US student visa update: Applications window to open 1 year before start of academic program

    Updated on: 25 Oct 2023 3 min read

    Latest Update: The fee for US student visas will increase from $160 to $185 effective May 30, 2023, according to a recent announcement by the US Department of State.

    The United States Department of State has announced a much-needed update for international students looking to study in the US. Starting from March 1st, 2023, prospective F-1 student visa applicants can now apply up to 365 days before their academic term begins. Previously, F1 visa applicants were required to schedule their visa interview within 120 days of receiving their I-20 form, which is a document issued by the university or college that the applicant intends to attend in the United States.

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    Other measures to reduce US student visa delays

    Over the past few months, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has taken multiple steps to ease the processing time, including special interview slots, interview waivers for some applicants.

    Here are some of the measures that have been implemented:

    1. Interview waiver process

    The Department of State has initiated a US interview waiver process for some temporary workers, students, and academic exchange visitors. This means that those who are eligible for the waiver will not have to go through an in-person interview, which will reduce wait times and make the process more convenient.

    1. Special Saturday interview days

    On January 21, 2023 the embassy launched the first in a series of special Saturday interview days to reduce wait times for first-time visa applicants.The US Embassy in New Delhi and Consulates in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, and Hyderabad opened consular operations on Saturdays to accommodate applicants who require in-person visa interviews.

    These measures have helped to reduce wait times for visa processing, especially for H-1B and F-1 visa applicants. International students make a significant contribution to the US economy and cultural landscape, and these updates will help to make the visa application process smoother and more efficient.

    The US Department of State has urged students to stay informed about the latest developments in visa processing procedures and consult with their educational institution and relevant immigration authorities to ensure that they are following the correct procedures.

Picsart 08 15 07.42.27
Written by Anjaney Chaturvedi

Anjaney has in-depth knowledge of abroad colleges, and universities. With a background in Mechanical Engineering, he has a unique understanding of STEM courses. His interest also lies in finance and education financing. Firmly believes in ‘Being as unique as your fingerprint’.

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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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