On September 25, 2023, the Embassy of the United States of America in India revealed that it had issued a record number of student visas this summer, with the grand total exceeding 90,000. The visas were distributed throughout the months of June, July, and August marking a historic milestone in an educational exchange between India and the United States of America (USA).
The announcement comes as no surprise given the US Mission and its earlier projection at the commencement of the student visa applications this year. Brendan Mullarkey, the acting minister, and counsellor for the consular affairs in India emphasised in June that “Last year a record-breaking 125,000 Indians were issued student visas which were more than that issued to any other nationality.”
Achievements of the US Embassy
“This summer almost one in four student visas worldwide was issued right here in India! Congratulations and best wishes to all the students who have chosen the United States of America to make their education goals a reality! That is a rap! With teamwork and innovation, we ensured that all the qualified applicants reached their programs on time,” and the embassy shared a post on X (formerly called Twitter).
With having issued over 90,000 student visas during the summer months, the US seems prepared to register a new record soon. In the current academic year more than 200,000 students at American academic institutions representing more than twenty percent of the international students currently in the United States of America.
Indo-US Education Partnership
As part of the ongoing efforts in the education sector, India and the US have also decided to come together for a virtual institute, announced via the signing of an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) following the bilateral meeting between US President Joe Biden and PM Narendra Modi during the 18th G20 Summit held in New Delhi this month.
India and US Global Challenges Institutions will function virtually and conduct research in emerging areas on campuses of partner higher education institutions from both countries. For those interested in pursuing education in the United States of America, the country offers “Education-USA, the free government-sponsored advisory services that provide credible and comprehensive information on admission and visa processes. Education USA represents 6accredited colleges and universities with eight advisory centres across India. Students can use the weblink or Facebook and Instagram.
Impact of Indo-US State Visit
During a state visit, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden affirmed that the movement of professional and skilled workers students and other travellers between the US and India helps enhance bilateral cooperation specifically economic and technology partnership. While acknowledging the key steps taken to augment the processing of visa applications, both leaders noted the pressing need to expedite this process.
In the month of June 2023, the US envoy to India, Eric Garcetti said that the mission is currently processing visas faster than ever before. He said that the wait time for first-time tourist visa interviews has been reduced by more than fifty per cent but the goal in 2023 is to ensure and provide a million visas.
“We are already doing this. We are currently processing more visas faster than the UN Mission in India has ever before. We have set a goal for ourselves to process at least a million visas in 2023 and we are already more than halfway towards reaching that goal,” Garcetti said.