Fr. Jenkins writes letter to Secretary of State urging the expediting of visas for international students

Author: Colleen Wilcox

Visa Backlog Pic Cropped

On Friday, May 29, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. wrote a letter to Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, urging the State Department to prioritize the expediting of visas for international students so they can join their classmates on campus in the fall. 

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, international students have been unable to schedule the customary interviews that are part of the visa application process. As consulates reopened, they faced a backlog of thousands of requests from students hoping to enroll at American colleges and universities this fall. They included first-year and graduate students determined to enroll at Notre Dame.

In seeking the State Department’s assistance, Father Jenkins contacted Secretary Michael Pompeo today, writing in part that:

“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. This will affect research and the diversity and quality of thought in the classroom.

“Further, we will have no Fulbright Scholars on campus this fall unless the situation is rectified. Notre Dame is one of America’s leading Fulbright universities, both in sending Americans abroad and hosting foreigners here. I ask that you help us in continuing the storied success of public diplomacy that the Fulbright program has come to represent.” 

Read the letter in full here

Originally published by Colleen Wilcox at on May 29, 2020.