More Indian students are now heading to the United States to study according to figures released by the US Embassy in Delhi as improved service makes applications more effective.
There has been a 20% increase in the number of Indians applying for student visas compared with last year.
In 2010 some 24,500 Indian students were granted visas to study at American universities with an increasing number opting to study for Masters degrees.
‘This year has been phenomenal rise in number of undergraduate students wanting to study in the US,’ said a spokesman.
‘The embassy has greatly expanded its counselor staffing and educational outreach initiatives to ensure that prospective students can get the information they need and prompt visa appointments,’ the spokesman added.
Other initiatives are being introduced as embassies around the world to improve customer service for visa applicants.
A new visa programme, the Visa Reissuance Program (VRP) has been introduced by the US Embassy in Manila in the Philippines to speed up renewals for Philippine visa applicants who have previously been issued multiple entry visas to the United States valid for five years or longer.
The new programme allows Filipino citizen holding an eligible US tourist visa (B1/B2) to apply for re-issuance of the visa within 12 months of its end date.
The Embassy said that visa reissuance applicants will be given a priority appointment date. In most instances applicants will only need to attend the Consular Section of the Embassy at the designated appointment time to submit a valid passport and application confirmation page, and to have their fingerprints digitally scanned. No interview with a consular officer will usually be needed.
The visas should be issued within a week and there is no extra charge for the service with the cost being held at $140. According to the US embassy the new process will significantly decrease the time involved in processing applications for visa reissuance at the Embassy.