Bringing science and development together through news and analysis

  • US to extend security clearance for foreign scientists


The US government is to extend the period of security clearance for visa-holding scientists and students visiting the country from overseas, according to a joint statement by the US Department of State and Department of Homeland Security.

Tighter visa restrictions and lengthy background security checks since 11 September 2001, have meant that even foreign students who had studied in the United States for years have had to remain in their home countries, missing conferences or part of their academic year. This has deterred other students from visiting the United States.

Security clearances for students will now be valid for four years, those for scientists working in the United States on scholar and work visas will last two years, and those for researchers attending conferences will be valid for 12 months.

The Department of State also said it will continue to try to reduce the average length of time for security checks, which has decreased from 75 days to 14 days during the past year.

Link to full Nature news story
We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit SciDev.Net — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on SciDev.Net” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. If you want to also take images published in this story you will need to confirm with the original source if you're licensed to use them.
  5. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.
For more information view our media page and republishing guidelines.