The United States embassy in India plans to change the visa application system for Indian students applying to American universities in the summer of 2022.
Thousands of students from India apply for US visas annually as they plan to study in US universities.
Donald L Heflin, minister counsellor for consular affairs at the US embassy in Delhi, said that in the current year, embassy officials have interviewed more students than ever before.
The embassy had issued 62,000 student visas in India in 2021. This year, Heflin said, the number could be even higher.
Last summer, as US varsity campuses opened their doors to international students after being shut down because of the pandemic, the US consulates and embassy in India had announced the opening of visa interview slots in June 2021, for Indian students planning to join courses at universities in America in the fall 2021 session.
Students have been advised to visit the website of the US embassy for scheduling their visa appointments.
Heflin said that the embassy had faced two major problems last year. One, because of the huge number of student visa applicants from India, their worldwide computer system crashed.
The other issue was that many student visa interview slots were taken by people who were not even genuine applicants.
Hence, the US government has made software changes to ensure that students who are refused a visa once in the summer spring of 2022 will not be able to seek another visa interview appointment again this year.
Students and visa applicants have been advised to keep checking for interview dates on the embassy website to schedule their visa appointments once they receive their documents from US universities.
The US embassy also expects to start issuing new B1-B2 visitor visas for India in September 2022.