New Bill in Congress Aims to Ease Student Visa Woes

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U.S. universities have always been a magnet for the world's top students but after Sept. 11 long visa delays and complex security requirements have led some students to study elsewhere.

UW-Eau Claire international student advisor Phil Huelsbeck says though the number of foreign students at Eau Claire has rebounded, nationally the numbers are down nearly thirty percent.

The decline has prompted U.S. Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) to introduce legislation easing some of the restrictions on student visas in hopes of attracting those students who are now opting for Canada, England or Australia instead of the U.S.

It is estimated foreign students contribute nearly thirteen billion dollars to the U.S. economy each year. And supporters of the legislation argue foreign students not only help to diversify U.S. campuses but also serve to boost the ailing U.S image abroad.