By Janet Napolitano (The Blog @ Homeland Security)
Today I visited the University of Wisconsin – Madison to announce an important new initiative to help streamline the international student visa process and encourage foreign students to study and lawfully remain in the United States.
Each year, more than a million international students study in our nation’s world-leading system of universities, exchange programs, and training opportunities.
These students enrich the cultural and academic life of campuses like the University of Wisconsin and many others across our country. They also contribute directly to our economy, serve as a source of innovation by generating new ideas, and enhance our nation’s economic, scientific and technological competitiveness.
The Study in the States initiative that Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton and I announced today will examine regulatory changes, expand public engagement between government and academia, and provide a user-friendly online information hub for DHS and its agency partners to provide students with updated and relevant visa requirements.
Students will benefit from links to social media websites, such as Facebook and Twitter, and useful information about visa requirements, exchange visitors, and the academic community.
The Study in the States site includes information from all agencies involved with prospective and current international students, as well as the academic community and the public at large. It will enable DHS and our partner agencies to coordinate and disseminate messages to international students, exchange visitors, and their dependents, that travel to the United States to study each year.
It also will help us ensure the international student population is clearly informed about student visa rules and regulations. And it will enhance coordination among the various federal agencies that play a role implementing our student visa and exchange visitor programs.
We’re pleased to be working with students, educational institutions, and our many federal partners on this important effort. It will help us ensure that the best and brightest international students continue to make America their destination of choice.