Jenkins urges Department of State to speed up student visa process
Observer Staff Report | Saturday, May 30, 2020
University President Fr. John Jenkins wrote a letter Friday to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging the State Department to expedite the process for international students to obtain student visas.
In the letter, Jenkins noted he and University personnel had determined it would be safe to reopen campus to students in the fall. However, he said Notre Dame international students are facing more difficulties in regard to the global pandemic as many visa appointments are not scheduled until October or November, months after Notre Dame’s fall semester start date in August.
“Approximately 400 international first-year students and graduate students who Notre Dame expected to enroll have been seriously delayed. Some academic departments will lose more than half of their incoming cohort of graduate students if visa appointments are not scheduled in the next few months,” Jenkins said.
One of the nation’s leading universities for Fulbright Scholars, Jenkins said Notre Dame would have no scholars in the Fulbright program on campus in the fall if this issue is not resolved.
“I ask that you help us in continuing the storied success of public diplomacy that the Fulbright program has come to represent,” he said.