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US relaxes visa norms for students

The visas will be 120 days ahead of the start of the academic session as compared to 90 days under previous regulations.

india Updated: Feb 15, 2006 15:01 IST

The US will issue visas to foreign students up to 120 days ahead of the start of the academic session as compared to 90 days under previous regulations.

The new measure comes after a Joint Vision announced by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff in January that seeks to enhance border security while streamlining security processes and facilitating travel for visitors to the US.

Students applying for initial-entry F-1 (academic student), F-2 (spouse or child of F-1) and M-1 (vocational training) and M-2 (spouse or child of M-1) visas may now be issued those visas up to 120 days before their academic programme starts (as compared to 90 days under previous regulations).

The J-1 (exchange visitor) and J-2 (spouse or child of J-1) visitors may be issued visas at any time before the beginning of their programmes.

These changes will apply only to initial-entry students. Continuing students will be able to apply for new F or M visas at any time, as long as they maintain their student status and their student and exchange visitor information (SEVIS) records are current.

First Published: Feb 15, 2006 14:51 IST