1 Visa. It led many US universities to appeal at the federal government’s doors and take back the issued bill. The bill affected the intake of international students, and the funding remains a consistent factor. The decision was pretty agitating amongst the students and US universities. Moreover, with the pandemic’s beginning, there was dread amongst international students studying in the US. The situation worsened, and there was a complete halt on abroad study programs.

Things look on the brighter side now again. The universities abroad have started taking appropriate measures, and the visa situation might have something new to offer. With the electing of Joe Biden as the new president of the US, not only the ban on F-1 visas was uplifted, but a new bill to favor the international students was passed and regulated. The new Dual intent bill did a pretty good job helping the students from overseas nations grow their careers and receive elite education in the US.

The Student Cover Team has found this new bill favoring the F-1 Visa and the Indian international students. We would discuss the same further in the article.

 

The Dual Intent Bill

Dual Intent is mainly an aspect of the United States Immigration law. This type of US visa is meant to provide lawful status to an individual to remain in the country for a temporary duration with an immigrant Intent. In other words, while staying in the US with a work or study visa, the individual can seek ways to make his citizenship lawfully permanent.

The dual Intent was not a part of all visa categories previously. A person with non-immigrant visa status living in the US for a temporary period if was somehow presumed to be with immigration intent by the Department of Homeland Security’s border review, then there were consequences like termination of non-immigrant visas issued, refusal of admission at the entry, refusal or denying of the visa application, and (or) deportation. Many visa applicants find it challenging to prove that they are not visiting the US with immigrant Intent. It means illegally trying to retain permanent residency while present with non-immigrant visa status.

The consular officer may sometimes presume that the visa holder visiting the country might be “misrepresenting himself/herself.” Such situations deem to bring consequences like refusal of admission or deportation.  All the visa holders of a specific category must prove that they have been visiting the country due to work or pursuing education. They have the intention to return to their home country post-conclusion of their work. Only a few types of foreign individuals were previously allowed to have a dual intent visa type. The list included H1-B Visas, K-Visas, L-Visas, V-Visas, etc.

However, the recent events showed that Senator Bob Menendez and representative Linda Sanchez in February 2021 introduced the dual intent bill even for those study abroad aspirants in the US with an F-1 visa. The bill makes it easier for STEM graduates to pursue Ph.D., allowing them to stay in the US.

 

How can this bill help individuals with F-1 Visa?

The introduction of the Dual Intent Bill for F-1 visa holders pursuing their STEM program in the US has brought new hope for study aspirants from India. The bill would practically work against the concept of a visa ban for Indian students who aspire to continue their education in the US. The introduction of this bill would mean that F-1 visa applicants would not have to prove they are going back to their home country as soon as their education ends.

The probability of F-1 visa rejection of a study abroad aspirant remains high. It happens due to their inability to prove that they are going back to their country once they have completed their study program. The bill was kept as a priority by the American Council on Education & NAFSA: Association of International Educators in the wishlist of the Biden administration, as a source, tells.

More interesting about the bill is that another section proposes to the Biden administration to create a new Green Card program for all the STEM Ph.D. international students graduating from a recognized institute US. So if a student is a STEM Ph.D. graduate, they could immediately apply for a green card with apparent proof of their employment. Collegedekho, Study Abroad, informs that “Extensions for such visas would be made in one-year increments and will permit work authorizations once such extensions have been granted.” Also, suppose there is a pending application of a student for over a year. In that case, they can choose a visa status that helps them stay in the country until their  OPT backlog is sorted.

Let’s Wrap Up!

The new bill has opened up many opportunities for STEM program applicants or F-1 visa holders to stay in the US and seek more current career opportunities. Instead of leaving the country because of the immigration law, a capable student can expect a broader scope and growth by obtaining an eligible job in the US job market.

The Dual Intent bill entirely changes the picture of the Trump administration’s plans to ban Indian students from the US. Instead, it would be opening up doors to invest in brighter minds from the overseas regions and utilizing their potential in the collective growth of the global market.

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Disclaimer: This blog was written based on the personal research of the writer. Readers’ discretion is advised. Neither Student Cover nor the writer will be held liable for any wrongful interpretation of this blog’s content.

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