Federal immigration agencies recently launched a new website, Study in the States (studyinthestates.dhs.gov), to streamline the student visa application process and encourage international college students to attend school in the United States.
Eight federal immigration enforcement agencies collaborated on the site, including the Department of Homeland Security, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency. During a recent conference call regarding the website, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano referred to it as a “one-stop shop” for matters related to student visas. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Joe Morton said the website will improve national security while lessening the burden of paperwork on international students already in the country.
In addition to web pages devoted to the student visa application process, the website incorporates social media to inform users about the latest student visa news and other immigration matters. It also announces the Study in the States Initiative, which is a project to evaluate and improve the student visa and exchange visitor programs.
Secretary Napolitano unveiled the website at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In her speech to students, she stressed that international students help drive the U.S. economy, having contributed more than $20 billion nationally in 2009-2010, the Badger Herald reported.