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US Embassy in India interviewing record applicants

The US Embassy in India celebrated its sixth annual Student Visa Day on June 7 –  with the US consulate general in Mumbai interviewing more than 1,300 student visa applicants as part of the celebrations.

Over 4,000 students applied for student visas on the 6th Annual Student Visa Day in India. Photo: Unsplash

The international student exchange from India to the US is a “cornerstone” of the US-India relationship

The US Embassy charge d’affaires, Patricia Lacina, presented visas to two students in Mumbai who plan to study abroad in the US this year. According to Lacina, despite the pandemic, the US Mission issued more student visas in 2021 than ever before.

More than 4,000 students attended student visa interviews across India at the US embassy in New Delhi and the consulate general offices in Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Kolkata. Consul general, David J. Ranz, congratulated many of the students that came to Mumbai for interviews.

“A degree from the US can take you anywhere in the world,” Ranz said. “Students are a big business for the US, with Indian students contributing more than $8 billion dollars a year…Last year we issued a record 100,000 visa applications to Indian students and might double that number in 2022 according to the numbers with us,” he added.

“The US places an immense value on international students…this is particularly true in India; in fact, Indians are the second largest group of international students in the US,” Lacina said.

Lacina added that she believes the international student exchange from India to the US is a “cornerstone” of the US-India relationship.

“Last year we issued a record 100,000 visa applications to Indian students”

This spike in student visa applications comes after a short decline due to the pandemic, and according to Don Heflin, minister counselor for consular affairs in India, this increase can be attributed to a number of factors including the status of the Indian economy and the “pent-up demand” of 2020-2021.

He also shared that they plan to interview more applicants for student visas this summer than they ever have before.

“Last year we had about the right amount of applicants compared to pre-covid years. But we are seeing a surge of interest this year,” Heflin said.

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