Hundreds of Chinese students studying in the U.S. have faced delays in renewing their student visas after a policy change last year that shortened the duration of visas for Chinese graduate students in certain STEM fields from five years to one year, National Public Radio reported. Many of the students flew home in December but have been unable to renew their visas as they await the results of an additional screening process known as “administrative processing.”
The NPR report follows on a New York Times article last week reporting that the U.S. has canceled visas for a number of Chinese professors in the social sciences. The visa bans appear to be particularly affecting researchers affiliated with the state-run Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
The news about visa delays and cancellations comes in the context of increasing scrutiny of U.S.-China research collaborations and concerns on the part of the White House, members of Congress and federal granting agencies about the theft of sensitive academic research by competitor countries.