US Visa Approval For Engineering Students Taking Longer

Visa applications that used to take 4 to 6 weeks are now stretching beyond 3 months.

财新: 特稿|被延误的赴美留学
This is similar to the feedback most students get. In the waiting period, almost all of the other students interviewed turned to the embassy, ​​the US Senate, and the school, but the results of the review were still unsound. According to Caixin reporters, a large number of students who have not passed the examination for a long time are almost all from engineering majors. Zhu Quan told Caixin reporters that several of them were considered to be "sensitive".

  Since 2018, there has been a harbinger of a high refusal rate for “sensitive professionals”. In May 2018, the Associated Press quoted the US State Department as saying that from June 11th, Chinese graduate students or doctoral students studying in the fields of robotics, aviation and high-end manufacturing will only be able to obtain a student visa valid for one year at most. . At that time, the US Senate held a special hearing on the issue of Chinese student visas. Edward Ramotowski, deputy assistant director of the US Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, confirmed for the first time that it had issued very Specific instructions require them to conduct additional reviews for Chinese students studying in “sensitive areas”.
The Michigan Daily: Visa delays force Chinese international students to defer acceptances
The University’s International Center is aware of approximently 30 students who could not begin classes in Ann Arbor because of delays in processing and approving visas from the State Department, Broekhuizen wrote in an email to The Daily. She noted the majority of the students affected were enrolled in graduate programs at the University.

...John came to his visa interview ready to tell his interviewer about the program he planned to attend in the University’s College of Engineering, but he was only asked about its geographical location and prior leadership experience. Three months later, after what he felt was an unusually short interview, he remains on administrative processing — or a “check,” as he and other Chinese students commonly refer to the heightened background check.

“I feel confused,” he said. “I heard about administrative processing. In China, we call it a ‘check’ because it’s a process for checking your background.”
Boston Globe: UMass Boston targeted in Chinese visa fraud scheme

WSJ: Chinese Official Charged in Alleged Visa Scheme to Recruit U.S. Science Talent
A Chinese government official and his allies allegedly tried to convince at least seven U.S. universities to sponsor visas for purported Chinese research scholars who in reality aimed to recruit American science talent, according to a recently unsealed criminal complaint filed by the Justice Department. They succeeded at least once, the complaint says.

The Wall Street Journal has identified two of the targeted institutions as the University of Georgia and the University of Massachusetts Boston.

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