U.S. Department of State Said to Limit the Length of F and J Entry Visas for Some Students and Scholars from China 

June 06, 2018

Although there is no official notification from the Department of State (DOS) or the White House, the Associate Press and other media report that the DOS is moving to limit the period of validity for visas issued to some Chinese students and researchers in specified technology fields. Currently, the maximum length of time of an entry visa for F-1 students is five years. The reports suggest that this will be shortened to one year for students in certain programs of study, said to include robotics, aviation, and high-tech manufacturing. The ISSO will post updates if and when details of the anticipated policy change become available.  

Until then, it is important to keep in mind that a visa:

  • is an entry document and is used to enter the United States,
  • does not control how long an individual may stay here after entry, 
  • must be valid and unexpired to re-enter the U.S. following a trip abroad, and
  • may expire without consequence while an individual is in the U.S. and while following the rules of their visa type to maintain status.

The effect of a shorter period of a visa's validity would be that an individual would need to apply for a new visa more often, depending on their international travel plans, and that might result in delays for security clearances.