25th October 2020
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New US visa restrictions affect S Sudanese students

Author: Daniel Danis | Published: Tuesday, September 29, 2020

South Sudanese seeking further education in the United States may soon be limited to only two-year courses as the country restricts certain international students.

South Sudan is among 58 other countries the US Department of Homeland Security has flagged for new guidelines that will not allow them to get study visas for periods longer than two years.

The new restrictions states that a student requiring four years to complete a course may have to cut short their stay in the US because of the visa duration.

It also means that international students affected by the new rules will be restricted from attending courses that last four years in the United States.

The Trump administration says international students will have to apply for a visa extension which could complicate the road to a degree for students from certain countries.

According to the US Department of Homeland Security, the two-year limit was set due to “national security and public safety concerns”.

“Aliens from countries associated with high visa overstay rates (rates greater than 10% for student and exchange visitors) will be limited to up to a two-year fixed period of stay to increase monitoring, deter immigration violations and incentivize timely departure,” it noted.

It stressed that this proposal would contribute to ensuring the integrity of the US immigration system.

All IGAD member countries have been placed under the new restriction.

In East Africa, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi will also be subjected to the new guidelines.

However, it is still unclear when this proposal will enter into force and whether it will affect the international students who are currently staying in the US.

In July, the Trump administration had to cancel visas of some international students who were not obliged to attend classes physically.

It is not clear how many South Sudanese currently seek scholarship or already study in the United States.

The countries blacklisted

The new DHS’ proposal includes restrictions for students coming from the following countries:

Afghanistan, Benin, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, The Central African Republic, Chad, DR Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, and Kosovo.

In addition to the above mentioned countries, these countries are also included in the new US rules:

Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Moldova, Mongolia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Rwanda, Samoa, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Sudan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Togo, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen and Zambia.

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