Being white and from a small, friendly, country I've never had any problems getting my student visa renewed. (I mention race, not because I think that it should be a factor in how quick you get your visa, but because it almost surely does play a role ...)
But if you're from places like China or India your chances of getting a visa expeditiously are pretty low. This has to be one of the the dumbest penny wise, pound foolish actions the Bush administration has taken.
Appropriately enough given that some of the 9/11 hijackers came in on student visas, there has been increased scrutiny of student visas. But the State Department and its consular offices have to do this on existing budgets. Far be it for American tax-payers to pay for their own security!
To save less than $100 million/year, America is losing droves of talented students from countries that we surely want to develop good relations with. One of the best long-term ways to do this is international educational exchange.
Foreign students get to experience the hospitality of the American people, and American people get to meet foreign people in a mutually beneficial way. The long-term benefits of these investments is amazing in generating good will between opinion leaders, educators, and business people.
Perhaps the best and craziest indicator of how misguided the visa system is that the drop-off in applications is highest from China and India. China and India, those well known havens of terrorists ... You would think that giving young Chinese the opportunity to see what a great country America is, and strengthening ties between the United States and the world's most populous democracy would be worth a few million dollars a year. But apparently not to this administration.Posted by robe0419 at November 23, 2004 9:42 AM | TrackBack