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Friday, August 12, 2022

Homeland Security announced last Friday that they would conduct new visa checks for international students studying abroad in the United States due to the Boston bombing attacks. These revisions will only be to make sure that every international student entering the United States has a valid student visa.

After the news that a backpack containing possible evidence concerning the Boston bombings was hidden, authorities traced the actions back to three suspects, one of whom was Azamat Tazhayakov, an international student from Kazakhstan whose student visa was terminated in January of this year after being academically terminated from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

Tazhayakov was allowed reentry in the United States after border agents failed to properly identify him through the Homeland Security Department database, which at the time was only possible if international students were referred to a second border official, which in this case, never occurred.

The new changes that this will bring are said to take immediate effect and international students at the University of Florida can expect their visas to be thoroughly revised at border patrols when entering the country from holidays. Under new procedures to be carried out, border patrol agents will be able to easily and quickly access the Homeland Security’s SEVIS database in order to check the status of incoming immigrants.

The effect that this has on UF international students is sure to be the same as every other university. Students will have to undergo normal university applications as well as regular visa applications.

While this process is long and tedious, students will have to be responsible for making sure visas are valid when they enter the United States. 

The Department of Homeland Security is scheduled to implement these new security measures immediately, making it the first changes directly related to the Boston attacks on April 15.

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