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INS Loosens Some Rules

July 20, 1998

Trying to help students from five Asian nations that are in economic turmoil, the INS has decided to allow them to work full time in America so they can afford to stay in school.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service has temporarily lifted restrictions on visas that have prevented foreign students from working more than 20 hours a week.

In addition, students from Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand and the Philippines will be able to cut back on classes--effectively becoming half-time students--until their financial troubles are over.

The modification of conditions covering foreign student visas is part of an overall U.S. effort to mitigate the impact of the Asian economic crisis, INS officials said.

About 80,000 students from the five countries were enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities during the academic year that just ended. These students have become an important source of revenue for universities because they usually pay full tuition and fees--which become hard to pay when their families' livelihoods are in jeopardy in their home countries.

USC's Office of International Services is holding a series of workshops to help the affected students fill out the paperwork for what is essentially a green card.

Executive Director Dixon C. Johnson expects the school's international office to be inundated by students who want to sign up for the program.

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