The Washington Post is reporting that senior officials at the US Department of Homeland Security are working up a proposal that would require international students in the US to reapply for permission to stay in the United States every year.

That would, to say the least, be a big pain in the #@! for the huge number of international students that have chosen to study in the US.

It could also mean that students have to pay an application or processing fee to DHS annually.

Why has DHS come up with the idea? The thinking is that closer monitoring of international students will improve national security.

DHS spokesman David Lapan did not give details of the plan but did confirm that DHS is looking closely at international student programs among others.

DHS is exploring a variety of measures that would ensure that our immigration programs — including programs for international students studying in the United States — operate in a manner that promotes the national interest, enhances national security and public safety and ensures the integrity of our immigration system.

There are about 1.2 million international students studying in the US, and they add about US$35 billion to the US Economy.  The problem, according to DHS, is that 2.8% of international students over stay their visa each year. It may sound like a small percentage, but DHS says it is double the number across all other visa


The good news here is that this idea has not been finalized. If it was to go ahead, it could take up to 18 months for it to be developed and passed into law.

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