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Published on : January 8, 2022
The United States Department of State (US DOS) recently updated its guidance for officers in American consulates worldwide regarding the approval of study visa applications.
In the ‘Residence Abroad Guidance,’ DOS stated that consular officers should focus only on the current intent to depart from the country after finishing their education and must not be concerned about property ties, continuity of life, and employment issues.
Apart from the update in guidance for consular officers, the United States government also said that it would increase the visa interview waivers for foreign scholars by the end of this year.
The update has been issued to simplify and fasten the study visa process for future international students after several complaints by officials from several US universities.
This update has been well-received by several organizations, including the National Association for Foreign Student Affairs (NAFSA), who said that this would help those students better navigate the needs of the current immigration laws.
NAFSA’s deputy executive director of PR, Jill Allen Murray, said that “restoring these helpful distinctions to the residence abroad requirement for F students was one of NAFSA’s key recommendations to the Department of State.”
“This action ensures that the typical F-1 visa applicant won’t be penalized for not having the ‘ties of property, employment, and continuity of life’ that applicants for short-term visas, such as B tourists, might be expected to have, and instead to view these conditions in their proper context,” she added.
However, she said that this action does not negate the need to demonstrate these students’ non-immigration intent. She added that a change is needed in the law to permit F-1 students to express intention to remain in the US permanently.
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