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THRIVE Act “fix” passes on to US Senate

The US house of representatives has passed a bill that would “enact a legislative fix” for an act that has restricted the use of commission-based agents for certain US institutions.

Stakeholders are also concerned the Build Back Better bill will make studying in the US more expensive for international students. Photo: iStock

Separate social spending legislation, the Build Back Better bill, will permit the DHS to collect $250 for student visa holders

The THRIVE Act – signed into law during the summer – omitted language explicitly allowing higher education institutions that receive government funding from a GI Bill to use incentive compensation when recruiting international students. The sector has been calling for a “necessary legislative fix”.

The new REMOTE Act is now expected to pass to the Senate, with NAFSA suggesting that now is a “critical time for advocates to weigh in to make sure it becomes law”.

It was introduced in October alongside the Student Veteran COVID-19 Protection Act of 2021, which NAFSA welcomed.

The organisation also urged US residents to support the passage of legislation that will “restore ability of US higher education institutions to use incentive-based pay in international student recruitment”.

“The THRIVE Act can potentially do a lot of damage to US higher education institutions and their efforts to rebuild international student recruitment after Covid-19,” stakeholders previously told The PIE.

Separate social spending legislation, the Build Back Better bill, will permit the DHS to collect $250 for student visa holders, on top of current Student and Exchange Visitor Program fees, and up to $500 for OPT participants.

While the BBB bill has not yet passed through the Senate, NAFSA has called on residents of New York, California, or Illinois to urge senators Alex Padilla (D-CA), Dick Durbin(D-IL), and Charles Schumer (D-NY) to remove the new higher education fees from the bill if the immigration related provisions those funds are intended to offset are ultimately removed.

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