Customs ordered to verify all international student visas

From left: Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev, from Kazakhstan, with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in Times Square.
Published: .
Updated: .

Customs officials are being ordered "effective immediately" to verify that every foreign student arriving in the U.S. has a valid student visa.

It's the first security change by the U.S. government directly related to the Boston bombings.

According to an internal memorandum obtained by The Associated Press, the Homeland Security Department says every international student holding a non-immigrant student visa must have their status verified before being allowed into the U.S. The order came one day after the Obama administration acknowledged that a student from Kazakhstan accused of hiding evidence for one of the Boston bombing suspects was allowed to return to the U.S. in January without a valid student visa.

Azamat Tazhayakov's terminated visa status was in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, called SEVIS.

Three people were killed and dozens of others lost limbs in the April 15th attack. Suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev died after a gunfight with police several days later. His brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was captured and remains in a hospital prison.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)