In a bid to combat fraud and misuse of the visa appointment system, the United States has introduced new regulations affecting Indian applicants for F, M, and J student visas. The policy change, set to take effect on November 27, mandates that applicants provide accurate passport details when creating a profile and scheduling their visa appointment. Failure to do so may result in canceled appointments and forfeiture of visa fees, as announced by the U.S. Embassy in India.
Applicants with recently renewed or replaced passports must present photocopies or other evidence of the old passport number to proceed with their appointments. This measure is aimed at ensuring the integrity of the visa application process and enhancing security against fraudulent activities.
The Open Doors Report (ODR) revealed a significant 35% increase in the number of Indian students pursuing higher education in the United States, reaching an all-time high enrollment of 2,68,923 students in the academic year 2022-23. Indian students now constitute over 25% of the one million-plus foreign students enrolled in U.S. institutions.
Notably, India has surpassed China as the leading source of international graduate students in the U.S. The surge is particularly evident in the number of Indian graduate students, which has increased by an impressive 63%, reaching 165,936 students. The count of Indian undergraduate students has also risen by 16%.
During the June-August 2023 student visa season, the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in India witnessed a historic issuance of student visas, marking an 18% increase compared to the same period in 2022. Consular officers issued an impressive 95,269 visas in the F, M, and J categories, emphasizing the growing enthusiasm among Indian students to pursue educational opportunities in the United States.
These developments highlight India’s prominence in the international student landscape and the continued appeal of U.S. education to Indian students. The policy changes underscore the importance of accurate documentation for a smooth visa application process.
Stay tuned for more updates on international education and visa regulations.