[Marxism] Fewer Visa Applicants, Higher Visa Rejection Rates

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at osu.edu
Wed Mar 31 11:24:25 MST 2004

*****   Even if their applications are rejected, citizens of 
developing nations must pay $100 for a non-immigrant visa to the 
United States. . . .

The unfairness is obvious: people should not be charged for something 
- in this case, a visa to the United States - that they do not 
receive. And $100 is a huge sum in nations like India, with an annual 
per capita income estimated at $2,600 in 2002, or even Poland, where 
it is $9,700. . . .

From October 2000 to September 2001, 6.3 million people applied to 
travel to the United States for business, pleasure or medical 
treatment from developing nations. (These include any nations that do 
not have a reciprocal visa waiver agreement with the United States.) 
That number dropped to 3.7 million for the 2003 fiscal year. 
Applications for student visas fell by almost 100,000 over the same 
two years.

Despite the decline in applications, visa rejection rates have risen. 
The rate for "cultural exchange" visas, for example - used by many 
medical students - was 5.1 percent for the 2001 fiscal year; two 
years later it was 7.8 percent.

(Steven C. Clemons, "Land of the Free?" _New York Times_, March 31, 
2004, <http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/31/opinion/31CLEM.html>)   *****

*****   On June 1, the State Department is expected to start charging 
applicants a long-planned fee to pay for the system's operation. 
College officials worry that the $100 fee will add yet another 
complicated step to an already complex interagency process and deter 
even more international students from applying.

To pay the fee, applicants will have to use U.S. dollars through an 
American bank, which would then mail them a paper receipt to present 
at the visa interview. Mail service in many countries is slow and 
unreliable, says Terry W. Hartle, senior vice president for 
government affairs at the American Council on Education, and paper 
receipts can be lost, stolen, or counterfeited.

(Michael Arnone, "Security at Home Creates Insecurity Abroad," _The 
Chronicle of Higher Education_, March 12, 2004, 
<http://chronicle.com/free/v50/i27/27a02101.htm>)   *****

*****    At 90 percent of American colleges and universities, 
applications from international students for fall 2004 are down, 
according to a survey by the Council of Graduate Schools that was 
released earlier this month. According to a recent article in The 
Chronicle of Higher Education, applications from China have fallen by 
76 percent, while those from India have dropped by 58 percent. 
Applications to research universities from prospective international 
graduate students are down by at least 25 percent overall; here at 
Texas A&M, international student applications have fallen by 38 
percent from last year.

Not surprisingly, universities in Australia, Britain, France and 
elsewhere are taking advantage of our barriers and are aggressively 
recruiting these students. According to the Chronicle, foreign 
student enrollment in Australia is up 16.5 percent over last year; 
Chinese enrollment there has risen by 20 percent.

(Robert M. Gates, "International Relations 101," _New York Times_, 
March 31, 2004, 
<http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/31/opinion/31GATE.html>)   *****

*****   The Chronicle of Higher Education
Thursday, March 4, 2004
New Survey Confirms Sharp Drop in Applications to U.S. Colleges From 
Foreign Graduate Students

More than 90 percent of American colleges and universities have seen 
a drop in applications from international graduate students for the 
fall 2004 term, and the number of submissions has fallen 32 percent 
from last year, according to a survey released by the Council of 
Graduate Schools on Tuesday.

The findings support a similar survey released last week that found a 
sharp decline in the number of applications from graduate students 
from overseas, and a smaller drop in the number from undergraduates. 
That survey was jointly conducted by the graduate-schools council, 
the American Council on Education, the Association of American 
Universities, Nafsa: Association of International Educators, and the 
National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges.

The new study, which focuses on graduate students only, found the 
largest drop in applications from countries that usually send the 
most applications. Applications from students in China declined by 76 
percent, those from India fell 58 percent. Students in the Middle 
East sent 31 percent fewer applications, and even Western Europe had 
a 30-percent decline. The drop crossed all fields of study as well, 
with an 80-percent plunge in applications to engineering programs and 
a 65-percent reduction in those to physical-sciences programs.

The results among the 32 research universities with the largest 
international enrollments were much worse. Thirty-one of those 
institutions (97 percent) saw declines, 90 percent reported fewer 
applications from China, and 72 percent reported fewer from India. 
More than 90 percent saw drops in engineering applications, and 80 
percent saw fewer for physical sciences.

The survey's results are sobering but not surprising, said John H. 
Yopp, a senior scholar in residence at the Council of Graduate 
Schools and former associate vice president for academic affairs at 
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

Populous countries and large universities, Mr. Yopp said, have the 
most scientists and engineers, who are more likely than graduate 
students in other fields to be reviewed by a visa-security system run 
by the U.S. Department of State called Visas Mantis. The program, a 
collaboration between the FBI and the State Department, performs 
security checks on foreign students and scholars who study any of 
roughly 200 different scientific fields that are on the government's 
Technology Alert List, which catalogs disciplines that could threaten 
U.S. national security if knowledge in certain subject areas were 
transported to another country.

A report issued last month by the General Accounting Office found 
that Visas Mantis was responsible for many delays in processing visa 
applications from international students.

Whether or not Visas Mantis or other visa-security systems are 
directly linked to the drop in applications, said Peter D. Syverson, 
the council's vice president for research, "the thinking abroad is 
that the U.S. is not as welcoming."

The decline in applications is a bad sign, Mr. Syverson said, because 
application figures tend to predict enrollment figures over time. 
Most institutions feel that a one-year drop in applications will be 
difficult but survivable, he said. Several years of declines, 
however, would be disastrous.

Not just graduate-school applications are down. Fewer international 
students are taking the Graduate Record Examinations, said David G. 
Payne, associate vice president for graduate, professional, and 
postsecondary programs at the Educational Testing Service. In India, 
the foreign country with the most students taking the test, the 
number is down 37 percent; in China, which has the second-largest 
number, participation has dropped by half. The two countries provide 
50 percent the international students who take the test.

A summary of the findings of the survey by the Council of Graduate 
Schools is available on that organization's Web site: 

Copyright © 2004 The Chronicle of Higher Education

<http://opendoors.iienetwork.org/?p=41747>    *****

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