Visas

The State Department is taking steps to speed up the visa application process for foreign students and scholars, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Chronicle of Higher Education all reported. From the Chronicle:

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Speaking at the New York University commencement ceremony on Wednesday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged the 2009 graduating class to become citizen diplomats and to open themselves up to “this increasingly complex and interconnected world.” Clinton spent a significant portion of her speech emphasizing that “lay[ing] the groundwork…for global cooperation” begins with international exchange. Her remarks included such specific proposals as increasing funding for Gilman scholarships by more than 40 per cent, streamlining the visa process for international students, and creating Virtual Student Foreign Service Internships at the State Department “to harness the energy of a rising generation of citizen diplomats”:

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The Washington Post ran a piece yesterday on the affect of visa delays on scientists and other skilled foreign workers:

Delays have increased because of rising demand for U.S. visas all over the world, said David Donahue, deputy assistant secretary of state for visa services.

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The Washington Post ran a piece yesterday on the affect of visa delays on scientists and other skilled foreign workers:

Delays have increased because of rising demand for U.S. visas all over the world, said David Donahue, deputy assistant secretary of state for visa services.

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The Chronicle of Higher Education reported Friday that a major antiterrorism operation in Britain last week, in which 12 men were arrested, all of whom had entered the country on student visas, has heightened student visa concerns:  “Last month Britain’s immigration minister said that ‘abuse of the student visa has been the biggest abuse of the system, the major loophole in Britain’s border controls.’”

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The Chronicle of Higher Education reported Friday that a major antiterrorism operation in Britain last week, in which 12 men were arrested, all of whom had entered the country on student visas, has heightened student visa concerns: “Last month Britain’s immigration minister said that ‘abuse of the student visa has been the biggest abuse of the system, the major loophole in Britain’s border controls.’”

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Congressional Quarterly reported today that applications for FY 2010 H-1B visas have slowed in comparison to previous years. Each April 1, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) begins accepting applications for H-1B visas, a category of immigrant visas reserved for skilled workers and good for six years—65,000 are available for each fiscal year, with an additional 20,000 reserved for applicants with a master’s degree or more from a U.S. college or university.

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InsideHigherEd.com reports today that international applications to U.S. graduate schools rose 4 per cent between 2008 and 2009, “with the increase ‘driven almost entirely’ by growth at institutions with the largest numbers of international students enrolled already,” according to a new survey by the Council of Graduate Schools:

“Foreign applications rose 6 per cent at the top 100 destination institutions for international students, but dropped 4 per cent at institutions outside the top 100.”

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Two recent articles in the Chronicle of Higher Education examine issues surrounding foreign scholars and students in the United States.

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The Alliance completed visits this fall to consular posts in Asia to discuss visa processing. We visited the following posts: Beijing, Shanghai, Bangkok, Manila.

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