Senate Democrats Urge State Department to Speed up Clearing Student Visa Backlog

A group of 24 Senate Democrats are calling on the U.S. Department of State to “do everything it can” to expedite the student visa process, so that international students may begin their studies in the United States before the new academic year begins. In a letter (pdf) to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the senators suggested that the department should increase staffing and work hours, maximize use of virtual interviews, and provide more flexibility in order to speed up clearing the backlog of student visa requests. “We are at a critical point in the academic calendar when international students and scholars must make visa appointments and plan their travel to the United States,” the senators explained in the letter, adding that although some U.S. consulates are reopening from pandemic shutdowns, most of them are still operating at low capacity, and access to visa appointments are limited. Applicants of student visas …Read More

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