Hosting the sixth annual Student Visa Day, the US Consulate Kolkata handed over approximately 75 passports with visas to students recently while the visa officers confirmed that those who are yet to apply need not panic since more slots will be made available from July till the first half of August.
The consulate shared that according to data from May, there are approximately 2,03,842 Indian students studying in the US. The Indian students comprise about 20 per cent of the total population of international students in the US. Last summer, Mission India issued 62,000 student visas.
The popular query among visa recipients was, what happens in case one needs to return to their home country in the midst of their educational course. The students were assured that it should not be a problem if the visa is still valid. To seek help for returning, they can approach the Indian embassy and the university authorities for guidance.
With many students yet to apply for visa slots, the visa officer, Eric Chu said that one need not panic since there will be more slots available in July till mid August. The classes generally begin at the end-August or early September. Commenting on whether students can stay back after their course to look for jobs, he said that a students’ visa is valid for five years generally. For jobs, they need a separate visa.
To the students, the US consul general, Kolkata, Melinda Pavek, said, “We place a significant focus on students because international student mobility is central to US diplomacy, innovation, prosperity, and national security. You act as a bridge between our two countries and just as I am sure you will learn from your American professors and classmates. The Americans will also surely learn from you.”