Number of Mongolians going to US increases

On July 22, the US Embassy issued a press release reporting that the number of Mongolians going to the U.S. on student and exchange visas
has more than doubled this year. In the first half of 2010, 1,582 Mongolians were given visas for study or exchange programs. This is compared to
655 people who were given visas from January to June of 2009.Starting in 2008, the Consular Section undertook an outreach program to encourage more qualified student and exchange applicants. Consular officials spoke at every single major university in Ulaanbaatar at least once, reaching several thousand students in groups ranging from large audiences of up to 400 students to smaller settings with as few as 20 students. Consular officers also visited colleges and universities in the farthest corners of the country, and created and distributed a Mongolian language brochure
detailing options for students wishing to visit or study in the United States.
Due to outreach efforts, applications for student and exchange visas increased from
1,222 in Jan-June 2009 to 2,299 in 2010 so far. The applicants for student visas have been better qualified, and so the approval rate for student visas has also improved from approximately 30 percent approval in 2009 to close to 50 percent
approval in 2010. As part of the outreach message, the consular section wanted to discourage clearly unqualified applicants from applying and to
encourage more qualified applicants. Qualified applicants for student visas are bona fide students who are accepted into qualified educational
institutions and who have achieved the required English language proficiency.
Summer Work and Travel Program A large part of the increase in visas has been
the growth of the Summer Work and Travel Program. Student participation in this program has grown from around 400 last year to over 1,300 in 2010.The Summer Work Travel program allows post-secondary students to enter the United States
to work and travel during their summer vacation.All applicants must be students enrolled in a college or university and be in good standing.They also must demonstrate strong ties to Mongolia and sufficient English to participate in
the program.Most participants work in unskilled service positions at resorts, hotels, restaurants, and amusement parks. Participants usually earn enough to cover their expenses for the summer and possibly save a small amount of money. This
is not an employment program, so participants should not expect to earn a lot of money during the summer. Most participants enter the United States with prearranged employment arranged by the sponsoring organization. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to find employment and to ensure that they meet the minimum qualifications.Students should carefully select their sponsor and review their success rate in placing students in meaningful employment. Not all sponsors are the
same; some sponsors have problems with students arriving in the US and not having jobs. It is very important that applicants for the Summer Work and Travel program do research to compare the different sponsors, since they have different fees
and different rates of success in placing students in jobs. If students encounter problems while participating in the Exchange Visitor program, the primary point of contact should be the local

Mongolian sponsor.The State Department also wants to ensure that all participants involved in the Summer Work and Travel Program enjoy a positive and successful
exchange experience. To that end, the Department reviews and responds to written complaints against designated sponsors and works with sponsors to ensure that problems are resolved and that all Exchange Visitor Program participants have a
positive and successful exchange experience. Written complaints should be filed with the Office of Private Sector Exchange to follow-up complainants’ concerns via e-mail at jvisas@state.gov. Please be as detailed as possible and provide evidence to support your complaint. Please be aware that situations of a contractual
nature fall outside the jurisdiction of the State Department; however, the Office will follow-up with the designated sponsor upon receipt of each complaint.

Source:US Embassy in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
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