Visa issues complicate traveling (University of Georgia)

Certain international students at the University face a choice — stay in the United States and finish their studies, or go back to their own country and risk their ability to return in exchange for the comfort of a familiar language, a familiar place or simply, a family.


International students from countries such as Iran, Libya, Somalia and North Korea are subject to single-entry visas — a travel document that only allows them to enter the United States once. If they decide to leave, for any reason, they must reapply for a visa.


Setting them back at square one.


“It is a nightmare not to see your family for years,” said Shima Dastgheib, an Iranian graduate student.


Like many others, Dastgheib has faced the realities of a single-entry visa. If she wanted to see her family, to attend a conference or to get married outside the country, she would have to go through the application process again.


Such a procedure may take anywhere from a few weeks to a year. During this time, foreign students wishing to reenter the United States must reapply at a U.S. embassy; however, there is no U.S. embassy in Iran. Students in this circumstance must travel to another country in order to obtain their visas.


Robin Catmur, Director of International Student, Scholar and Immigration Services at the University said the United States issues visas primarily based on insuring security, protecting the U.S. work force and promoting international trade. Read more...

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