FPJ Exclusive: US Consulate Mumbai Conducts Visa Interviews For 1700 Applicants In 'Super Saturday' Drive

FPJ Exclusive: US Consulate Mumbai Conducts Visa Interviews For 1700 Applicants In 'Super Saturday' Drive

The drive was aimed at approving first-time visitor students who wished to study abroad. This was not the first 'Super Saturday' drive as similar drives have been conducted sporadically since 2022. However, from now on, it will be a quarterly feature. There was a huge crowd of Indian students waiting in line for their turn to get the approval of visa.

Simple VishwakarmaUpdated: Sunday, May 12, 2024, 06:44 PM IST
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US Consulate Conducts Visa Interviews | Courtesy: US Consulate Mumbai

On May 11, 2024, the US Consulate located at Bandra-Kurla Complex conducted a special 'Super Saturday' drive to screen 1,700 student visa applicants. The drive was aimed at approving first-time visitor students who wished to study abroad. This was not the first 'Super Saturday' drive, as similar drives have been conducted sporadically since 2022. However, from now on, it will be a quarterly feature.

US Consulate Conducts Visa Interviews

US Consulate Conducts Visa Interviews | Courtesy: US Consulate Mumbai

US Consul General Mike Hankey told The Free Press Journal (FPJ), "We are thrilled to announce that we are offering an opportunity for 1700 student applicants in Mumbai to apply for their student visas. The season for student visas is actually starting on May 20th and will run for three months."

Further explaining their decision to open a special Saturday drive. He said, "Due to high demand, we have decided to open on a special Saturday to accommodate the applicants in Mumbai."

"Our goal this year is to ensure that every first-time student visa applicant is interviewed at one of our posts, either the embassy or one of the four consulates across Mission India, before the start of their studies. To achieve this, we are planning to have focused days for students. In June, we have a dedicated student visa processing day across the entire mission. We occasionally add extra days, such as a student visa Saturday, when there is an extra demand," he added further.

There was a huge crowd of Indian students waiting in line for their turn to get their visas approved.

Students' primary concerns, according to Deputy Cultural Attache Sita Raiter of Education and Exchange Programmes, are whether or not they will receive their appointment on time and how the interview process will go.

She continued, "Mission India gives students a top priority. The officers are interested in talking to you and hearing your experience."

US Consulate Conducts Visa Interviews

US Consulate Conducts Visa Interviews | Courtesy: US Consulate Mumbai

The Free Press Journal interviewed a few parents who are worried about their children's visa approval. One of the parents, Irani Roy, who hails from Kolkata, is the mother of Rohit Roy, who is going to Pennsylvania State for his Ph.D. in Bio-Science Engineering. Irani explained that she is concerned about the current situation and stated, "To be honest, my son is an introvert, and he avoids getting involved in such matters. We have advised him to avoid any trouble. The rest is up to him, and he knows what is at stake."

When asked why Rohit chose the US instead of other states, she said, "The US offers a lot of practical opportunities and good exposure to students." When asked about students' inability to secure jobs, she stated that it is Raj's next stage. For now, he is only focusing on his studies.

A Hyderabad student, who wishes to remain anonymous, is going to pursue a Masters in Computer Science mainly in Cyber Security, from Purdue University. Her mother, Rajshree Sharma, expressed that going to the US is her daughter's dream, and she wants to help her fulfill it. So far, she has been able to assist her daughter in every single step, but while her daughter was waiting for her turn in front of the visa officers, she became stressed out and worried about whether her daughter would be able to secure the visa.

She believes that if her daughter receives an education from there, she will have a bright future. Addressing the issue of unfortunate student cases in the US, she said, "I am not scared. We don't know their scenario. We are only hearing one side of the story. We don't know what the other side of the story is. You have got the admission. Stay indoors, avoid going out late at night. It's not just the US; even in India, there are certain places where people avoid going out at night."

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