6.4.20

The President has issued a new “Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry as Nonimmigrants of Certain Students and Researchers from the People’s Republic of China.” The Proclamation, which took effect on Monday, effectively bars Chinese nationals with certain F (Student) or J (Exchange Visitor) visas from entering the United States. The Proclamation provides for no opportunity for review and has no expiration date.

The Chinese nationals covered by this Proclamation are those seeking entry “to study or conduct research in the United States, except for a student seeking to pursue undergraduate study, and who either receives funding from or who currently is employed by, studies at, or conducts research at or on behalf of, or has been employed by, studied at, or conducted research at or on behalf of, an entity in the PRC that implements or supports the PRC's ‘military-civil fusion strategy.’”

The term “military-civil fusion strategy” is defined as “actions by or at the behest of the PRC to acquire and divert foreign technologies, specifically critical and emerging technologies, to incorporate into and advance the PRC's military capabilities.”

As indicated by the introduction, the Proclamation was issued because the President concluded that some Chinese students, mostly post‑graduate students and post-doctorate researchers who have been associated with the Chinese People's Liberation Army, are at a high risk of being exploited or co-opted in connection with the PRC’s “wide‑ranging and heavily resourced campaign to acquire sensitive United States technologies and intellectual property, in part to bolster the modernization and capability of its military....”

Summary of Proclamation

Here are the key provisions of the Proclamation and their impact:

  • The Proclamation prohibits the admission to the United States of certain Chinese graduate students pursuant to F-1 or J-1 visas who meet these criteria:

    • They seek to study or conduct research in the United States, and

    • They receive funding from an entity in the PRC that implements or supports the PRC's military-civil fusion strategy as described above, or

    • They are or have been employed by an entity in the PRC that implements or supports the PRC’s military-civil fusion strategy, or

    • They are studying or conducting research, or have studied or conducted research, at or on behalf of an entity in the PRC that implements or supports the PRC’s military-civil fusion strategy.

  • The Proclamation does not apply to undergraduate students.

  • As with most of the President’s immigration-related proclamations, this Proclamation contains a number of exceptions. The Proclamation does not apply to the following:

    • Any lawful permanent resident of the United States.

    • A spouse of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.

    • A member of the U.S. Armed Forces or a spouse or child of such a service member.

    • A person whose entry would further important law enforcement objectives as determined by the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Homeland Security, based on the recommendation of the Attorney General, or whose entry would be in the national interest as determined by the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Homeland Security.

    • Any individual whose study or research is in a field that would not contribute to the PRC’s military-civilian fusion strategy as determined by the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the appropriate executive departments and agencies.

  • The Proclamation does not apply to nationals of the PRC who are currently in the United States. However, the Proclamation specifies that the Secretary of State “shall” consider whether to exercise his discretion under existing law to revoke the F or J visas of PRC nationals.

  • The Proclamation calls for a review of both temporary and permanent visa programs by the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security, and for them to recommend to the President measures that would mitigate the risks posed by the PRC’s actions. The review is due within 60 days of the effective date of the Proclamation.

It is also reported that the Administration plans to block Chinese airlines from flying to and from the United States starting June 16.

For a printer-friendly copy, click here.

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