US consulate in India set to issue 1 million visas in 2023; gears up for student season
One million visas are expected to be issued this year by the US Consulate General offices in India. The United States Mission in India will be officially opening up student visa interview slots for Indian students by next month.
In a good news for Indian students, the United States Mission in India will open up student visa interview slots for by next month. The announcement has brought joy to Indian youngsters who hope to pursue successful careers and study abroad.
John Ballard, Consular Chief, U.S. Consulate General, Mumbai remarked, "We will be officially opening up most of our study visa appointments from June 1 until the middle of July," during a media roundtable on the consular activities of the US Mission to India. The US consular will open up more slots from mid-July through August so that every Indian student has an opportunity to appear for the interviews.
The announcement comes as the Consulate offices are quickly approaching the half-million mark of visas already processed this year. One million visas are expected to be issued this year by the US Consulate General offices in India.
Addressing the media, Hugo Rodriguez, principal deputy assistant secretary of the Bureau of Consular Affairs in Washington, who was in Mumbai discussed how the consular offices in India were preparing for the upcoming student visa season as well as how they were on track to reach the one million visa mark for all types of visas combined.
He said Mission India in the past six months issued nearly two-and-a-half times the number of non-immigrant visas than in the same time period last year. "We are processing more visas now than we did in the pre-pandemic 2019,” Rodriguez added.
Speaking on accessibility of appointment, he said they have visa appointment times reserved for Indian applicants at a number of posts outside India. So, anyone needs to acquire a B1/B2 visa and the wait period in India is beyond limitations, then the individual can go to the consular division in Bangkok.
Meanwhile, John Ballard said they will continue to look for ways to maximise travel for B1, B2 visas (for tourists and business). "For example, we have expanded the use of interview waivers, and many people who previously had a visa in any category are now able to send in their passport without having to come in for an interview, and as a result, we are able to get even more people to come in to get their visas," said Ballard.
However, both Rodriquez and Ballard advised Indians to avoid using agents. The authorities asked visa applicants to be truthful about their paperwork and convey their actual circumstances.