This page will be regularly updated when there are issues for which EnglishUSA is advocating. We encourage members to use these resources to TAKE ACTION as international education professionals and voting constituents.
Talking points to submit comments to the proposal issued on 7/17/2018 by DHS to adjust fees charged by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) to individuals and organizations
- DHS justifies the fee increase by arguing that SEVIS is paid for by its users, and that it needs to increase fees in order to forestall financial losses. While this may be true, we feel that the SEVIS fee (paid in addition to the visa application fee) disproportionately burdens the many IEP students who come to the U.S. for short-term study on F-1 visas.
- The proposed increases come at a time when our industry is suffering enrollment declines. According to the IIE-Open Doors session in May 2018, intensive English enrollments were down 20% in 2017. Increased fees will likely lead to prospective students choosing other English-speaking countries.
- The proposed fee increases will hit our industry hard, making it difficult for EnglishUSA programs to attract new business. This will impact U.S. and local economies, since intensive English program students bring not only tuition revenue, but also pay for housing, food, transportation, retail goods, and leisure activities.
*According to NAFSA: Association of International Educators, international students and their dependents contributed nearly $37 billion and supported 450,000 jobs during the 2016-2017 academic year.
*In our congressional district alone, international students contributed $[ENTER DOLLAR TOTAL FOR YOUR CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT FROM WWW.NAFSA.ORG/ECONVALUE] and supported [ENTER JOB TOTAL FOR YOUR CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT FROM WWW.NAFSA.ORG/ECONVALUE] jobs.
- The international understanding that participation in U.S. intensive English programs fosters will be diminished, as there will be fewer IEP students returning to their countries with positive messages about the U.S.
- International students are assets, not threats. They help to drive U.S. productivity and innovation, yet we are gradually losing students to other countries, like Australia, Canada, and China, who are proactively enacting government policies and strategies to attract these talented individuals. To remain a leader, especially in science and technology, we must remain open and welcoming to international students.
- This proposal comes at the same time that USCIS announced a policy change to go into effect on 9/11/2018 that allows visa application reviewers to reject a student visa application without seeking information needed to complete the application or issuing a notice of intent to deny the visa request. These issues are cumulative and send an extremely negative message to all international students.
STEPS: Submitting comments and/or writing letters to Members of Congress
- Cut and paste any or all of the talking points above into a Word doc or download this Word doc
- Customize the information with data about your own state, student stories, program successes, community impact, etc. More resources and sample handouts on the Advocacy Resources page.
- Review the proposal and submit your comments here by 9/17/2018
- Obtain email addresses for your Members of Congress
STEPS: Setting up visit to Members of Congress (locally or in DC)
- Review NAFSA's Scheduling a Meeting with a Member of Congress Toolkit and make an appointment to meet with him/her. It may be possible to find the name of your MOCs dedicated scheduler on this site
- Make an appointment to meet with him/her in person
- Prepare a talking points handout with the information above (see sample docs below from GA and MA) that you can leave with the MOS or staffer
- Use the helpful hints from the updated EnglishUSA webinar: Advocacy 101: Prepping for Local and National Visits to prepare for your visit
Sample Documents to Customize for your Visits (insert recent talking points)
One-pager: Sample document with state data (MA) from NAFSA Economic Tool
One-pager: Sample document with state data (GA) from NAFSA Economic Tool
News Releases Relevant to Proposed Fee Increases/Visa Issues
To be developed