The Homeland Security Department (“HSD”) ordered border
agents to verify that every international student who arrives in the U.S. has a valid student visa, according to an internal memorandum obtained by The Associated Press. This new procedure is the government's first security change directly related to the Boston bombings and will affect hundreds of thousands of international students that come to the United States on a yearly basis.
This strong measure was taken after the Obama administration acknowledged that a student from Kazakhstan accused of hiding evidence for one of the Boston bombing suspects was allowed to return to the U.S. in January without a valid student visa. The problem with the existing procedures was that border agents could not verify a student's status unless the student was referred to a second officer for additional inspection or questioning if he/she was seen as a national security threat.
At this point, we assume a big impact on the new procedure on wait times at both airports and national borders. However, it seems that this is a risk that we are allowed to take to make sure that every international student has a valid visa. As a former international student that came to the United States with a student visa, I think this new procedure makes sense in order to control who is coming to the United States.
Contact our team of Miami immigration attorneys at LOIGICA today for more information on any questions you may have pertaining to the student visa application process or any other legal concerns you have related to US immigration.