As Indian students prepare to leave for the USA for the Fall 2023 intake (August-December), the US Consulate General in Mumbai is set to host a student visa session for prospective candidates on April 14, 2023. This session aims to answer all student queries regarding the visa process which has a notorious reputation for long wait times, rejections, and other issues.
The last couple of years has been difficult on students and professionals in the US as news about layoffs across the country put a damper on their spirits. Thus, this visa session is of utmost importance to address all major concerns and queries regarding the USA student visa.
Clarity Required on the Eligibility Criteria for New Rules on F-1 Visa
The recent modifications to the F-1 student visa procedure allow students to get an I-20 form up to 365 days before their university course begins in the United States. Although this news is a comfort, students are still confused about the intake months the new regulations will cover.
Students who have been accepted to many universities think that the new rule will help students apply for a visa a year before our academic programmes begin. Still, they want to know if it is applicable for students going in the fall intake and not just those applying for the summer intake (April-August), as that is something they are unsure about.
Although F-1 visas allow students to work off campus through Optical Practical Training (OPT) after finishing their academics, recent revisions in employment authorization allow selected categories pursuing STEM or its allied modules to opt for an additional 24 months extension of their OPT program. Thus, students who plan to pursue a PR status in the US have concerns about their future.
Students are also requesting additional information on the process of converting my F-1 visa to a dual-purpose visa, which permits one to pursue PR status (a green card) while holding a non-immigrant visa to immigrate in the future. More clarification is also needed on the main distinctions between F-1 and J-1 visas.
USA Visa Wait Time is Still a Concern for Many
Students and professionals are not only relocating to various cities but even to foreign countries, to avoid long lines, which saves them time but costs them a lot of money. Chennai has the shortest wait period for US student visas, at 58 days, followed by Mumbai (73 days), Kolkata (78 days), and Delhi (74 days). Visa interviews are typically nerve-racking for individuals who may suffer disappointment if their application is refused, but certain success tales might serve as a lesson to them.
According to Vatsal Nahata, a Yale graduate who works as a research analyst at the IMF, there are five crucial aspects that students should keep in mind when attending interviews.
Students should not state they aim to return to the United States
Should not offer rehearsed responses
Should not appear unprepared about their course and their career trajectory
Should create the impression that they have the financial means to study in the United States.
Diplomacy, creativity, economic growth, and national security all rely on international student mobility. As the country prepares for peak student visa season this summer, the United States reaffirms its commitment to international education, including student mobility to and from the country.
India is presently the second-largest origin country for foreign students in the North American nation thanks to the US Mission's issuance of over 125,000 students and exchange visitor visas to Indians in 2022.
Source: Free Press Journal
Kickstart Your US Application Process with Expert Guidance!