US Scraps Visa Interview For Previous Visa Holders, Shortens Wait Times

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US Scraps Visa Interview For Previous Visa Holders, Shortens Wait Times

Great news for Indian students; it’s possible that you won’t need to schedule a US visa interview in India. Previous holders of US visas will be allowed to completely bypass the interview stage of the application procedure in order to get study visas, thanks to a new initiative taken by the USA government.

On Tuesday, the news was made in India during the sixth annual Student Visa Day event. “Students who have previously held any US visa can apply to utilise the drop box service to avoid an in-person interview under new visa requirements. This is only one of several measures we’re doing,” said Patricia Lacina, US Embassy’s Charge d’Affaires.

Lacina emphasised the need of streamlining and expediting the visa application process for Indian students, given that they currently make up the US’s second-largest foreign student population. 

“For the last 75 years, and still today, student mobility and the people-to-people relationships it fosters have been a cornerstone of the US-India relationship,” she mentioned.

“Our consular officers are busy interviewing student visa applications all around India.” Despite the COVID-19 epidemic, Mission India issued more student visas in 2021 than at any other time in its history.”

The number of students applying for a US visa appointment in India is projected to increase this summer as additional seats are made available. The Embassy hopes to beat last year’s total of 62,000 visas issued to Indian students enrolled in American colleges.

Due to a spike in applications received during the Fall-Winter season, the US Embassy in India temporarily suspended all in-person appointments. By eliminating the necessity for a walk-in interview, the procedure of obtaining an approval stamp to allow students to enter the United States may be considerably accelerated. 

This year, the Embassy wants to increase the number of interview seats available for Indian students from 20% to 25%. The increasing number of Indian students who have been granted study visas in the United States implies that study abroad seekers have a bright future. Despite the epidemic hurting overseas travel, Indians have had the best approval rate in a long time. In Gujarat, the success rate in 2021 was 95%, up from roughly 45% in previous years.

Indian overseas students in the United States prefer STEM topics to other courses. In the 2019-20 academic year, 78% of them were enrolled in STEM programmes, much outnumbering other subjects like business and the humanities. Indian PhD holders in STEM also tend to stay in the United States, with 87% of those who received their degrees between 2000 and 2015 still residing in the nation.

“We’re hosting #StudentVisaDay today! #DYK, Indians are the second-largest group of international students in the U.S.? Students are the heart of our people-to-people ties and we look forward to welcoming more Indian students this year. #StudyintheUS #USIndiaAt75”, mentioned by US Embassy in India. 

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