Click her for Lao version/ຄລິກບ່ອນນີ້ເພື່ອອ່ານພາສາລາວ
American officials say they
are working to reduce visa delays that have affected foreign science students,
researchers and others. The delays involve a security clearance process called
Visas Mantis. Through this program, different government agencies try to
identify visa applicants who could threaten national security.
The aim is to protect American military technology or technology with possible
military uses to other countries or to terrorists. A two thousand five report
said that seventy percent of Mantis requests came from China, Russia and
The United States strengthened its visa requirements after the terrorist
attacks in two thousand one. There have been delays before. Officials said the
average processing time in October of two thousand three was seventy-five days.
The wait was cut to fifteen days under pressure from Congress. But the wait
time has increased again over the past year.
Andy Laine (layn-ee), a State Department spokesman, says the program now has
more workers and new procedures. He says the changes went into effect on May
twenty-ninth with the goal to process all requests within two weeks.
But he also says many visas are delayed because foreign students do not bring
all their paperwork when requesting their travel documents. He advises students
to make an appointment at an American embassy or consulate as soon as they are
accepted to a school. They should take all their acceptance materials with
Higher education groups complained about the delays for foreign science
students and scholars. So did professional groups that hold international
conferences in the United States.
The delays may be one reason why graduate school applications from
international students have slowed for the third year. Early findings show that
applications rose just four percent from two thousand eight to two thousand
The Council of Graduate Schools says this followed an increase of six percent
last year and nine percent the year before that. International applications
increased by twelve percent from two thousand five to two thousand six.
Translated by Buasawan Simmala