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AAA Supports Visa Reform

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June 10, 2009

Statement and Recommendations on Visa Problems

The AAA is one of 32 organizations to sign a statement expressing concern about lengthy and unnecessary delays faced by students, scholars, and scientists applying for visas.  The signatories are pleased by the Obama Administration's commitment to reforming the visa process, but offer the following recommendations to further improve upon the application process:
  • Address the current backlog of visa applications as expeditiously as possible
  • Streamline the visa process for credentialed short-term visitors in science and technology fields
  • Reduce repetitive processing of visa applications for those well-known researchers and scholars who regularly visit the United States
  • Establish protocols to make treatment of applicants more consistent
  • Provide transparency in the visa system
  • Review and streamline the Technology Alert List (TAL) to include only subject areas that clearly have explicit implications for national security
  • Continue and expand ongoing efforts to renegotiate visa reciprocity agreements between the US and key sending countries, such as China, to extend the duration of visas each country grants students and scholars of the other, and to permit multiple entries on a single visa
  • Convene a high level interagency panel to review the full range of visa-related policies and procedures put into place after 9/11
View the full statement and recommendations.

The AAA has also joined calls to end "ideological exclusion" and reinstate Fulbright grants [pdf] awarded to Palestinian students living in the Gaza Strip.

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