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The Trump administration is considering restricting the number of visas given to Chinese citizens as part of a new set of tariffs and investment restrictions against China. The potential limitation could impact University students coming to the U.S. from China.

The F-1 visa allows international students to come to the U.S. to receive a degree at the undergraduate or graduate level, so the possible change could limit the number of students from China who would have the opportunity to study in the U.S.

According to a recent Inside Higher Ed report, around 38 percent of all international students studying at the master’s level in the U.S. are from China.

After learning about the recent comments from the administration, Arthur Li ’20, a student from China who is studying on an F-1 student visa, said the policy would negatively affect American universities and the national economy.

“So many talented students come from China, and limiting the number of visas would just hinder international talent in America,” explained Li. “I can’t imagine a reason why they would do that.”

Chinese students contribute $12 billion annually to the U.S. economy, according to a statement by the Executive Director and CEO of NAFSA: Association of International Educators.

“Every year a lot of Chinese students study in the U.S.,” added Li. “That brings U.S. universities a lot of revenue.” Li also noted that many Chinese international students do not receive any financial aid from American universities.

In addition to affecting the 35 students from China enrolled at the University, the decision could impact U.S. foreign relations. 

“There will be no benefits with this restriction,” agreed Yang Shao ’20, another Chinese international student. “It is unnecessary and inefficient to not allow international talents to realize their potential.”

It is unclear if the administration will go through with the new policy. In the meantime, University Assistant Vice President of Communications Dan Day says that the University is monitoring any and all emerging issues related to immigration.

“We continue to advise and support all members of the University community — students, faculty and staff — regarding these issues,” Day said.

He encouraged students to check the Davis International Center’s page on the Executive Orders related to immigration for any updates on national immigration policies.

“We are concerned about any visa restriction which limits the mobility of our international students and impacts their well-being,” said Deputy Director of the Davis Center Albert Rivera.

He believes every international student should have equitable opportunities. 

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