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US to accept Indian student visa applications from June 14

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Indian student rejoice; the US Embassy is now issuing student visas again. Source: Tauseef Mustafa/AFP

Good news for Indian students: you may apply for US student visa from June 14 onwards. The US Embassy in India will resume student visa processing on this date, allowing international students to plan their return in time for the fall semester.

However, the embassy will not be able to expedite requests for fall 2021; appointments are still on first come, first serve basis. If you think your student visa appointment may delay your travel to the US, it’s best to discuss options with your school. Continuing students with programmes beginning on or after August 1 may still enter the US 30 days before their courses start.

Student visa processing resumes in time for fall

Since international students in India have struggled to navigate their way back into their US university, this announcement will allow many to breathe a sigh of relief. “Student visas remain a top priority and we are making every attempt to facilitate student travel in time for the fall semester,” the embassy said. “On June 14, we will open limited July and August student visa appointments at posts across India.”  Bear in mind that other nonimmigrant visa appointments are still limited in US consulates across India.

The US Department of State has been providing travel exemptions for persons of national interest; these are travellers who “provide vital support for critical infrastructure.” Indian students and academics qualify for National Interest Exception, as do journalists, humanitarian travelers, and public health responders. This was the only way students in India could obtain a visa since the US placed a travel ban on individuals entering from the South Asian country on April 30.

On that note, the White House has formed an expert group to look into easing travel restrictions, including the ban on travellers from the UK, India, Brazil, China, and several countries in the European Union. A White House official confirmed that the group will include partners from Canada, Mexico, the UK and the EU in the shared interest of restoring international travel to the US.

Students in India may schedule an appointment on the official website. Write to support-india@ustraveldocs.com or call the Visa Application Centre at +91 120 4844644 or +91 22 62011000 to speak to a consulate representative during business hours.