Presidential Proclamation Bans Entry to the US for Small Number of Graduate Students and Researchers from China

in Executive Order, Featured
May 20th, 2021

May 20, 2021 – Proclamation 10043 restricting entry to the US for certain Chinese graduate students and researchers remains in effect. See more details about the proclamation as well as categories of students exempted from the ban below. Many BU students have already been approved for new student visas since processing resumed in early May at US Consular posts in China after a 16 month suspension. However, a few BU graduate students indicate they have been denied student visas due to this proclamation. While the US Department of State has not published the criteria they are using to determine who may be affiliated with an entity in the PRC that supports military-civil fusion strategy, these students report that Consular Officers may be basing denials on previous enrollment at certain undergraduate institutions in China. Boston University continues to closely monitor this situation and to advocate through various professional associations for a reversal of this policy and greater transparency. In the meantime, students should continue to proceed with their visa applications and prepare for the fall semester as most of our students should be eligible for a student visa.

May 29, 2020 – Proclamation 10043 – Suspension of Entry as Nonimmigrants of Certain Students and Researchers from the People’s Republic of China suspended entry to the US on or after June 1, 2020 of certain Chinese nationals seeking to enter the US with an F or J nonimmigrant visa to study or conduct research.

  • This suspension means that the US Department of State may deny new visa applications from graduate students and researchers affiliated with an entity in the PRC that implements or supports the PRC’s ‘military-civil fusion strategy’.
  • Affiliation has been defined in the proclamation as an individual who currently receives funding from, is employed by, studies at, or conducts research at, or on behalf of, an entity in the PRC that implements or supports the PRC’s ‘military-civil fusion strategy’ or, an individual who 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’.
  • Under the proclamation, “the term “military-civil fusion strategy” means 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.”
  • A US Department of State Fact Sheet indicated that technologies that may be targeted include quantum computing, big data, semiconductors, 5G, advanced nuclear technology, aerospace technology, and artificial intelligence

Read more for details on exactly how this affects our community. The following individuals are exempt: 

  • undergraduate students from China
  • graduate students and researchers from China who study in disciplines that are not related to ‘military-civil fusion strategy’
  • graduate students and researchers from China who do not hold any affiliation with the described PRC entities

The US Department of State (DOS) has not yet explained how they will implement the new proclamation or clarified the list of PRC entities that support the PRC’s ‘military-civil fusion strategy’. However, DOS routinely evaluates sources of funding and the prospective field of study or research when adjudicating visa applications and has pushed visa applicants through additional security clearances to screen out students who present concerns about the transfer of sensitive technology.

The ISSO and other University offices will continue to assess how this will impact our international student and scholar community.  We will also seek clarification as to how this may impact the F and J visas of Chinese graduate students and scholars in these limited disciplines that are currently in the US as well as whether there will be any changes to procedures at US ports of entry.

We will continue to update the community. Please email your ISSO advisor with specific questions.

The following individuals are specifically exempt from the entry or visa ban:

  • Students pursuing undergraduate study
  • Individuals “studying or conducting research in a field involving information that would not contribute to the PRC’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)”
  • U.S. lawful permanent residents
  • Spouses of United States citizens or lawful permanent residents
  • Members of the United States Armed Forces and their spouse and children
  • Individuals “whose travel falls within the scope of section 11 of the United Nations Headquarters Agreement or who would otherwise be allowed entry into the United States pursuant to United States obligations under applicable international agreements”
  • Individuals “whose entry would further important United States 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”
  • Individuals “whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees.”

The Secretary of State will implement the proclamation as it applies to visas “pursuant to such procedures as the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, may establish in the Secretary of State’s discretion.” The Secretary of Homeland Security will implement the proclamation “as it applies to the entry of aliens pursuant to such procedures as the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, may establish in the Secretary of Homeland Security’s discretion.”

Additional Measures of the proclamation:

  • “The Secretary of State shall consider, in the Secretary’s discretion, whether nationals of the PRC currently in the United States pursuant to F or J visas and who otherwise meet the criteria described in section 1 of this proclamation should have their visas revoked pursuant to section 221(i) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1201(i).”
  • “Within 60 days of the effective date of this proclamation, the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the heads of appropriate agencies, shall review nonimmigrant and immigrant programs and shall recommend to the President, through the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, any other measures requiring Presidential action that would mitigate the risk posed by the PRC’s acquisition of sensitive United States technologies and intellectual property.”
  • “The Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall consider issuing updated regulations and guidance, as appropriate, implementing the inadmissibility provisions in section 212(a)(3)(D) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(3)(D).”