During International Education Week, the U.S. Department of State highlights existing efforts to attract future leaders from abroad to take advantage of the exceptional educational opportunities in the United States. They recognize that foreign students bring with them tremendous intellectual, social, and economic benefits. As part of these efforts, the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs gives student visa appointments special priority.
All U.S. embassies and consulates expedite visa processing for foreign students to ensure qualified students are able to begin their academic program on time. Worldwide, the maximum wait for a student visa appointment is fewer than 15 days. Foreign students can apply for their visas up to 120 days before their academic programs begin. All visa applicants are encouraged to apply early.
The consistent growth in international enrollments in the United States attests to the universally recognized pre-eminence of the country’s higher education system. International education grew by nearly 9 percent during the 2010/11 academic year, and foreign students studying in the United States brought $21.3 billion into the domestic economy.
The educational exchanges foster mutual understanding, respect, and goodwill between Americans and people around the world.