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Trump Blocks Visas for Chinese Students with Military Ties

The Trump administration has blocked student ("F") and exchange-visitor ("J") visas for thousands of Chinese graduate students who have ties to universities affiliated with the People’s Liberation Army of the People's Republic of China ("China"). This is the first plan designed to deny the access of Chinese students, who make up the largest foreign-student population in the U.S. It foreshadows possible further educational restrictions. There is nothing to stop the Chinese government from reciprocating by inflicting its own visa or educational bans on Americans.

Specifically, the entry into the U.S. by any national of China on an F or J visa to study or conduct research in the U.S., 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 China that implements or supports China's “military-civil fusion strategy” has been suspended.

For the purposes of the proclamation, the term “military-civil fusion strategy” means actions by or at the behest of China to acquire and divert foreign technologies, specifically critical and emerging technologies, to incorporate into and advance China's military capabilities.

The exceptions to the proclamation are limited to the following:

(i) any lawful permanent resident of the U.S.;

(ii) any foreign national who is the spouse of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident;

(iii) any foreign national who is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and any foreign national who is a spouse or child of a member of the U.S. Armed Forces;

(iv) any foreign whose travel falls within the scope of section 11 of the UN Headquarters Agreement or who would otherwise be allowed entry into the U.S. pursuant to U.S. obligations under applicable international agreements;

(v) any foreign national who is studying or conducting research in a field involving information that would not contribute to China's military‑civil fusion strategy, as determined by the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the appropriate executive departments and agencies ("agencies");

(vi) any foreign national whose entry would further important U.S. law-enforcement objectives, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees, based on a recommendation of the Attorney General or his designee; or

(vii) any foreign national whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees.

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