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US-Bound Indian Students Can Apply For Visa A Year In Advance: Why This Matters

However, foreign students will not be allowed to enter the country more than 30 days before the course starts.

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The Biden administration has announced that international students planning to apply to universities in the United States can now apply for a visa up to a year before their academic term begins.

The move, which comes as a relief for foreign students, follows Deputy Assistant Secretary for Visa Services Julie Stufft telling news agency PTI that the US is “putting every ounce of its energy” to eliminate the long visa wait time in India.

Why is this update important? Can students enter the United States a year in advance too? And what about leaving the United States? We explain.

US-Bound Indian Students Can Apply For Visa A Year In Advance: Why This Matters

  1. 1. How Is A Student Visa Issued?

    International students are normally issued two categories of US visas - F and M.

    For the uninitiated a category 'F' visa is required to enter the United States To Attend:

    • University or college

    • High School

    • Private Elementary School

    • Seminary

    • Conservatory

    • Another academic institution, including a language training program

    A category 'M 'visa is required to enter the United States To Attend:

    • Vocational or other recognised non-academic institution, other than a language training program

    A student visa is issued by US embassies and consulates based on the Form I-20 issued by their academic institutions.

    The Form I-20  proves that you are legally enrolled in a program of study in the United States. 

    The State Department mandates that all students must be registered in the Student and Exchange Visitor System (SEVIS).

    Expand
  2. 2. Why Does  The New Update Matter?

    The new announcement means that universities can accept and issue I-20 forms 12-14 months before term time.

    Earlier, visa interviews could be scheduled only up to 120 days, and I-20 forms 4-6 months before the term started.

    The United States has not been able to keep up with visa applications.

    According to numbers released by the state department in 2022:

    The visa wait time at the US Consulate in New Delhi is 471 days for student Visas, 10 days in Mumbai, 479 days in Hyderabad, two days in Kolkata, and eight days in Chennai. 

    Expand
  3. 3. Can students enter the United States a year in advance too?

    Nope.

    The State Department has said that international students will not be allowed to enter the country on a student visa more than 30 days before the start of their programme.

    A student can enter the US before 30 days of the start of their programme on a valid visitor (B) visa.

    Expand
  4. 4. And What About Leaving After The Course Ends?

    • Foreign students in the United States with F visas must depart the US within 60 days after the programme end date listed on Form I-20, including any authorised practical training

    • M students have 30 days after completion of their program (the program end date on Form I-20) to leave the United States

    (At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

    Expand

How Is A Student Visa Issued?

International students are normally issued two categories of US visas - F and M.

For the uninitiated a category 'F' visa is required to enter the United States To Attend:

  • University or college

  • High School

  • Private Elementary School

  • Seminary

  • Conservatory

  • Another academic institution, including a language training program

A category 'M 'visa is required to enter the United States To Attend:

  • Vocational or other recognised non-academic institution, other than a language training program

A student visa is issued by US embassies and consulates based on the Form I-20 issued by their academic institutions.

The Form I-20  proves that you are legally enrolled in a program of study in the United States. 

The State Department mandates that all students must be registered in the Student and Exchange Visitor System (SEVIS).

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Why Does  The New Update Matter?

The new announcement means that universities can accept and issue I-20 forms 12-14 months before term time.

Earlier, visa interviews could be scheduled only up to 120 days, and I-20 forms 4-6 months before the term started.

The United States has not been able to keep up with visa applications.

According to numbers released by the state department in 2022:

The visa wait time at the US Consulate in New Delhi is 471 days for student Visas, 10 days in Mumbai, 479 days in Hyderabad, two days in Kolkata, and eight days in Chennai. 

0

Can students enter the United States a year in advance too?

Nope.

The State Department has said that international students will not be allowed to enter the country on a student visa more than 30 days before the start of their programme.

A student can enter the US before 30 days of the start of their programme on a valid visitor (B) visa.

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And What About Leaving After The Course Ends?

  • Foreign students in the United States with F visas must depart the US within 60 days after the programme end date listed on Form I-20, including any authorised practical training

  • M students have 30 days after completion of their program (the program end date on Form I-20) to leave the United States

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  US Student Visa 

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