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State Department Puts Foreign Students and Professors First in
Line for Visa Interviews

The Chronicle of Higher Education

Under pressure from college advocacy groups, the U.S.
Department of State has told its overseas consular offices to
schedule students, professors, and researchers first in
interviews that are part of antiterrorism screenings of nearly
all visa applicants. Copies of the notice were sent by telegram on June 3 by Janice
L. Jacobs, deputy assistant secretary for visa services. The
message tells all diplomatic and consular posts to "give
priority to students and exchange visitors in the professor,
student, and research-scholar categories."

The telegram, which the State Department did not publicize,
modifies a May message that required almost all foreigners
seeking visas — millions of people — to have in-person
interviews with consular officials before getting approval for
the documents. The program scrutinizes foreign visitors more
closely in the hopes of weeding out potential terrorists. All
consular offices must begin following the rule by August 1.

College officials are afraid that the requirement will lead to
increased delays that will keep students and scholars from
arriving on campuses in time for the fall term. By requiring
so many people to have interviews, "we were afraid that our
people would just get lost in the queue," said Victor C.
Johnson, associate executive director of NAFSA: Association of
International Educators.
Reports are already circulating of foreign students and
scholars who cannot obtain visa interviews before they are due
on their campuses, Mr. Johnson said. He and other college
officials fear that the delays will discourage foreign
students and scholars from coming to American institutions to
study, teach, or do research.

עו"ד ליעם שוורץ
קן-תור, שוורץ עו"ד
דיני כניסה ועבודה לארה"ב
[email protected] http://www.ksvisa.com
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