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Position Statement

GSA: Science, Stewardship, Service


Visas for Foreign Scientists and Students

Adopted May 2005; revised April 2012

GSA Preamble and Endorsement of Visa Position Statement

The Geological Society of America endorses the attached Statement and Recommendations on Visa Problems Harming America’s Scientific, Economic, and Security Interests. Visa policy is of special importance to Earth science for many reasons, such as:

  1. Earth science is inherently an international endeavor because it is not possible to understand Earth by studying only those parts of the planet that fall within the boundaries of a single country.
  2. Progress in Earth science requires international field research, participation in international conferences, access to international research facilities, and other activities that involve international exchange and cooperation.
  3. Delays in issuing visas to Earth scientists responding to natural disasters -- such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and floods -- can result in loss of life, loss of property, and loss of scientific opportunities. Earth scientists can help prevent some natural hazards from becoming natural disasters through international exchange and collaboration.

GSA supports the attached position statement (see p. 2-6) to promote international scientific exchange and encourage students, scholars, scientists, and engineers to pursue international education and research opportunities.


Position Statements adopted by GSA Council may be used freely in their entirety by members in public policy discussions on the scientific issues to which they pertain.

About the Geological Society of America

The Geological Society of America (GSA), founded in 1888, is a scientific society with over 25,000 members from academia, government, and industry in more than 100 countries. Through its meetings, publications, and programs, GSA advances the geosciences, enhances the professional growth of its members, and promotes the geosciences in the service of humankind. GSA encourages cooperative research among earth, life, planetary, and social scientists, fosters public dialogue on geologic issues, and supports all levels of earth-science education. Inquiries about GSA or this position statement should be directed to GSA’s Director for Geoscience Policy, Kasey S. White, at +1-202-669-0466 or .

© The Geological Society of America, Inc.