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US Embassy in India closes in-person appointments for student visas after record interviews for the winter season, ET TravelWorld News, ET TravelWorld

 Picture used for representational purposes.
Picture used for representational purposes.

Sharing an update for the student visa applicants planning to study in the United States (US), the Embassy of US in India has announced that it is closing in-person appointments for students after interviewing a record number of applicants for the winter student season, which runs from October 1 to January 15. More than 55,000 Indian students and exchange visitors to the United States were given student visas, an all-time high number in the last season despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a Twitter post, the US Embassy in New Delhi said that it will not be opening additional in-person student appointments for January. “In the interests of the health and safety of visa applicants and our team, we will not be opening additional in-person student appointments for the month of January. We thank all prospective applicants for their continued patience & understanding during these unprecedented times,” informed the Embassy.

The US Embassy further added that currently, it is not planning to cancel previously scheduled student appointments. “Currently, we are not planning to cancel previously scheduled student appointments. We continue to monitor the rapid spread of Covid-19 across India and the latest health and safety guidelines issued by the CDC and the government of India,” it said.Talking about the response received from the Indian students to study in India despite a global pandemic in place, the Embassy mentioned that it has received a healthy number of applications and it is continuing to interview those with confirmed appointments. “The US Embassy and Consulates in India have already interviewed a record number of students for the winter student season, which runs from October 1 to January 15, and we are continuing to interview those with confirmed appointments,” it said.

However, Indian visa customers can still apply via post by the postal process or through emergency visa services resumed by VFS Global in early December 2021.

With a good number of student visa applications for the US this year, speculations are made that the number of Indians visiting the US for studies will increase this year, in comparison to last year, which was vastly affected by Covid-19 and hindered students to travel overseas. According to the 2021 Open Doors Report, the number of Indians studying in the US has decreased by about 13 per cent in 2020-21 vis-à-vis the previous academic year. While, in reference to the same period, the overall decrease in the number of international students in the US was about 15 per cent.The US has always remained a top choice and priority for international students to visit for higher studies. Every year, the US welcomes close to 1 million international students from different parts of the world into its colleges and universities. Indian students comprised nearly 20 per cent of this number, with about 1.5 lakh students travelling to the US on a student visa in the 2020-2021 academic season.

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