Don Heflin, Minister Counselor for Consular Affairs at the United States Embassy in New Delhi, went live on Instagram and Facebook on May 11 to deliver an update on visa services, with a special focus on students. This is a synopsis of the information presented to the audience.
The Minister began by stating that the summer is all about visas and that special preparations had been made for student visas. He verified that they issued a record number of student visas last year and that they plan to break that record this year. In fact, they anticipate issuing more student visas (F, M, and J, including dependents) than ever before.
When asked about returning to “normal” levels of service, the Minister stated that they anticipate being at two-thirds of their pre-COVID capacity this year and hope to be at 100 percent by the end of 2023. Mission India is recruiting more officers and training existing staff members to boost capability. They just appointed five more visa officers to their Mumbai Consulate.
Special Arrangements For Students
- Beginning next week, a huge number of student visa appointments will be made available in the coming months.
- Students who are currently in the United States will have an easier time getting Dropbox appointments because more appointments will be made available to them.
- Between August 15 and September 1, they will offer up to 15,000 spaces for students who have previously been denied admission. These appointments are also available to students who receive their I-20s later than planned.
- Parents with visas or who are qualified for a Dropbox appointment may travel to the United States with their student children.
- Appointments for first-time B-2 visa applicants or those who do not qualify for Dropbox (collectively referred to as new applicants below) will be introduced to the system in late August or early September. They will make available a substantial number of appointments for new visa applicants from now through Spring 2023.
Tips For Students
- Check for visa appointments several times every day, however, if you regularly “refresh” the portal, you may be shut out of the system for 72 hours.
- Applicants should be prepared to “sell their story” during the visa interview, which should be similar to an elevator pitch because immigration interviews are usually only a few minutes long.
- Applicants should be able to explain to the officer why a certain course or degree of education is relevant to their career goals. Prepare to describe how the proposed schooling fits into your life. This is especially crucial when a candidate is changing academic paths or seeking a second degree at the same level as their first.
- Applicants should bring all financial documentation to the interview, however, Mission India staff normally do not focus on the ability to pay for the course because Indian parents almost always find methods to pay for the education and stay.
- There are no English language tests or high levels of proficiency required for an interview. However, an applicant who does not speak English well may find it challenging to convey his or her genuine desire to study during the interview.
- Applicants may utilise agents to obtain visa appointments and assistance with the application, but this is problematic because any errors or misrepresentations made by the agency will be ascribed to the applicant and may influence visa adjudication.
- Applicants who receive 221(g) notices must perform the action specified in the notice as soon as possible. This allows cops to make choices more rapidly.
- Third-country nationals may apply in India, however, it is preferable to apply in the country where one currently resides.
- A visa can only be given 120 days before the start of a student’s study. Before that, one might apply, but the matter would be held pending under 221(g), and the applicant would be required to send in the passport at a later date.
- It is advantageous for the applicant to be confident and articulate during the visa interview. Canned responses are ineffective, but giving a personal experience that affected your choice of the institute would be beneficial.
- Dropbox applications are typically handled seven days following the Dropbox appointment.
- Even if the educational institute has waived any tests, it is best to take them because a high score will give you an advantage in the interview.’
Legal Disclaimer: This article is provided for information purposes only.