Indian students will now undergo a faster US Visa application process with in-person interviews on Saturdays; US Consulates in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, and Hyderabad along with the US Embassy in New Delhi arranged their first Saturday interviews on January 21, 2023.
The United States is taking initiatives to reduce the wait times for first-time Visa applicants from Indian students applying to study abroad in the US. The first of the special Saturday interviews was organized on the 21st of January 2023 to mark the beginning of an express US Visa application process.
The wait time had been expanded over the last few years because of an immense backlog generated during the Covid-19 pandemic. The US Embassy in New Delhi has organized this special series of in-person interviews with the consulates in Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, and Hyderabad.
This initiative by the US Embassy is going to help Indian students who are planning to study abroad in the US. Especially the ones who tend to have a crunch in time to attend their abroad Universities will be hugely supported by this approach of the US Embassy.
In a statement to the Hindustan Times, the US Embassy mentioned that in the upcoming months, there will be additional slots available on select Saturdays for in-person interviews. To enhance the entire express processing of US Visa applications from Indian students, India will see a huge inflow of temporary consular officers from Washington and other embassies.
India saw a 19% increase in the number of students migrating to the USA for their higher studies in 2022. With such a rise, and with the immense number of pending Visa applications, this was a very necessary step by the US Embassy.
While this step will encourage more Indian students to make reservations at Universities in the US, these new applicants will also have an advantage of last-minute applications to US Universities. The US Embassy is trying to bring back the wait time to the pre-pandemic duration or even lesser. While not only the Indian students will be hugely relieved by this development, but also other visa applicants in the H and L categories will be considered in these in-person interviews.
The US Embassy has put all its efforts into clearing the backlogs in Visa applications since 2019 which allowed them to clear more than 82,000 Indian student visas alone in 2022. Thus, with the efforts in place, the express US Visa application process is expecting more than 1.2 million US Visa applications in 2023 making India reserve the second position in visa operations globally.
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