The US is updating consular guidelines on study visa applications

The updated Abroad Directive states that police officers should only deal with the “present intention to depart” from the United States after the end of the program and do not have to apply for the property, employment and continuity of life ties required in a short period of time. term visa applicants.

In addition, the United States has said it will extend visa interview exemptions for international students and scholars until the end of 2022.

Organizations say the changes will help students around the world better understand the requirements of current immigration law.

“We are pleased with the renewal of the language in the Handbook on Foreign Affairs, which instructs consular officers to consider the ‘natural difference’ between a young F-1 visa applicant and a more established short-stay visa applicant,” said Jill Allen Murray, NAFSA. Deputy Executive Director for Public Policy.

“Restoring these useful differences to the requirement for a stay abroad for F students was one of NAFSA’s key recommendations to the State Department. This action ensures that the typical F-1 visa applicant is not penalized for not having the “property, employment and continuity of life” that can be expected from short-stay visa applicants such as tourists B. and instead sees these conditions in in their right context. “

The Presidential Alliance for Higher Education and Immigration has also long advocated that the Foreign Ministry make a change in consular leadership, added its Executive Director Miriam Feldblum.

“We commend the Biden administration and the State Department for returning to a sensible overseas policy that clarifies the unique conditions for foreign students to apply for visas here and will help American colleges and universities welcome the best talent from around the world,” she said. .

“This is a crucial step in reviving international student mobility.”

However, Allen Murray added that the move did not remove the requirement that F student visa applicants must prove a non-immigrant intent when applying for a visa.

“There is a need to change the law – in the Immigration and Nationality Act – so that applicants for International Student Visas F have the opportunity to have and express their intention to stay in the United States permanently,” she explained.

“FAM change is a welcome recognition of the reality of the international students’ experience”

The U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, which was introduced in mid-February 2021 and which would extend the dual intent to F-1 students, is currently suspended in Congress, she noted.

“The FAM change is a welcome recognition of the reality of the international student experience,” Allen Murray continued.

“NAFSA continues to push for major reforms that will strengthen the experience of international students in the United States and the ability of higher education institutions in the United States to acquire and retain them: including extending the dual purpose to F-1 students and creating a green card path for foreign graduates.”

In the spring of 2021, the Department of Homeland Security removed from its regulatory agenda the proposed rule for adjusting the duration of the status policy, as recommended by NAFSA.

“We also call on the Biden administration to adopt a comprehensive national strategy for international education, led by the White House Coordinating Council, which would include these policies and several other components,” Allen Murray added.

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