Study in USA

USA Student Visa Waivers Extended Until 2022 - AECC Global

8 min read
Blog Summary In 2022, the United States has made positive changes for international students. The US Department of State updated its guidelines for study visa approvals, focusing on the intent to leave the US after studies, rather than property or employment ties. This benefits those without these ties. Moreover, the visa interview waiver has been extended, easing the process. Additionally, the STEM Optional Practical Training program now includes 22 new fields, allowing F-1 visa students to work in their study area for up to 36 months. This update supports aspiring international students pursuing education and career opportunities in the USA.

2022 seems to be the gift that keeps on giving. The most popular study destination for international students, the United States Of America has updated the consular guidance on student visa applications while also extending the visa interview waiver.

What does that mean for aspiring International students you may ask? Continue watching to learn more.

The Update

The US Department Of State has adjusted its guidance for consular officers who approve study visas for prospective international students – a move that stakeholders have welcomed and suggested will benefit international applicants seeking to study in the USA.

The updated Residence Abroad Guidance states that officers should:

  • only be concerned with "present intent to depart" the US following the end of the program,
  • are not required to ask for ties of property, employment, and continuity of life that are required of short term visa applicants.

Additionally, the US has said that it will extend visa interview waivers for international students and scholars through the end of 2022.

How Does It Affect Aspiring International Students?

The answer is pretty simple. One of the most difficult challenges that students face while applying for an US visa is that they are expected to prove permanent ties to their home country.

This can be in the form of properties in their name, employment etc, but most students might necessarily have a property in their name or permanent employment. So this comes as a boon for them.

Also, let's not forget the visa interview waiver that has been extended until the of the year, that's one more hurdle that students would not need to clear.

Bonus Update

The US government added 22 new fields of study to the STEM Optional Practical Training program.

While international students on F-1 visas can apply to receive up to to 12 months of OPT employment authorization, those who successfully apply for the STEM OPT programme are allowed to remain in the USA for up to 36 months to work in their area of study.

The following are the list of the 22 new streams -

  • Bioenergy
  • Anthrozoology
  • Forestry, General
  • Forest Resources Production and Management
  • Human-Centered Technology Design
  • Cloud Computing, Anthrozoology
  • Climate Science
  • Earth Systems Science
  • Economics and Computer Science
  • Environmental Geosciences
  • Geobiology
  • Geography and Environmental Studies
  • Mathematical Economics
  • Mathematics and Atmospheric/Oceanic Science
  • Data Science, General
  • Data Analytics, General
  • Business Analytics
  • Data Visualization
  • Financial Analytics
  • Other Data Analytics and Social Sciences,
  • Industrial and Organizational Psychology
  • Research Methodology and Quantitative Methods.