Weekly News Round-Up: January 19, 2022

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By Shorelight Team
Last updated on January 26, 2023

Each week the Shorelight team rounds up trusted headlines on the latest in international education and all things impacting students and universities.

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USCIS Announces Final Phase Of Premium Processing Expansion For EB-1 And EB-2 Form I-140 Petitions And Future Expansion For F-1 Students Seeking OPT And Certain Student And Exchange Visitors

January 12, 2023

This policy announcement was made in 2022 and is finally in the final stages before implementation. There has been so much in the news about STEM students and their impact on the American economy. Data shows that over 50% of international students are studying in STEM fields, and this policy will have a positive impact on students who will be transitioning from school to OPT programs. 

“In April, we will expand premium processing to F-1 students seeking OPT and F-1 students seeking STEM OPT extensions who are filing an initial Form I-765. We will announce specific dates for each group in February.”

Get the full story on USCIS >

New Report Highlights The Increasing Competition For International Students From Sub-Saharan Africa

January 18, 2023

We are closely following the trends in globally mobile students. We have known for some time that students from African nations are increasingly looking to study abroad. This article highlights the growth coming from several countries, with the majority of students going to France. This is a region where the US needs to increase its focus.

“The number of internationally mobile Sub-Saharan African students has grown by 21% over the past five years. This mobility rate is now much higher than that in other world regions: 4.8% versus the 2.7% world average.”

Get the full story on Monitor ICEF >

US Visa Denials In Sub-Saharan Region Concern Stakeholders

January 18, 2023

Following the article about increases in student mobility out of Africa, it is important to be aware of visa denials out of several African countries, including Nigeria and Ghana. We are actively researching global visa approval and denial rates. Reading through this article, it continues to be frustrating that the”overstay” rate is still being used as reasoning for denials. DHS has said that overstay data isn’t 100% accurate.

The 2022 Open Doors data indicate there were 14,438 Nigerian and 4,916 Ghanaian students in the US, up from 12,860 and 4,229 compared to 2021. Yet, according to Faraaz, consular officers “have often highlighted concerns over student finances, forged documents, missing strong ties to home country, and students not being well prepared for US education”.

Get the full story on The PIE News >