US Embassy in India opens interview portal for student visa applicants

“If you have your I-20 forms ready, don’t wait,” says the embassy in a tweet

US Embassy Student visa
Announcement issued for visa categories, F, M and J

The US Embassy on Sunday (June 26) opened fresh interview slots for students who have applied for visa categories F, M, and J and who need to arrive at their campuses by mid-August.

In a tweet, the Embassy said: “Student visa appointments are available on our website. If you have an i-20, don’t wait! Future F, M, and J appointment openings at the Embassy and Consulates will be for interviews taking place after August 14, so if you need to arrive at school by mid-Aug, book an appointment now!”

Due to the pandemic, the US Embassy in Delhi opened student visa interviews on June 14 last year. However, this year, the slots for interviews have been opened much earlier and the US officials aim to issue more visas than last year’s record which stood at 62,000.

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The US Embassy has also assured students that if they are unable to book a visa appointment in the first tranche, they must not panic. The slots would open in July and the first half of August. The Embassy also eased the earlier announcement of not giving a second chance to the visa applicants who had been denied visas earlier. The Embassy assured them of some appointment opportunities in the second half of August.

As per some media reports, in 2022, the Minister-counselor for consular affairs at the US embassy in Delhi, Donald L Heflin had informed students that the best chance for them to get their visas approved was to get through the first interview as the chances of second and third interviews were bleak. The minister, however, assured that students shall get more opportunities in the current year.

In a tweet, last month, Christine, the Consular Officer associated with the embassy explained the steps to booking a student visa interview. Among the necessary documents, she listed were the DS-160 form, I-20 form, passport, fee receipt, degrees, and other credentials.

Among the kinds of visas mentioned above, the F- visa, also called the Academic Student Visa, is mostly used by students who wish to attend an accredited college, university, high school, or any other academic institution. The type M visa also called the vocational student visa is used by students who wish to join a non-academic learning programme in the United States. These courses are usually of shorter duration and focus more on technical learning. The J visas on the other hand are focused more on cultural exchange and are usually used by professors, researchers, students, interns and others.

The I-20 form that is mandated by the embassy is an important document, issued by the Student and Exchange Visitor Programme (SEVP) to certified colleges and universities in the US. The form is a pre-requisite in getting an appointment for student visas.