U.S. Mission to India Hosts Second Annual Student Visa Day

Last year about 120,000 of the 1.1 million nonimmigrant visas processed at the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in India were student visas.  India sends the second highest number of students to the United States. To recognize this marker of strong U.S-India ties and highlight Indian students’ interest in studying in the United States, Consular Team India (CTI) celebrated its 2nd annual Mission-wide Student Visa Day on June 9, 2016. 

On Student Visa Day, the Embassy and all Consulates in India held visa appointments only for students, provided pre-departure information, and invited special guests. Student Visa Day was another consular power day with CTI processing 4,000 student visas Mission-wide, of which 1,000 were processed by us at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi.

Chargé d’affaires Michael P. Pelletier and the Student Visa Day team. [State Department photo]

As a visa officer, I normally sit behind a glass window and interview more than one hundred and twenty visa applicants on a daily basis. On Student Visa Day, however, I stepped out from behind the glass and into the Consular lobby. From the other side of that glass window, I could feel the excitement in the air. Even with all the balloons and banners to liven up the Consular lobby, what really lit up the room was the positive energy from these students. From fresh-faced undergraduates to experienced post graduates, the feeling was the same -- the unmatched desire to continue on a path of higher education in the United States - and that is precisely why we celebrate Student Visa Day. 

Students had the opportunity to stop by a photo booth for some lighthearted photos with themed props which we posted on our U.S. Embassy India Facebook page. Representatives from EducationUSA, the official Department of State source of information on U.S. higher education, engaged with students and advertised their upcoming pre-departure orientation seminars to be held at the American Center in New Delhi.

Students pose for a photo at a photo booth with props during Student Visa Day, hosted by the U.S. Embassies and Consulates in India. [State Department photo]

To inspire the applicants waiting in line before their interviews, we invited Mr. Ajay Chaturvedi, a young entrepreneur and alumnus of the University of Pennsylvania, to present his story about how studying in the U.S. motivated him to found HarVa, a start-up that focuses on skills development for rural women. The Chargé d’affaires, a.i., Michael P. Pelletier, also met with the aspiring students and echoed Mr. Chaturvedi’s message when he spoke about how Indian students studying in the U.S. not only enrich the academic environment in their universities but also strengthen the people-to-people ties between the U.S. and India.

Chargé d’affaires Michael P. Pelletier shakes hands with Student Visa applicants in India. [State Department photo]

So from Consular Team India to all the Indian students who will be studying in the USA -- Congratulations!

About the Author: Erica Marrero serves as Vice Consul at the U.S. Mission in New Delhi, India.

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Posted by Erica Marrero
July 12, 2016

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