On November 14, 2011, the US Department of State announced that all U.S. embassies and consulates will expedite visa processing for foreign students to ensure qualified students are able to begin their academic program on time. Worldwide, the maximum wait for a student visa appointment will be fewer than 15 days. Foreign students can apply for their visas up to 120 days before their academic programs begin.
International education grew by nearly 9 percent during the 2010/11 academic year, and foreign students studying in the United States brought $21.3 billion into the domestic economy. Most importantly, educational exchanges foster mutual understanding, respect, and goodwill between Americans and people around the world.