NAFSA, along with a coalition of more than 30 science, academic, and engineering organizations, today urged the federal government to take additional steps to improve the visa process for international students, scholars, and scientists, including creation of a high-level interagency panel to review all the government’s post-9/11 visa policies and procedures.

NAFSA Executive Director and CEO Marlene Johnson had this to say in the joint statement:

We applaud the State Department for working with its partner agencies to address this most recent spate of visa delays for students and scholars in the sciences. Students and scholars have more choices than ever of where to study and conduct research, so we must work together to address the remaining visa problems if we are to remain a leading destination for innovation and academic excellence."

The statement praises recent actions taken by the federal government, as well as those taken over the past several years, to address the concerns of the academic and scientific communities in the wake of restrictions imposed after 9/11. It also underscores the scientific and academic communities’ appreciation for action recently taken by the Departments of Homeland Security and State – and announced at the NAFSA annual conference in Los Angeles in late May – to provide additional personnel in order to streamline the security review process known as Visa Mantis, eliminate the current backlog of Mantis applications, and reduce wait times for the international science students and researchers subject to Visa Mantis.