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AAU, Associations Ask State Secretary for F-1 and J-1 Flexibility for Afghan Students and Scholars

AAU, ACE, and 28 other higher education associations sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken asking for flexibility in the F-1 and J-1 visa process for Afghan students and scholars. The letter notes that many students and scholars who have been displaced by the crisis in Afghanistan are having trouble getting appointments for visa interviews and are being denied F-1 and J-1 visas because of their inability to prove “non-immigrant” intent to consular officers. “These are students and scholars who are invested in their home country and wish to return to Afghanistan in the future but, given the political upheaval, are unable to provide sufficient evidence that they will return,” the letter states. Allowing flexibility in determining non-immigrant intent, the letter argues, would enable bright and talented Afghan students and scholars, including women, to continue their academic pursuits and to begin the next stage of their lives.

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