美国宣布 提前120天为外国学生签发入境签证

中国日报网站消息,美国国务院2月14日宣布延长为外国学生提前签发学生签证的时间,从以往提前90天签发改为最多可在开学前120天签发。
据美国国务院国际信息局(IIP)《美国参考》报道,根据新的办法,对于申请F-1(学生签证)、F-2(F-1配偶或子女)签证、M-1(职业培训)、M-2(M-1配偶或子女)签证第一次入境的学生和人员,现可在学习项目开始前最多120天签发入境签证。

美国务院指出,新办法仅适用于第一次入境美国的学生。在读生只要能保持学生身份,在SEVIS系统的学生和交流访问者情况没有失效,可随时申请新的F类或M类签证,J-1(交流访问者)及J-2(J-1配偶或子女)签证可在有关项目开始前任何时间签发。

这项新办法是美国国务卿赖斯与国土安全部部长迈克尔·切尔托夫为保障信息时代边界安全与门户开放倡导的联合计划的一部分。赖斯在宣布这项联合计划时指出,美国正积极努力要求继续向外国来访者开放,重点是为今后来美学生发放签证。

据介绍,有关来美留学的信息,可以访问美国国务院教育和文化事务局网页“美国教育” (EducationUSA),网址:http://www.educationusa.state.gov/ 和《美国高等教育》电子期刊(College and University Education in the United States),网址:http://usinfo.state.gov/journals/itsv/1105/ijse/ijse1105.htm

有关学生签证及签证申请程序的详情,可以查看美国国务院领事事务局的网站,网址:http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1268.html

United States opens its doors wide open for foreign students: Visa requirements greatly relaxed
Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent for Asian Tribune

Washington, D.C. 17 February (Asiantribune.com): The United States has extended the length of time foreign students may be issued student visas, and will issue student visas up to 120 days before classes begin, as compared to 90 days under previous regulations, the State Department announced

The State Department made this significant change due to vehement criticism by the nation’s premier universities lodged at far as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee which said that the stringent visa policies adopted by the Department of State since the 9/11 attack on the American soil has discouraged foreign students applying for American universities.

Because of terrorist controlled measures enrollments in American universities declined since 2001. Nevertheless, in 2004/2005, 89,634 international scholars were teaching or conducting research at U.S. campuses, an increase of 8.1% from the previous year.

Each year, international students contribute billions of dollars to the U.S. economy through their tuition, fees and living expenses. In 2004/2005 the net contribution to the U.S. economy by foreign students and their families was 13 billion 290 million dollars.

Under the new State Department regulations, students applying for initial-entry F-1 (academic student), F-2 (spouse or child of F-1) and M-1 (vocational training) and M-2 (spouse and child of M-1) visas now may be issued up to 120 days before their academic program start date.

“This change reflects our ongoing commitment to ensuring the safety of our citizens and our visitors by keeping our borders secure, while also taking significant steps to ensure that our doors remain open to those seeking to visit, study or conduct business in the U.S.,” the State Department announcement states.

The announcement however emphasized that these changes apply only to students entering the United States for the first time.

Continuing students may apply for new F or M visas at any time, as long as they have maintained their student status and their student and exchange visitor information records are current. J-1 (exchange visitor) and J-2 (spouse or child of J-1) visas may be issued to J-1 visitors at any time before beginning their programs in the United States.

The number of foreign students enrolled in U.S. higher education institutions during the 2004-2005 academic year remained fairly steady at 565,039, down 1.3 percent from the previous year’s totals, according to the Institute of International Education’s 2005 report on international academic mobility.

Institute of International Education (IIE) is a nonprofit educational and cultural exchange organization based in New York.

U.S. education institutions enrolled 547,867 foreign students in 2000-2001 academic year (before the 9/11 attack), and a lower number of students in subsequent years, compared to an increase to 565,039 in 2004-2005, notes IIE.

“Strong recruitment, combined with more efficient and transparent student visa processes, have begun to stem the tide of decreasing international student enrollment. We need to continue these concerted efforts to get the word out that our doors are open to international students, in order to attract the best and the brightest students from all over the world,” said IIE President Allan E. Goodman.

The leading country of origin for international students in the United States for the fourth consecutive year was India (80,466, up 1 percent), followed by China (62,523, up 1 percent), South Korea (53,358, up 2 percent), Japan (42,215, up 3 percent) and Canada (28,140, up 4 percent).

Of the top 20 sending counties, the sharpest decreases in the number of students were reported from Indonesia (down 13%), Kenya (down 9%), Pakistan (down 14%) and Malaysia (down 5%). The total number of students from the Middle East region 31,248, down 2 percent) declined, although not as sharp decline as the 9 percent in 2004.

According to the New York-based Institute of International Education (IIE), the slight overall decline in international students enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities was due to several factors, including real and perceived difficulties in obtaining student visas (especially in scientific and technical fields), rising U.S. tuition costs, recruitment by other English-speaking nations and misperceptions abroad that it is difficult for international students to come to the United States.

The United States, in the past five decades or so maintained her global political, military, economic and diplomatic clout because of the free flow of foreign brains, was the view of most senior academics who testified before United States House and Senate committees last year urging the Congress to intervene to relax some of the stringent visa regulations put in place after the 9/11 attack. The Department of State seems to have listened to saner counsel in relaxing some of the visa regulations encouraging international students, graduate students and researcher to enroll in U.S. universities.

- Asian Tribune -

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