There’s some good news for Indian students who have plans to pursue higher education in the United States of America. The U.S. Embassy in India announced that it will open limited July and August student visa appointments across India from June 14, 2021 onwards. The Embassy stated that student visas remain a top priority for the U.S. Mission to India and that they are doing everything possible to facilitate student travel in time for the fall semester.
Students can visit the official website to view and schedule an appointment.
Students are required to review their I-20 program start date before scheduling their visa interview. Students beginning a new program with a program start date on or after August 1 may travel to the United States up to 30 days prior to the program start date and do not need to submit a request for a national interest exception. Continuing students may also resume their programs on or after August 1, and travel 30 days before their program resumption date. The Embassy is unable to approve expedite requests for Fall 2021 students with scheduled appointments in July or August. If your appointment date may result in a potentially late start, please reach out to your school to discuss options.
On April 30, President Biden signed Presidential Proclamation 10199 suspending most nonimmigrant travel from India. Most other normal nonimmigrant visa and VAC appointments at the US Embassy in New Delhi and the consulates in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai remain highly restricted owing to the travel ban and the current pandemic situation in India. The Embassy is making every effort to accommodate emergency visa appointments and will honor upcoming scheduled regular appointments in limited visa categories. If you scheduled an upcoming appointment, please check your USTravelDocs account to determine whether your appointment is still valid. The Embassy is unable to speculate on or respond to inquiries regarding future cancellations or appointment availability.
Due to limited US visa appointment availability and high demand, students are requested to be patient if they experience any technical issues. If the issue persists, please write to email@example.com or call the Visa Application Center during business hours to speak to a representative (+91 120 4844644 or +91 22 62011000).
Negative COVID-19 Test Required for Travel
All aviation travellers entering the United States must submit a negative COVID-19 test (a virus detection test for SARS-CoV-2 recognised or permitted by the applicable national government) taken within 72 hours of departure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Before boarding, airlines must certify that all passengers have received a negative test result. Passengers who do not have proof of a negative test or recovery must be denied boarding. This is a distinct requirement from the visa application procedure. Many presidential proclamations prohibiting travel as a result of COVID-19 are still in effect and apply to potential passengers.
How to Request an Expedited Appointment
Applicants can request an expedited appointment through the online appointment system. Applicants must already have a confirmed interview appointment date in order to request an expedited appointment. Once the emergency appointment request is approved, you will be notified with instructions via email. Applicants requesting an expedited appointment must also submit evidence that they are not subject to the April 30 Presidential Proclamation or may otherwise qualify for a national interest exception from these travel restrictions.
Visa Fees Validity Extension
Many visa applicants have paid the visa application processing fee but have yet to book a visa appointment, according to the US Embassy and Consulates in India. The Embassy is working hard to get all normal visa procedures back up and running as soon as possible. In the meantime, rest assured that the U.S. Mission will extend the validity of your payment (known as the MRV fee) until September 30, 2022, to allow all applicants who were unable to schedule a visa appointment as a result of the suspension of routine consular operations an opportunity to schedule and/or attend a visa appointment with the already paid fee.
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