The US Announces Visa Interview Waivers to sure students.
International students selected to come to the US to study this year can apply for waivers of the interview as per the state department. Department of State.
People who apply for F M, F, and academic J-visas, such as professors, students, researchers, scholars, and scholars on short term or experts, can waive visa interview requirements from consular officials.
Consulates can offer waivers to applicants who previously received any visa type but were not denied an entry visa (unless a release or reversal overturned the refusal) and are not in any way a sign of or potential ineligibility statement from the department explained.
In addition, for a new US visa, applicants must be citizens or citizens of any of the 39 nations members of the Visa Waiver Program to be qualified, the program stated.
“Applicants who are from other VWP countries whose visa was granted at the age of fewer than 14 years old will need to provide biometric fingerprints, but they can be able to be accepted for an interview waiver,” it said.
The countries part of the VWP are EU members, aside from Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, the UK, and many more. A lot of the significant sending markets aren’t part of the VWP.
“International students are and always have been the state department’s top priority areas.”
Consular officers were given the authority to do so by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in consultation with the department of homeland security, to waive interview restrictions until 2021.
The stakeholder community has previously requested that the US “maximize options for alternatives for in-person visa interview[s]” in addition to other suggestions since students are faced with massive delays when applying for visas.
Candidates are advised to look up the relevant US consulate or embassy websites to determine the level of services offered and learn about the guidelines on how to apply for a visa without an interview.
According to the government, each consular section continually scrutinizes its ability to decide visa applications in the global pandemic.
“International students are and always will be among the state department’s top priority areas,” the state department declared.
“The department recognizes the significant contribution these students contribute to our university and college campuses, the positive impact they make on US communities, and the many benefits of academic collaboration in fostering knowledge of culture, expanding research, knowledge, and assisting US diplomacy.
“The department is dedicated to assisting students in the US academic community as well as administering US law. The department is also aware of the criticality in the lives of students looking to enter colleges in the US.”
The US has in the past granted F M, F, as well as academic J visa holders qualified to apply for National Interest Exemptions that means they can remain in the US despite a presidential declaration prohibiting entry from 33 nations that are subject to the Covid-19 travel restrictions.
Visa applicants who have an F-1 or M-1 are automatically considered candidates for the NIE to fly.
“Colleges along with universities along with higher education organizations have been calling for the administration as well as Congress to simplify the process to award student visas,” Lynn Pasquerella, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, said to The PIE News.
“The massive decline in international students resulting from Covid-19 and the policies implemented by the previous administration of President Obama has taken its toll, and this is an important positive step,” the president said.
Sarah Spreitzer, director, government relations at the American Council on Education, said the organization was happy with the news that it was pleased that the State Department is granting further flexibility to our international students.
“In March 2021, we requested to the State Department to waive in-person interviews for international students during COVID 19 since, at the time, many consulates were still shut,” she said.
“This will help address this issue, but it does not provide all the international students we have. We are aware State is working to prioritize student visas to tackle the issue of backlogs, and we hope that they’ll continue to look at further flexibility and support for international students when campuses reopen and accept international students in the coming semester and through 2022,” she added.