US State Department Prioritises Study Visas For Nigerians, Other International Students

US State Department Prioritises Study Visas For Nigerians, Other International Students

  • The United States has said it has begun to give priority to student visas to international students
  • The US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, said the department had simplified the process of visa application and issuance for international students
  • He said that several changes had been introduced to visa issuance for students from abroad

The United States Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, has stated that the State Department’s top priority includes simplifying and prioritizing study visas for international students and creating inclusive and accessible study abroad opportunities.

Blinken said this at the NAFSA conference in Washington DC, where he stressed the importance of international education in the US diplomacy and national security strategy.

US, Student visa
The US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken Credit: Chip Somodevilla / Staff
Source: Getty Images

The US is desperately looking to develop international education

He stated that the Biden government is committed to supporting study-abroad programmes.

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Blinken stated that the State Department is working to develop international education in the country.

Blinken said:

“At the State Department, we are working to expand international education. After the acute phase of the Covid-19 pandemic ended, more and more international students began applying to study in the US again,” he said.
“We took steps to streamline our visa process and make it easier for students to apply.”

Expanding international education

He said many international students have started applying to study in the US again after the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to him, the department took steps to ease and simplify the visa application process, making it more accessible to students.

He said US representatives and Consular teams were asked to prioritize student visas, and certain students were allowed to apply for visas without interviews.

Also, Blinken said, visa applications can now be filed one year in advance, instead of the former 120-day limit, stating that in 2022, the US issued over 580,000 student visas which is the highest in five years.

Visa application and processing simplified for international students

He said the department is collaborating with higher education institutions and NAFSA to offer students information about international opportunities and to host exchanges.

In addition, the minimum requirement for the Gilman scholarship programme has been eradicated to allow more students, including those with family or work responsibilities, to participate in shorter but impactful study abroad experiences.

This move is also expected to benefit students from regions in Africa.

He expressed the department’s commitment to exploring more opportunities to expand and improve international education initiatives.

"No more N87k": US Embassy increases visa fees for Nigerians planning to 'Japa,' announces start date reported that the United States Embassy in Nigeria had announced increased fees for processing non-immigrant visa (NIV) applications.

In its website, the embassy said the new fees for various visa categories will be implemented from June 17, 2023.

The changes are in response to the Department of State's recently published Final Rule concerning non-immigrant visa application processing fees.


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