Indian students received a record-breaking 82,000 visas from the United States in 2022, demonstrating the country’s continued popularity as an overseas study destination. As of mid-2024, the earliest appointments are only accessible for short-term business and tourist (B1/B2) visas to the United States, according to reports of lengthy wait periods.
Patricia Lacina, Chargé d’affaires of the US embassy to India, claims that more Indian students are relocating to the United States than to any other nation in the globe. She stated, “we are happy to see so many students were able to receive visas and reach their universities after the delays caused in previous years by the Covid-19 pandemic”.
Lacina added, “the record number of visas show that the United States remains one of the most sought after countries for higher education. We celebrate the contribution Indian students make to both countries. We celebrate the important contributions Indian students make to both our countries as they build lifelong connections with American peers to maintain and grow international partnerships.”
The US Embassy in India tweeted that the US “remains the most sought-after place for higher study” and that “the US Mission in India has issued a record-breaking 82,000 #studentvisas in 2022 to date, higher than any other country. We celebrate the important contributions Indian students make to both our countries as they build lifelong connections with American peers to maintain and grow international partnerships.”
In order to ensure that students arrived at their academic courses in time for the scheduled start dates, the American Embassy in New Delhi and the Consulates in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai have given priority to student visa applications over the past four months, the Embassy reported in a press release.
The United States also approved a record 62,000 visas last year as travel became easier during the first year of the Covid-19 outbreak. For most of 2020, embassies and consulates were unable to issue student visas due to closures caused by the pandemic.
China and India were the two countries with the most students studying in the US during the past several years. Since it resumed operations, the Embassy has given priority to issuing student visas in an effort to prevent disruptions to their plans and allow them to arrive in the US in time for the start of their school year.
The number of Indian students studying in the United States climbed by over 12% in 2021, according to statistics issued by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) earlier this year, while Chinese students, who make up the biggest percentage, decreased by more than 8%. The pandemic continued to have an influence on the enrolment of overseas students at American universities in 2021, according to USCIS’s annual report.
Numerous Indians have attended student visa interviews this year at the US Consulates General in Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, and Hyderabad as well as the US Embassy in New Delhi. The majority will continue their study in the US, but many will also do internships at prestigious companies, and some may pursue employment as specialised employees under the H-1B program.
More student visas are being approved in the US than ever before. Over 120,000 student visa applications were submitted to the US Embassy and Consulates in India between April 2021 and January 2022, the great majority of whom are now enrolled in US universities.
The students must first gain admission to a US university in order to embark on a path to academic achievement there. They can use a variety of resources to choose the best location for their studies. For instance, to assist interested students, the embassy collaborates closely with the US-India Educational Foundation (USIEF). USIEF provides videos, free consultations, and more. Even some USIEF counsellors have studied abroad.