Don Heflin, US embassy’s Minister Counselor for Consular Affairs, said in an interview that the US mission in India is “actively working” to accommodate as many student visa applicants as possible in July and August.
Don Heflin, US embassy’s Minister Counselor for Consular Affairs, said in an interview that the US mission in India is “actively working” to accommodate as many student visa applicants as possible in July and August. According to sources, the US embassy started giving visa interview slots for Indian students from Monday, June 14. Heflin’s interview with news agency PTI confirmed the development. He further added that the students do not require an advanced appointment to schedule their visa interview.
Students heading to the United States will not be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination; however, they will need a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of their departure.
Two-month interview window for the students to begin on June 1
Upon answering the questions in concern to students who desire to visit the United States, which imposed new travel restrictions in May, he said, “students returning to universities that begin their programs on or after August 1 may travel to the United States for up to 30 days before the program’s commencement date. In this case, no National Interest Exception is required.”
The officials recommend continuing students to consult with their various colleges about their unique resumption arrangements to build a traveling schedule. The National Interest Exceptions (NIE) allow anyone to travel to the United States if their admission is in the national interest. “We’re planning to begin a two-month interviewing process for student visa applicants on June 1. Based on local pandemic situations across India, we intend to open as many appointments as we can safely handle, “Heflin added. According to the US embassy in Delhi, there are currently no entry restrictions for Indian students holding an F-1 visa.
Vaccination proof and Covid negative test result needed
As per the official statements, vaccination proof is not necessary to enter the United States. However, the students boarding US flights need to have a covid negative test result collected within 72 hours of their departure. The education system in the United States functions independently of the federal government. Therefore, students should work closely with their home institution to ensure the fulfilment of the vaccination needs.
Students with canceled appointments can reapply
Student visa applicants who have had their appointments canceled can reapply, wherein new appointments for the same for the students on a first-come, first-served basis.