Ex-US Visa Counsel Explains How COVID-19 has Impacted the US Visa Process

    Updated on: 05 Sep 2023 7 min read

    Abroad education has gone for a toss ever since the coronavirus outbreak was declared a global pandemic. With many countries issuing travel restrictions, study abroad plans for the upcoming sessions have gone awry. 

    To address this uncertainty seeping in the students’ minds, MPower Financing, in association with GyanDhan, conducted a webinar on ‘How COVID-19 has Impacted US Visa Process’ informing students about the probable course of action till everything gets normal... The speaker of the webinar, Ms. Mandy Feuerbacher, is a former US Visa Consul. She shared valuable information about the visa process in the coming month and also provided general tips for visa interviews. 

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    Q - Will the rank of the university have any effect on the decisions? 
    A - Not as long as it makes sense why you are going there or why you chose the school. 

    Q - Now that the process will start anytime, will there be any leniency provided to the students for the appointments or slots? Will there be any preference for an F1 student visa? 
    A - It's hard to say what the govt will do but I think they will give preference to student visa applications. This is just speculation. They did tend to prioritize it in spring and summer for the student visa.  

    Q - A student got his F1 visa in India but due to travel restrictions, he had to defer the date to next year? Does he need to apply for the F1 visa or the same one would work? 
    A - The same visa should work assuming that the underlying I-20 is valid. 

    Q - For the F1 visa application, is it seen as a negative if a portion of the proof of funds is provided by a sibling currently living in the US? 
    A - Not necessarily. Depending on the sibling situation, like if he is a Ph.D. student working to become a professor with the rest of the family back in the home country, it would be fine. But if the sibling is working part-time with no fixed source of income, it might be a red flag. 

    Q - My current university has sent me a SEVIS ID and number. Should we register the DS-160 now? Would this impact if any deferral happens? 
    A - Wait until you have your I-20 before you register. I’d recommend you have all your documents before you sign up for an appointment. 

    For more information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on abroad education, keep following GyanDhan. We have published blogs on the topic such as GRE and TOEFL Special Home Test Editions. Students can also get more information on the updates by various universities for the upcoming batch by following GyanDhan’s Discussion Forum

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Written by vishakha Bhagia

Interest in Finance with a flair for writing, Vishakha has written on education loans and the study abroad field for the last two years with articles published in Times of India, Outlook India, The Hindu, and many more publications.

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Reviewed by Aman Jain

Aman Jain graduated from IIT Kanpur, and currently functions as the CMO at GyanDhan. He is deeply passionate about creating equality in higher education and has directly interacted with 2 Lakh students in his 8-year-long journey.

Specializes in:
Education loan , Study Abroad Admissions

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