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U.S. Embassy in India Opens Student Visa (F and M) Appointments

As per a U.S. Mission to India official interview, the U.S. Embassy has started accepting appointments for student visas starting June 14th, 2021, offering July and August appointments to Indian students attending a college or university in the United States.

A senior American diplomat said, “The U.S. Mission in India is ‘actively working’ to accommodate as many student visa applicants as possible in July and August, and facilitating their legitimate travel remains a top priority for it.”

Don Heflin, the Minister Counselor for Consular Affairs at the U.S. Embassy, also said that U.S.-bound students will not require any proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter the country. However, they will need to provide a COVID-19 test with a negative result taken within 72 hours of their departure.

Heflin also said, “We recognize the stress and anxiety this has caused to students and their families, and we are actively working to accommodate as many student visa applicants as possible in July and August. Facilitating legitimate student travel to the United States remains a top priority for the U.S. Mission to India.”

What Students Should Do

Before scheduling an interview, students need to review their I-20 program start date. If the new program is starting on or after August 1st, you can book your appointment immediately. If your program is starting on or after August, 1st, you do not need to consider the National Interest Exception (NIE) request and emergency appointment request. Students can visit the U.S. Embassy Appointment Page and schedule the interview. Upon successful visa approval, you can travel to the U.S up to 30 days prior to your program start date. Continuing students may also resume their programs on or after August 1st, and travel up to 30 days before their program resumption date.

Please note, if a student’s courses are starting in fall, 2021 and they cannot request a visa appointment for a July or August slot, the appointment date may result in a potentially late start to their school program. Students should discuss this with their respective schools for alternatives.

Key Points to Remember:

  • Students may visit the https://ustraveldocs.com/in website to schedule their appointments.
  • Students do not need to provide COVID 19 vaccination details. Rather, they will need to provide the result of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours prior to their departure to the U.S.
  • Even though proof of vaccination is not required by the U.S. Embassy, students will need to verify all vaccination requirements with their college or university.
  • Parents are not allowed to accompany students to the U.S. An accompanying parent would be on a tourist visa. As of the date of this article, tourist travel from India remains prohibited pursuant to a Presidential Proclamation.
  • Student visa applicants with a cancelled appointment will need to make a new appointment. New student visa appointments will be made available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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