Visa Crunch

Student visas in the US are once again open for application

Student visas are being reintroduced in the United States. Indian students who have been accepted to American colleges for the 2021-22 academic year can make visa appointments at the US embassy in New Delhi and US consulates in other Indian cities beginning 14th June. 

The US embassy has chosen to begin a two-month intense interview process on July 1. From Monday, “tens of thousands of interview slots” will be available, according to embassy officials.

Parents who wish to accompany their children to the US to “assist them in setting in” are unable to do so at this time since the US government has not yet offered B1/B2 visas for tourists. 

Due to the strong COVID-19 second wave, which saw a larger number of Indians infected with the infectious “Delta” strain, President Joe Biden signed Presidential Proclamation 10199 on April 30 prohibiting most non-immigrant travel from India. The US administration has chosen to open its borders to Indian students who will begin studies in the autumn semester, now that the wave has subsided and new cases are mostly under control.

“Student visas continue to be a key priority for the US Mission in India, and we are working hard to ensure that students can travel in time for the autumn term. As a result, we will open restricted July and August student visa appointments at postings across India on June 14, 2021,” the embassy stated.

Students do not need to bring the original physical copy of I-20 paperwork (proof of eligibility for non-immigrant student status) provided by the schools, according to the embassy. The embassy, on the other hand, accepts the electronic I-20 issued by schools.

If it is stated on the I-20 form, fully financed students do not need to produce proof of financial assistance at the immigration interview. Additionally, students do not provide a statement from the institution stating that the classes would be held in person. 

Travellers having a valid student or exchange visitor (M) visa who will commence their programs on or before August 1, 2021, may go to the US without any further action from the Indian embassy or consulate. Direct travel to the US from India on an F or M visa may commence no more than 30 days before a student’s classes begin.

Travellers entering the US are urged to avoid booking flights that include a stopover in Europe because of rigorous quarantine laws. Everyone travelling requires an RT-PCR test before 72 hours, and there is now no such need to quarantine in the United States. The type of immunization currently relies largely on individual schools, which may accept Indian vaccines or may need the student to get revaccinated, according to the embassy.

Click the link below to read more about the barriers that US recently lifted for H-1B visas:

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