The plan is in the preliminary stages and could take a minimum of 18 months. The plan may also require agreement from the State Department, which issues visas. The officials say the proposal seeks to enhance national security by more closely monitoring the students.
The discussions are emerging at a time when foreign student enrollment has reached a historic high in the United States and is injecting billions of dollars into the economy.
The changes could lead to fewer foreign students coming to the United States and greater administrative costs for the schools to keep their students’ paperwork up to date, according to people familiar with the discussions.
The most recent stats, as of May 2017, Asian students accounted for 77 percent of international students this year, according to a recent ICE report. China has 362,368 students in the United States this year, the most of any country, according to ICE. India, which has one of the fastest-growing populations of citizens on student visas in the United States, has 206,698.