Alert of Chinese F-1 Student Visa Crisis for 2021-2022 School Year

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Dear international education policymakers, institution administrators, international education stakeholders, influencers, students and parents, 

US F-1 visa services in China have been closed for over 13 months by now, and hundreds of thousands of F-1 cases are already backlogged, not counting the approximately 70,000 newly accepted students for the upcoming school year.  

As of March 8, 2021, appointments across all U.S. visa offices in China remain canceled as the offices are closed through the middle of March. At present, the earliest available appointment in Guangzhou is August 12, and no appointments are available in the other three.   US consulates in China.

Even if schools/universities decide to fully return to on-campus learning this  fall, most Chinese students will not be able to obtain their visas on time before they can travel to the US.  

Without F-1 visa processing for Chinese students, the disappearance of Chinese students on American campuses in 2021-2022 academic year will be an imminent crisis. The paying consumers of American international education will likely choose other more welcoming destination countries, such as the UK and Canada.  

Specifically, we are asking for your help in the following:

Reach out to your circle of influence in academia, government, media, professional organizations, student organizations, and the local chamber of commerce, to raise awareness of the importance of the student visa process.
Reach out to policymakers and directly related organizations in the United States and in China such as the State Department, Department of Homeland Security, USCIS, the White House, China Department of Diplomacy, the Chinese Embassy in the United States, to raise awareness of the importance of student exchange. 
Reach out to Chinese students and parents, to raise their voices as the U.S. service export paying consumers.

Making sure the Chinese F-1 students can obtain visas for the 2021-2022 fall semester is getting more crucial than ever. Many American schools/universities and approximately 400,000 family-funded Chinese F-1 students need your immediate help!

As international educators, we implore you to take effective actions to help resolve this crisis. Your kind help will be greatly appreciated and much valued! Thank you in advance. 

A group of Chinese-American International Education professionals in the United States

Representatives and Contact:

Andrew Hang Chen, WholeRen Group,  Vice-Chair, NAFSA China MIG,  andrew.chen@wholeren.com

Alice Siqin Yang, Vice-Chair, NAFSA China MIG,  syang@saintmarys.edu

Shan Susanna Lu, slu@cord.edu

关于:2021年秋季学期中国F-1国际学生签证危机的预警


亲爱的国际教育政策制定者,院校管理者,国际教育关联者,影响者,学生们,家长们,


美国对华F-1学生签证的服务从去年2月到现在已经暂停超过13个月了。F-1学生签证服务的搁置导致将近7万名中国学生不能如期赴美求学,受影响的学生数目在不断增加。除了上年不能如期入学的学生以外,还有成千上万的中国留学生计划在今年秋季赴美学习。

截至2021年3月5日,美国驻中国的四个领事馆依然没有发放非移民签证的预约名额,领事馆网站显示相关办公室暂停工作至三月中。最早可预约的F-1学生签证面试为美国驻广州领事馆2021年8月5日的档期,其他三个领事馆均没有可预约时间。

虽然最近看到美国各大高校在积极筹备2021年秋季迎接学生回校学习生活,但来自中国的大部分学生将因为签证问题而不能如期回美。如果F-1学生签证相关服务在中国不恢复正常,中国学生将于2021年秋季再次缺席美国校园。为了不影响他们的海外求学计划,很多中国学生也会因此放弃赴美留学,转去欧加澳进修。

我们希望籍着这封信寻求你们的协助和支持:

1.  请联系您身边的教育工作者,媒体朋友,高等教育的相关机构,学生组织和本地商会,让他们更了解过去一年多来中国留学生面对的困难和中国留学生流失对本地经济和文化上的影响。

2.  请联系您工作和居住所在地的政客,市政府和州政府官员,美国国土安全部,美国公民与移民服务局,和白宫相关部门,表达您的诉求和看法,促进美国对华F-1学生签证服务的恢复。

3.  请您联系相关媒体网络并分享您和身边中国学生的经历和故事,特别是中国学生对本地经济和文化带来的重大影响。

4.  请您联系相关政府部门,例如中国驻美领事馆,外交部,美国卫生及公共服务部,分享您对中国学生的认识和阐述他们在本地扮演的重要角色,加强他们对中美之间安全旅行和交流的信心。

5.  请您联系您身边的中国学生,家长和朋友,鼓励他们跟美国高校和相关组织分享他们的忧虑和计划,并邀请美国高校加入我们的行列,促请美国政府尽快恢复美国驻中国领事馆F-1学生签证的业务办理。

中国学生是美国国际教育重要的一份子,40万中国家庭和学子需要您的支持和行动。2021年秋季是疫情以后关键的转折点,作为国际教育者的我们,需要您的支持。希望您加入我们,为中国学生们能得到签证服务而发声。

请签名支持,并传播这一重要信息。

谢谢!

美华国际教育工作者联盟

联系人:陈航,andrew.chen@wholeren.com;杨思琴,syang@saintmarys.edu;卢珊, slu@cord.edu