Mumbai: Another student visa surge underway for U.S.

Chargé d'Affaires, Ambassador Elizabeth Jones has said there is another surge underway to do interviews for all the students going to the U.S. for the winter term.

Ateeq ShaikhUpdated: Wednesday, December 07, 2022, 04:52 AM IST
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Mumbai: Chargé d'Affaires, Ambassador Elizabeth Jones has said there is another surge underway to do interviews for all the students going to the U.S. for the winter term. Ms Jones was interacting with the media at the Consulate General office in Mumbai. During the summer term, the U.S. Mission in India had issued 82,000 student visas in a “very aggressive surge”.

There are currently 40lakh Indian Americans living in the US and nearly 2lakh Indian students attending colleges there. The wait time for student & exchange visas (categories F, M & J) ranges from 29 days in Kolkata to 360 days in Hyderabad. In Mumbai and Chennai, the wait time is 133 days each, while it is 132 days in New Delhi. The wait time is as of Monday.

“We know backlog is a concern for many Indians travelling to the U.S. Secretary Blinken addressed these concerns in his conversation with External Affairs Minister Mr Jaishankar and Washington has made a reduction in India wait times a global priority. We are deploying more resources than ever for visa applicants,” said Ms Jones.

On the country's plan to tackle and cut short the wait times, she explained, “We should be up to date on student visas, as we are up to date on crew visas. We are almost up to date on H-1B visas... maybe a couple of weeks of delay in those. We are working very hard to reduce the amount of time it takes for other visas. Right now we have new vice counsels being trained in Washington to come here by summer. Their number would be more than before Covid,” she said.

According to Ms Jones, she would be able to reduce the wait times on tourist visas starting in late spring-summer to really attack this problem. “I can't overemphasise how important this issue is for my colleagues in Washington. This was a big issue we discussed before I came and there is a tremendous effort to find innovative ways in decreasing the processing time,” Ms Jones added.

THE WAIT GAME

New Delhi

F, M & J Visas 132 Days

B1/B2 999 Days

Mumbai

F, M & J Visas 133 Days

B1/B2 999 Days

Chennai

F, M & J Visas 133 Days

B1/B2 999 Days

Kolkata

F, M & J Visas 29 Days

B1/B2 949 Days

Hyderabad

F, M & J Visas 360 Days

B1/B2 999 Days

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