University officials talk about student visa policies | News
CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS)- Should colleges be more careful about handing out student visas? One lawmaker says yes, and he says the case surrounding former Southeast Missouri State Student Quazi Nafis proves it.
Senator Chuck Schumer of New York's urging congress to immediately pass his proposal to tighten oversight of student visas.
Federal authorities say Nafis came to Cape Girardeau from Bangladesh on a student visa in January.
He eventually transferred to New York.
He's now in jail, charged with trying to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank building on Wednesday.
Schumer says the student visa Nafis obtained from Southeast is legitimate, but says his quick transfer to a New York university should've raised a red flag.
Southern Illinois University in Carbondale has a large international student population.
This semester alone there are 1,315 hold visas to attend SIU.
According to SIUs Director of International Programs and Services Carla Coppi, each of those students went through an exhaustive process to get approval through the US Embassy to come to school in the states.
"Visas are denied quite often for students," said Coppi. "It's very difficult for some students to obtain visas. Some of our students this spring had to go back three and four times to the embassy before they convinced embassy officials they were ready to study."
Coppi says she's not sure how the visa process could get more difficult, but she hopes it does not. She says international students are needed in the US to share their diverse views and add a global perspective to college campuses.
It can take a month for an international student to even get an interview for a visa to travel into the US.
To obtain a visa to attend Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky, Associate Director of Student and Scholar Services Bill McKibben says students apply to the US University of their choice.
If they're admitted, they set up a visa appointment at the US Embassy in their home country.
The office will ask routine questions like, what do you want to study, and what is your career objective?
The visa office will then decide if it will issue the student visa.
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