Publication Date

October 2006


[Excerpt] Five years after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks by foreign nationals — including several terrorists on students visas — the security concerns over foreign student visas are being supplanted by competitiveness concerns. Potential foreign students, as well as all aliens, must satisfy Department of State (DOS) consular officers abroad and immigration inspectors upon entry to the United States that they are not ineligible for visas under the so-called “grounds for inadmissibility” of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which include security and terrorist concerns. The consular officers who process visa applicants are required to check the National Counterterrorism Center’s (NCTC) automated lookout systems before issuing any visa. In part because of these security measures, student visa debates have shifted from security to market-based discussions.


Suggested Citation
Haddal, C. C. (2006). Foreign students in the United States: Policies and legislation (RL31146). Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service.