New U.S. visa policy may provide hurdle for International students

UNITED STATES, — As of this week, international students must leave the U.S. if they’re on a student visa if their current institution isn’t providing in-person classes.

If they desire to keep their visa, they must transfer to a college or university that will be providing in person classes in the fall.

This is leaving many international students between a rock and a hard place, with some being denied access to their country and nowhere to go here in the U.S.

Former international student at the South Dakota School of Mines and owner of Dream Design International, Hani Shafai, gave some insight.

“The United States is considered the premiere location to get higher education because of the availability of resources for research,” Shafi said.

According to the Associated Press, the U.S. hosted 1.1 million international students last year; creating a significant economic impact on institutions and the economy.

“International students contribute about $31 billion a year into our national economy, $31 billion a year,” Shafi said. “A lot of the foreign students pay almost twice as much in tuition as local students and a lot of them are funded by their governments.”

For many, this is an earth-shattering policy with some only a semester or two away from graduation. Investing thousands of dollars into a degree that they may not receive.

“They are the highest level of educated people within their countries, and in most cases they are the decision makers in their countries,” Shafi said. “They’re the one’s who dictate where their countries buy products from, which most likely they’ll buy products that they’re familiar with, which are products made in the United States.”

Although he grew up on the Gaza Strip, Shafi chose to use his skill here in the U.S. as a major developer in the Black Hills, currently working on 15 different projects in western South Dakota; contributing to the well-being and growth of our community.

Categories: Local News, National News, South Dakota News