US Embassy officials from New Delhi rejected the reports which suggested the number of visas issued to foreign students by the United States of America fell sharply last year amid stricter immigration rules.
NEW DELHI: US Embassy officials from New Delhi rejected the reports which suggested the number of visas issued to foreign students by the United States of America fell sharply last year amid stricter immigration rules. They also assured the students that there have been no policy changes towards admission process for foreign students in the US.
In a Facebook live, NDTV spoke to Joseph Pomper, Minister of Consular Affairs and Karl Adams, Deputy Cultural Affairs Officer who rejected that there had been any drop in student visas or any change in the larger policy of the Trump administration, saying, in fact there were 21,000 more Indian students studying in US last year, that headlines were not data.
But, they added that a student visa did not necessarily assure you a job or H 1 B visa in the future and there was no guarantee you could end up working in the US.
“I reject the assertion that there has been a reduction, it’s way too early to say anything. What we do know is that last year there were 12% or 21,000 more Indian students studying in the US than the year before,” said Mr Karl Adam.
He added that, over the long term, these numbers are going to go up.
“The foundations are the same, and that is that higher education in the US remains of great value,” he said.
F1, H-1B Visa
Joseph Pomper told NDTV that there is no connection between the F1 visa and the H1 B visa.
“Students should be going to the US on an F1 visa for a wonderful education. Some folks who apply for F1 and later qualify for work visas, one of which is H 1 B visas, but there is no connection between them and one doesn’t really necessarily lead to another,” he said.
When asked about the reports which suggested lesser number of visas being issued from India, — 78,000 fewer visas that were issued for the year 2017– , the official said the US issued over 1.1 Million visas across India last year and that was highest number ever.
“So, I am not quite sure where these numbers are coming from. We have 1,86 thousand students (Indian) in the US right now that is the second highest after china and we view this as a big success,” said Mr. Pomper.
“We do take the long view, some years are busier than the other. Visa trends are not really linear and we are looking at the long view of taking as many qualified students as possible,” he added.
When asked about the foreign students end paying higher fees, the official said the United States has got over 4500 different higher educational institutes and a lot of programmes, with this, every student can find a best fit.
“There has been no change in policy. If you are an applicant who qualifies, you get a visa. Our institutions are in competition to get the best students, there is all sort of sensational news and anecdotes. Facts show that the US remains the best place for education,” the official said when asked about whether the Trump administration’s policies have affected the fees foreign students are paying.
According to reports, in the year ended September 30, 2017, the state department issued 393,573 students visas-F1 visas. It’s 17% less than the previous year and 40% below the 2015 peak.
On Monday, the Trump administration announced it was stopping the processing of H1-B premium visas that affect a large number of skilled Indian IT officials.