Inflation, ugh. Fees may be on the rise!
The current cost for a foreigner to apply to the U.S. government for a student visa is $160.
There’s a proposal going through the State Department to raise this fee to $245.
This is just a proposal still, and has not been put into place yet, so it’s possible that many of you looking to come to the U.S. to start in the Fall will be able to skirt this increase. However, it’s on the horizon, which is a bummer, and that’s a hefty bump-up, and it’s just one more cost to this whole process.
In better news: The strict-compliance rules that the former U.S. administration has instituted in how student visa apps were evaluated have been softened under the Biden administration, which is more immigrant-friendly than its vocally anti-immigrant predecessor. What this means is that the trends for about 25% of visa apps being denied will hopefully reverse. There are also efforts being made by some U.S. Senators to add greater flexibility and loosen the limits that had been imposed around international students coming to study in the U.S. A key point to remember when applying for a visa: The U.S. government wants to allow international students to come, but they also want to preserve their authority about whether you stay. The policies implemented from 2017-2020 were about evaluating intent of the applicant, in seeing whether they actually were planning on permanently relocating to the U.S., which the consular officials were not open to.
Follow the guidance that your school gives you, and also, be conscious of the reality that even though immigration policies are softening again, the U.S. is still in a protective mode about who they are allowing to come. This is one reason why they ask those questions about your financial assets and whether you can afford to be in the U.S. for an extended time. They are sensitive to the very common strategy of people wanting to come as a student and then stay forever. It’s not like they will automatically reject your application if they sense that you do want to stay past your education. But it’s something they explicitly look out for, and it can raise flags and for some applicants, become an issue.
There are different visas that you will qualify for as a graduate of your MBA program, and because many schools are now STEM-qualified, there are more options for staying in the U.S. for longer than ever before — but the rules are still written in a way that intends for these to be temporary, not permanent. The way you talk about your plans to come to the U.S. in your visa application process should be focused on the academics and getting the education you seek. If you are unclear about this, do your own research from reputable sources or even consider talking to an immigration attorney (especially if you do actually have a dream to settle in the U.S. permanently). EssaySnark is no expert in these matters, we’re only sharing the limited information that we’ve gathered on these very important processes.
One last procedural point for those applying for student visas in 2022: This is actually a continuation of recent policy: Through the end of 2022, local consulates also have the ability to waive the requirement for in-person interviews . This is up to the local officials in the U.S. embassy in your country, and they always have the option of asking for a visa applicant to come in. These changes are of course due to covid-19.
Again, EssaySnark is no expert in the immigration side of things, however we do like to stay informed, and help you to do the same!
We have a few posts floating around on the experience of an international student coming to the U.S. with a partner
If you have first-hand knowledge of any of these issues to share, we’d love to hear them! The comments are open and your input is welcome.
You may also be interested in:
- What impact will The Great Resignation have on hiring MBAs?
- Finally, some comments on these topics that we made last year at this time: What is the visa situation for potential international MBA students in 2021