Scientists from abroad working for the US government or supported by federal grants can now travel overseas knowing they can get back to work without facing a long delay.
The US Department of State announced last month that federal workers and grantees would no longer have to undergo lengthy security reviews before they obtain a reentry visa – a requirement ever since the terrorist attacks of 11 September, 2001.
It says it made the change following complaints by a number of national laboratories over the delays plaguing their foreign employees. For the country’s foreign scientific community, the exemption is a relief, particularly after a series of visa restrictions that have tightened US borders. But university and research associations say that the exemption needs to cover scholars funded by nonfederal sources.
Reference: Science 301, 5929 (2003)