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State Department expedites college visas to attract more foreign students

In an effort to attract foreign students to study in the United States, the U.S. Department of State (DoS) highlighted efforts to draw future leaders from abroad to attend American colleges.

“We recognize that foreign students bring with them tremendous intellectual, social, and economic benefits,” a Department of State spokesperson said.

The DoS explained they will begin to expedite student visas and that the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs will give student visa appointments special priority.

However, DoS didn’t explain what the expedited process would entail and how they would ensure student visas would not end up in the hands of terrorists like the 9/11 bombers.

Despite some concerns, all U.S. embassies and consulates will process foreign students’ visas within 15 days “to ensure qualified students are able to begin their academic program on time. Worldwide, the maximum wait for a student visa appointment is fewer than 15 days. Foreign students can apply for their visas up to 120 days before their academic programs begin. We always encourage all visa applicants to apply early,” DoS explained.

Calling the program critical to train worldwide students in an increasing global marketplace, DoS cites that the international student body grew by nine percent last year.

“The consistent growth in international enrollments in the United States attests to the universally recognized pre-eminence of the country’s higher education system… Studying in the United States brought $21.3 billion into the domestic economy. Most importantly, educational exchanges foster mutual understanding, respect, and goodwill between Americans and people around the world,” the DoS finished.

Meanwhile, U.S. students continue to face steep college tuition increases- a hardship that has many students dropping out of universities and joining a stagnant work environment.

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

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