Indian student visas to US skyrocket

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US Ambassador to India, Eric Garcetti shared his best wishes for all Indian students…reports Asian Lite News

The US Mission to India has received skyrocketing demand for student visas, as the Indian consular team interviewed 3900 student visa applicants during its 8th annual Student Visa Day on Thursday.

“On June 13, 2024, Consular Team India interviewed 3900 student visa applicants during its 8th annual Student Visa Day. Mission India highlights our strong commitment to higher education in the United States and the growing educational ties between the United States and India by organizing robust programming for Student Visa Day, where Mission members and Education USA colleagues interact with applicants to share information on studying in the United States,” the US Embassy in India said in a press release.

US Ambassador to India, Eric Garcetti shared his best wishes for all Indian students and said that each of these students are brand ambassador for India and is taking the US-India relationship forward.

“Every international student on a US campus represents tremendous accomplishment – years of study and hard work that went into preparing for academic excellence. Like those who went before, today’s Indian students also represent tremendous potential – the knowledge you will unlock, the new skills and opportunities you will experience, and the relationships you will build are worth the investment. Each student is an ambassador for India. Together we are taking the US-India relationship forward!” Garcetti said.

The Cultural and Educational Affairs Consular in the US Embassy, David Moyer said that Student Visa Day is a great time to celebrate how 2 countries interact together

“Student Visa Day is a great time to celebrate how 2 countries interact together and a lot of it is Indian students going to the US. We are here to commemorate the great enthusiasm seen among Indian students to Us and the heroic efforts of the consular team to meet that demand,” Moyer told ANI.

Being asked how students can get credible information, he said, “4,500 universities in the US and so it can be daunting for applicants to figure out which is the right university for them based on what they want to study. So we provide a free consulting service called Education USA.”

The Consular said that they would encourage more female applicants to study in the US.

“We would encourage more female applicants and right 1 in 3 applicants are Indian students in the US are female. We would love to see more bounce so that we have a 50-50 split,” he added.

Special Assistant to the Minister-Counselor for Consumer Affairs, Nazima H Razick said that the US and India share a long history of academic exchanges.

“On student visa day counselor team in India interviews the largest number of students and also celebrates the long history of India- US relations. We also share information on studying and living on college campuses in the US,” she told ANI.

Regarding preparation for visa interview, he advised students to understand the purpose of studying in the US and asked them not to memorize and repeat the same questions.

“Students should understand the purpose of studying in the US and why are they going to the US and spending so much money. They need to understand the purpose of their study, their goal, and how they are going to finance their study in the US. One recommendation is not to memorize rote answers and then repeat them back to the interviewer. Be comfortable and honest in how you answer the question. Use your own words,” the US consular said.

“Many are nervous and the best thing is to practice but not to memorize and repeat the same questions. Making eye contact is a cultural difference for students in India students are afraid to make eye contact but in the US it is important to make eye contact when you are speaking to somebody,” she added.

The US Consular further said that last year 1,40,000 student visas were issued from India.

“Presently 1 out of 4 students in the US are from India and we are happy to see that. Our consulate teams all over India working very hard to address this growing demand. We are doing super Saturday interviews, we expanded the summer student season by starting 2 weeks early and we are prepared to meet demands,” she added.

On long waiting times faced by the students, the US consular said, “We worked hard to eliminate wait time for all categories. Students generally do not have wait time and we encourage students to apply 365 days a year. Only wait time, We have tried to bring it down by 70 per cent is for first time B1 B2 visitor applicant category.”

The number of Indians studying in the US has increased significantly in the past three years. In 2023, the US Mission to India issued more student visas than in 2018, 2019, and 2020 combined.

“This unprecedented growth reflects the ongoing commitment by the US Government to prioritize students and to facilitate their travel, even as the Mission met a 400 per cent rise in demand for all other visas between 2021 and 2023,” the embassy stated in the release.

The US Embassy and Consulates in India are further anticipating a continued increase in student visa applicants from India and have expanded the student visa season for 2024 to meet this growing demand.

“The US remains the number one higher education destination for Indian students, with studies showing 69 per cent of Indian students prefer a US education to any other destination,” it added. (ANI)

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