Visa application process for Indian students will be streamlined : U.S. Embassy

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The United States (US) Embassy is taking various steps to simplify the visa application process for Indian students. One of those steps is to waive the round of interviews for those who have already held a U.S. visa, said Patricia Lacina, charge d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy. This announcement was made on the occasion of Student Visa Day.

“The United States places immense value on international students and their rich contributions to our academic institutions, campuses, and communities. This is especially true in India; In fact, Indians are the second largest group of international students in the United States. Student mobility and the people-to-people connections it forges have been a cornerstone of US-India relations for 75 years and remain so today. The best proof of the importance of academic exchange is how the US Mission in India continues to prioritize students for visa interviews. Our consulate professionals work hard to interview student visa applicants across India. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Mission India issued more student visas in 2021 than ever before,” Lacina said.

“This summer, we are expecting another record student season. We’ve opened tens of thousands of visa appointments and expanded our interview waiver options for students. Under the new visa guidelines, students who have previously held a US visa can apply using the drop box service to bypass the in-person interview. This is just one of many measures we are taking,” she added.

Don Heflin, the Minister Counselor for Consular Affairs in India also spoke to the media regarding the positive response in the number of student applications this summer. “We will be interviewing more student visa applicants this summer than ever before. We look forward to surpassing last year’s record of 62,000 Indian student visa issuances. We will be interviewing over 3,000 students today at consulates in India In New Delhi we will interview 1,300 students, 1,300 in Mumbai and three other consulates – Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata – will push us to over 3,000 in total,” Heflin said.

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Asked about the impact of the pandemic on this summer’s visa application process, Heflin said: “Last year we had about the right number of applicants compared to the pre-covid years. But we are seeing renewed interest this year,” adding that the surge in student visa applications is a combination of factors which includes the state of the Indian economy, as well as pent-up demand from 2020-2021.

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