The United States Ambassador to Ghana, Virginia Palmer expressed the United States Embassy’s commitment to clearing the backlog of visa applications from prospective Ghanaian students wishing to pursue studies in the United States.
She said the embassy is currently working around the clock to get students’ visa interview appointments on time to allow those who are successful to travel ahead of time.
Ms Palmer therefore encouraged prospective students wishing to undertake undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral studies in the United States not to be deterred by delayed date interviews from going ahead to apply. at American universities.
Welcoming prospective students at the opening of the Education USA 2022 University Fair in Accra, Ms Palmer said: “I have, with permission, taken all the consular officers and put them to work on the visa line.
“The consulate section has opened many appointments for non-emigrant visas and I will encourage people who need to travel to the United States to go ahead and apply for visas,” he said. she stated.
The two-day fair brought together approximately 40 institutions of higher education in the United States to provide students with accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date information on opportunities for students to study at accredited universities in the United States.
Some of the participating universities are Howard University, Drexel University, Emory University School of Law, Millersville University, Iowa State University of Science and Technology, and Middle Tennessee State University.
The others are New York Institute of Technology, Northeastern University, Taxes Technology University, PACE University, Webster University, University of Houston-Victoria, University of Arizona, and University of Kentucky.
Waiver of maintenance
The U.S. Ambassador said that given concerns about the backlog of visa applications, the Embassy had instituted another program, dubbed the “Interview Waiver Program” to help people who already had expired visas to renew them without returning to the embassy.
“You can just mail us a visa application and those renewals are very easy,” she assured the audience.
She also said the embassy has instituted a procedure through which prospective students can apply for expedited visa appointments.
With around 4,200 students currently studying at 630 different educational institutions in the United States in 2021 alone, Ms Palmer said Ghana was the second-largest “sender” of students to the United States.
Furthermore, the Ambassador noted that Ghana was also among the top 25 countries in the world to send graduate students to the United States.
Therefore, she said, she had already encouraged Ghanaian students to study in the United States.
A Deputy Minister of Education, Reverend John Ntim Fordjour, was happy that education had maintained the link between Ghana and the United States over the years.
He noted that the partnership with the US Embassy has been reciprocal, allowing Ghana to benefit from the teaching and learning materials of the US Embassy.