Iranian students and exchange visitors now eligible for two-year, multiple entry visa

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced today a major change to U.S. visa policy: Iranian students and exchange visitors can now obtain two-year, multiple entry visas. Clinton labeled this change “a big step forward in the Obama Administration’s support of the Iranian people.”

Under the old visa policy, Iranians could only obtain three-month, single-entry visas. With the new policy, “qualified Iranian applicants for visas in the F, J, and M categories for non-sensitive, non-technical fields of study and research and their dependents will be eligible to receive two-year, multiple-entry visas,” according to the Department of State website. Iranians who are currently in the U.S. on a three-month, single-entry visa in one of the above visa categories must reapply at a consular post outside of the U.S. to obtain a two-year, multiple-entry visa. Iranian students and exchange visitors currently in the U.S. and in good standing do not need to apply for a visa under the new policy until after their departure from the United States.

During her announcement of the policy change, Secretary Clinton also expressed the administrations’ commitment to an increased dialogue with the Iranian people:

“… I want you to know that we are listening to your concerns. We want more dialogue and more exchange with those of you who are shaping Iran’s future. We want to be able to share with you what we think is great about America. Because as long as the Iranian government continues to stifle your potential, we will stand with you. We will support your aspirations, and your rights. And we will continue to look for new ways to fuel more opportunities for real change in Iran.”

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