The US Department of State announced on May 29, 2018, plans to shorten the length of validity for certain visas issued to Chinese citizens, effective June 11, 2018. The plan replaces guidance to consular officers to generally issue visas to applicants for the maximum possible length.

Multiple media reports have confirmed that the change in policy will reportedly affect Chinese student visa holders (F-1), with a focus on graduate students studying in fields such as robotics, aviation, and high-tech manufacturing. In addition, Chinese citizens seeking visas to work as researchers or managers for certain US companies will require special clearance from multiple US agencies, which may take months to receive.

The change in policy was reportedly in response to alleged theft of US intellectual property by Chinese sources and to counter stated Chinese priorities for technological development.