Leaders of more than 55 New York State institutions sent a letter to the state’s congressional delegation seeking assistance with problems affecting international students.

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The presidents and chancellors of more than 55 New York State colleges and universities sent a letter to the state’s congressional delegation asking for their assistance with a growing set of problems affecting international students.  New York has more international students than any state, except California.

On both the graduate and undergraduate level, the presidents wrote, New York State has benefitted from the presence of international students in classrooms, in laboratories, and on campuses.  Being able to attract top students from around the world bolsters research and discoveries.  And international students generate an estimated $5 billion in economic activity.

However, impediments to international students attending NYS colleges and universities have grown substantially over the past couple of years.  In particular, the presidents cited administrative processing delays for visas, processing delays for the Optional Practical Training program approvals, and a doubling of Requests for Evidence related to H-1B visas.

Andrew Hamilton, NYU’s president and a professor of chemistry said, “As someone who was educated in three countries and pursued my professional career in a fourth – the U.S. – I can attest to how important openness and mobility are in developing students’ talents.  The U.S. higher education system is the world’s gold standard; more than any other country, it benefits by welcoming international students, scholars, and researchers.  The implications of the hurdles we are now casting in front of international students are serious, injurious, and could be long-lasting.  That is why my colleagues and I have asked our Congressional delegation to try to help alleviate this situation before it becomes a crisis.”