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September 09, 2016

The federal government announced Friday that it's expanding visas to Syrian students studying at American colleges and universities. The Department of Homeland Security is trying to make it easier for Syrian refugees to work while in the U.S.

The changes apply to both undergraduate and graduate students who "experienced severe economic hardship as a direct result of the ongoing civil unrest in Syria since 2011."

Right now, only Syrian students who were in the States before April, 2012 are eligible for work visas, and the Department of Homeland Security estimates that last month there were about 700 Syrian work visa holders.

The expansion will suspend some regulations, allowing Syrians on student visas to work while they study.

According to the International 2015 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, fewer than 800 students from Syria were enrolled at higher education institutions in the U.S. in the 2014-15 academic year.

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