State Dept. Updates Student and Exchange Visitor Visa Guidance
The Department of State has released a cable (PDF) updating guidance to the field for student and exchange visitor visa applications. The cable reminds posts that visa appointments for students and exchange visitors should be provided on a priority basis. Admission to a lesser?known academic institution, a community college, or an English language program is not in itself a reason for refusal, the cable notes, but all applicants should be able to explain their school choice and educational plan. “Which school a student chose is not nearly as important as why he/she chose it. ”
The cable urges posts to report suspect schools. The cable also notes that Summer Work and Travel Program participants should return from their programs in time for the beginning of fall classes, even though the Department of Homeland Security allows them a 30?day grace period before they have to leave the U.S. The cable also provides clarification on flight training, study incidental to visits for pleasure, and the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).
The cable also notes that the Bureau of Consular Affairs continues to receive complaints that some consular officers are unreceptive to applications from prospective community college students. This is at odds with Consular Affairs policy, the cable notes.