Press Release

State Department Relaxes Visa Mantis Policy - Improves Process for Foreign Students

The Visa Mantis policy change was announced on February 11, 2005, through a joint statement by the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security. This change extends the validity of the Visa Mantis clearance (which screens candidates to protect against illegal technology transfer) for the entire length of F students' study period (up to four years) and extends validity for exchange visitors and researchers for up to two years.

Formerly, students and scholars had to undergo a new Visas Mantis clearance review each time they renewed their visa, sometimes after even a short visit home or attendance at an overseas conference, if the original visa was for single entry.

The often lengthy Visas Mantis clearance process (involving inter-agency review in Washington, after the Embassy approves the basic visa application) has also been expedited, now averaging just 14 days, according to the State Department.

An New York Times editorial published on February 15, 2005, entitled "Sanity on Visas for Students" commends the State Department for streamlining the student visa process and for the change in the Visa Mantis clearance process, which the Times calls the "capstone" of the recent progress.

Below you can find various newspaper articles and editorials related to the recent policy changes.

You will find links to the official Department of State announcement of the new Visa Mantis policy. We applaud the State Department for making these changes, and the efforts of all in the international education community, including IIE staff and Trustees, who worked to encourage the changes. The entire community (and all future science and technology students and scholars) will benefit from these policies.





Recent Articles and Editorials

AP
Report: Visa Applications Moving Faster >>

The Economist
Visas and Science: American express? >>

Christian Science Monitor
Attracting the World's Brightest >>

New York Times
EDITORIAL: Sanity on Visas for Students >>

Financial Times
EDITORIAL: Common sense on US visas >>

New York Times
State Dept. Relaxes Visa Rules for Some Scientists and Students >>

International Herald Tribune
Longer stays for sensitive U.S. visas >>

Indo-Asian News Service - New Delhi, India
Foreign students, scientists can extend US stay >>

Independent Florida Alligator
Less hassles for students' visas >>

San Jose Mercury News
Security checks relaxed for foreign students >>






Official Announcement

See the joint release from the US Department of State and Department of Homeland Security which provides more details.





Background

2004 GAO Report on Border Security

2005 GAO Report




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Media Contacts

Sharon Witherell
Director, Public Affairs
Tel: +1 212.984.5380
E-mail: switherell@iie.org

IIE Experts

IIE experts on international education are available for interviews or speaking engagements.

Dr. Allan E. Goodman
President and CEO

Peggy Blumenthal 
Senior Counselor to the President