Scholarly Engagement Stands Threatened By US Visa Suspension Says Harvard University

Harvard University Troubled With US Visa Suspension


  • The US put a ban on both legal and illegal immigration
  • Harvard University afraid it could threaten scholarly engagement
  • The order does not affect student visas or Optional Practical Training (OPT)

The US government has moved for a temporary suspension of work visa including the H-1B visas which is a much-sought visa people wish to get. Harvard University says this is a short-sighted policy and could virtually threaten the scholarly engagement.

Spokesperson of the Ivy League college, Jonathan L Swain, on Thursday, said that though this policy does not affect students visas or the Optional Practical Training (OPT), however, it will be disappointing that the executive order bans the entry to the new non-immigrant visa holders which will include the H-1B.

The President of the United State of America, Donal Trump, on Monday, announced that the government will suspend the most sought-after H-1B visas in addition to the other foreign work visas until the end of 2020 to generate employment for the Americal population. The application for green-card has also been put on hold.

Trump claims that this step will help millions of fellow Americans who lost their jobs owing to the Coronavirus pandemic caused economic crisis. This temporary suspension, the White House, says will generate over 500,000 jobs for the Americans in the country.

Sawin told The Harvard Crimson – University’s publication – “In our view, this is a short-sighted policy that threatens scholarly engagement,”.

The H-1B visa “is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.”

Before the US President issued this proclamation to suspend the various types of work visas, the 29th President of the Harvard University, Lawrence S Bacow has urged the administration to enact forward-thinking immigration policies”.

In a letter dated 2nd of June, to the Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo and the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, Chat Wolf, Bacow urged to “reject efforts to curtail” specific programmes for the international scholars, namely the OPT and the STEM Extension.

The OPT allows students who have completed at least one academic year to work in the US for one year with their student visas to gain professional experience which is related to their field of study and complements their education, said Crimson.

It said, “Students who receive degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math fields may also apply for an additional 24 month extension, known as the STEM Extension,”. In the letter, Bacow wrote, “Experiential learning is an important practical experience as well as a recruitment tool for those seeking to welcome top talent,”.


Shivani Singh

Shivani has been an avid reader of newspapers since her childhood and likes to know what is happening around the world. Her love for news and bringing forth the absolute is what drove her writing for the people. She has worked in the industry for over 4 years and believes that people’s basic rights should always be honoured. Apart from reading, she is a foodie and loves to try her hands-on cooking different cuisines.

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