Foreign students may have to reapply every year to stay in the US while completing their study programmes.
Indian and other foreign students enrolled in universities and colleges in the United States may have to apply for fresh permission every year if the US administration approves a proposal by the Department of Homeland Security.
According to a report in The Washington Post, the proposal, which is at a preliminary stage, is linked to the Donald Trump administration's plan to tighten national security. It could take up to 18 months for the plan to be implemented, if approved.
Under the plan, study programmes will set an end date for foreign students which will force them to reapply for permission to stay if they switch from undergraduate to graduate programmes.
Students will also have to reapply if they are unable to finish the course within the stipulated time.
If approved, the plan could make studying in the US more expensive and tiresome, and is likely to impact the US economy too.
During Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the US in June, the White House's senior official claimed Indian students generated an estimated USD 5 billion in economic activity and supported as many as 64,000 American jobs.
Nearly 1.6 lakh Indian students were enrolled in US universities in 2016.According to government-funded agency Open Door, Indian and Chinese students accounted for 47 percent of all foreign students in the US.