I am Chinese, and I plan to apply for the 2022 Fall PhD in the U.S. I am confident with my research caliber and experience. However, I am worried about whether the terrible relationship between the U.S. and China will affect my application and other Chinese students, especially those in engineering and science majors.

I am not a CCP member, neither my spouse is (we don’t favor them at all), and I don’t have any relation to military-linked universities [1]. But I did have a working experience in a company that falls into the U.S. Commerce Department’s Entity List (not Huawei) [2]. Currently, I am working in a U.S. company.

I know many people sharing similar concerns with me, and your opinion could matter a lot to us. Thanks for your help.

[1] https://www.voanews.com/usa/us-ban-chinese-students-military-links-divides-experts-impact

[2] https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/10/09/2019-22210/addition-of-certain-entities-to-the-entity-list

  • Duplicate, although the linked question doesn't have a good answer either: academia.stackexchange.com/questions/155084/…
    – Allure
    Aug 26, 2021 at 3:07
  • That is a good reference. Thanks @Allure. This question indeed could be unanswerable. Let's see what might have changed a year later from that question.
    – dudu
    Aug 26, 2021 at 3:37
  • @gnometorule Thanks for your help. The non-security-sensitive looks like a vague term which can be interpreted differently in various contexts, which is exactly the thing troubles me. But I will still be giving my best effort and hope.
    – dudu
    Aug 26, 2021 at 11:29
  • You need a visa. If you can get that, then you are just like any other international student. I doubt that any program would discriminate, though some individuals might. So, ask elsewhere if you are eligible for a visa to study.
    – Buffy
    Aug 26, 2021 at 13:29
  • 1
    In addition to the issue of obtaining visa, you may find that you're ineligible to work on certain funded research projects because of your nationality. This is particularly an issue with research projects funded by the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense. Sep 8, 2023 at 16:34

1 Answer 1


Tensions between China and America are having a profound effect on Chinese students in America. Chinese students' conduct is scrutinized very carefully these days. In addition, it would not surprise me one bit if their calls and email messages were being monitored very carefully. In addition, Chinese students - and especially those in science and technology fields - are being regarded with increasing suspicion by many people in the United States. To be honest, I think all of this is understandable when you think of all the Chinese citizens (residing in America) who have been arrested for espionage in recent years.

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