19 February 2005

Average Wait Goes From 67 Days to 15 Days

As reported by the Associated Press this week, the State and Homeland Security departments have reduced the time it takes foreign students and scholars trying to travel to the United States to clear Visa Mantis Review, according to a new government report.

The Government Accountability Office last year found average delays of 67 days for applicants to clear a security check for scientists known as Visa Mantis. Some delays were much longer.

Now, according to the GAO, the average wait following the interview has now fallen to 15 days, as a result of better technology, coordination among agencies and policy changes.

Additionally, last week the government announced it would allow international students to keep their Visa Mantis clearance for the duration of their studies, up to four years; a change that will likely further reduce delays.

This is welcome news after three straight years of significant declines in application of foreign graduate students to American schools, which was preceeded by decade-long increases.

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