22 U.S. Code § 5726 - Treatment of Hong Kong applicants for visas to study or work in the United States

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(a) Visa eligibility for certain Hong Kong students

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, applications for visas to enter, study, or work in the United States, which are submitted by otherwise qualified applicants who resided in Hong Kong in 2014 and later, may not be denied primarily on the basis of the applicant’s subjection to politically-motivated arrest, detention, or other adverse government action.

(b) ImplementationThe Secretary of State shall take such steps as may be necessary to ensure that consular officers are aware of the policy described in subsection (a) and receive appropriate training and support to ensure that the policy is carried out so that affected individuals do not face discrimination or unnecessary delay in the processing of their visa applications, including—
(1)
providing specialized training for all consular officers posted to the United States Embassy in Beijing or to any United States consulate in the People’s Republic of China, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, or the Macau Special Administrative Region;
(2)
instructing the United States Consulate in Hong Kong to maintain an active list of individuals who are known to have been formally charged, detained, or convicted by the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region or by the Government of the People’s Republic of China, or intermediaries of such governments, based on politically-motivated considerations related to their exercise of rights enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, done at Paris December 10, 1948, or the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, done at New York December 19, 1966, to facilitate the cross-checking of visa applications for Hong Kong residents; and
(3)
updating any relevant United States Government websites with information on the policy described in subsection (a).
(c) Cooperation with like-minded countriesThe Secretary of State shall contact appropriate representatives of other democratic countries, particularly those who receive a large number of applicants for student and employment visas from Hong Kong
(1)
to inform them of the United States policy regarding arrests for participation in nonviolent protests in Hong Kong; and
(2)
to encourage them to take similar steps to ensure the rights of nonviolent protesters are protected from discrimination due to the actions of the Government of Hong Kong and of the Government of the People’s Republic of China.