< Back to H.R. 3120 (112th Congress, 2011–2013)

Text of the Student Visa Reform Act

This bill was introduced in a previous session of Congress and was passed by the House on August 1, 2012 but was never passed by the Senate. The text of the bill below is as of Aug 2, 2012 (Referred to Senate Committee).

Source: GPO

IIB

112th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 3120

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

August 2, 2012

Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

AN ACT

To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to require accreditation of certain educational institutions for purposes of a nonimmigrant student visa, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Student Visa Reform Act.

2.

Accreditation requirement for colleges and universities

Section 101(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (15)(F)(i)—

(A)

by striking section 214(l) at an established college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution or in an accredited language training program in the United States and inserting section 214(m) at an accredited college, university, or language training program, or at an established seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution in the United States; and

(B)

by striking Attorney General each place such term appears and inserting Secretary of Homeland Security; and

(2)

by amending paragraph (52) to read as follows:

(52)

Except as provided in section 214(m)(4), the term accredited college, university, or language training program means a college, university, or language training program that is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the Secretary of Education.

.

3.

Other requirements for academic institutions

Section 214(m) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1184(m)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

(3)

The Secretary of Homeland Security, in the Secretary’s discretion, may require accreditation of an academic institution (except for seminaries or other religious institutions) for purposes of section 101(a)(15)(F) if—

(A)

that institution is not already required to be accredited under section 101(a)(15)(F)(i);

(B)

an appropriate accrediting agency recognized by the Secretary of Education is able to provide such accreditation; and

(C)

the institution has or will have 25 or more alien students accorded status as nonimmigrants under clause (i) or (iii) of section 101(a)(15)(F) pursuing a course of study at that institution.

(4)

The Secretary of Homeland Security, in the Secretary’s discretion, may waive the accreditation requirement in section 101(a)(15)(F)(i) with respect to an established college, university, or language training program if the academic institution—

(A)

is otherwise in compliance with the requirements of such section; and

(B)

is making a good faith effort to satisfy the accreditation requirement.

(5)
(A)

No person convicted of an offense referred to in subparagraph (B) shall be permitted by any academic institution having authorization for attendance by nonimmigrant students under section 101(a)(15)(F)(i) to be involved with the institution as its principal, owner, officer, board member, general partner, or other similar position of substantive authority for the operations or management of the institution, including serving as an individual designated by the institution to maintain records required by the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System established under section 641 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1372).

(B)

An offense referred to in this subparagraph includes a violation, punishable by a term of imprisonment of more than 1 year, of any of the following:

(i)

Chapter 77 of title 18, United States Code (relating to peonage, slavery and trafficking in persons).

(ii)

Chapter 117 of title 18, United States Code (relating to transportation for illegal sexual activity and related crimes).

(iii)

Section 274 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1324) (relating to unlawful bringing of aliens into the United States).

(iv)

Section 1546 of title 18, United States Code (relating to fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other documents) relating to an academic institution’s participation in the Student and Exchange Visitor Program.

.

4.

Conforming amendment

Section 212(a)(6)(G) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(6)(G)) is amended by striking section 214(l) and inserting section 214(m).

5.

Effective date

(a)

In general

Except as provided in subsection (b), the amendments made by sections 2 and 3—

(1)

shall take effect on the date that is 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act; and

(2)

shall apply with respect to applications for a nonimmigrant visa under section 101(a)(15)(F)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(F)(i)) that are filed on or after the effective date described in paragraph (1).

(b)

Temporary exception

(1)

In general

During the 3-year period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, an alien seeking to enter the United States to pursue a course of study at a college or university that has been certified by the Secretary of Homeland Security may be granted a nonimmigrant visa under clause (i) or clause (iii) of section 101(a)(15)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(F)) without regard to whether or not that college or university has been accredited or been denied accreditation by an entity described in section 101(a)(52) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(52)), as amended by section 2(2) of this Act.

(2)

Additional requirement

An alien may not be granted a nonimmigrant visa under paragraph (1) if the college or university to which the alien seeks to enroll does not—

(A)

submit an application for the accreditation of such institution to a regional or national accrediting agency recognized by the Secretary of Education on or before the date that is 1 year after the effective date described in subsection (a)(1); and

(B)

comply with the applicable accrediting requirements of such agency.

Passed the House of Representatives August 1, 2012.

Karen L. Haas,

Clerk.