DOS Issues Annual Guidance on Students and Exchange Visitors
The Department of State has released a cable sent to the field on March 11, 2008, regarding student (F and M) and exchange visitor (J) nonimmigrant visa issues. Among other things, the cable notes that first-time visa applicants may be the highest priority when scheduling appointments, and repeat applicants may be scheduled on a lower-priority tier. The cable also clarifies some information on the DS-2019 form, and discusses new Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) sanctions regulations and new Termination of Designation and Revocation of Program regulations, which took effect January 22, 2008. Specifically, some of the major changes in the sanction and termination process include:
- Sponsors who were at risk of losing their program designations will have their cases heard through a paper review instead of an in-person review.
- A revised suspension process will freeze sponsors’ operations for 120 days while their qualifications are under review.
- A new provision allows the Department to terminate an entire class of designated exchange visitor program sponsors if it believes specific programs, sponsors, exchange visitor category(ies), and/or activities compromise the national security of the U.S. or no longer further the Department’s public diplomacy mission.
- Sponsors on whom the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs imposes lesser sanctions are no longer allowed to appeal.
Statistics and data tables about foreign students and exchange visitors are available here.