Both the expansion of the visa waiver programme and the increase in visa interview appointments are anticipated to help Indian students who want to study in the US.S
The US government has stated that it will begin processing student visa requests for the 2018 autumn semester, with the first round of visa appointments anticipated to become available in mid-May.
This follows the recent declaration by Mike Hankey, the US Consul General in Mumbai that the US will be increasing the number of visa interviews it conducts with Indian students this summer by 30%. The US consulates in India accepted almost 125,000 student visa requests in 2022.
The visa waiver programme for in-person interviews was also extended by the US government through December 31, 2023. This extension was made available to a select group of students, professors, research associates, specialists, and other individuals. The US State Department emphasized that depending on the circumstances, consular agents may still demand an in-person interview.
Under the waiver programme, consular officials may forgo the need for a visa interview for some initial and reapplying F, M, and academic J applicants as long as they have never received a visa denial (unless the denial was overturned or waived) and exhibit no indicators of current or possible visa ineligibility.
If they have no obvious or potential grounds for disqualification and have previously visited the US with a visa obtained through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), first-time F, M, and academic J applicants who are citizens or nationals of a nation taking part in the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP) may also be exempt from in-person interviews.
Sanjay Laul, the founder and advisor of M Square Media (MSM), a company that manages education, praised this most recent development. “The decision to increase visa interview appointments for Indian students demonstrates the US’s commitment to address roadblocks and figures as an important step in promoting international education and fostering strong ties between the two countries,” Laul said.
“The extension of the visa waiver scheme for in-person interviews, for example, will simplify the application process for many students, professors, and researchers. This will not only help attract more Indian students to the US, but it will also strengthen academic collaborations among institutions in those two nations.”
The expansion of the visa waiver programme for in-person interviews and the increase in visa interview appointments are anticipated to help Indian students who want to study in the US stay on schedule and concentrate on getting ready for the journey ahead.
The quality of education offered by universities in both nations will be improved through increased academic cooperation, which will lead to the sharing of knowledge, resources, and best practices.