Applications from women increase.
By The American Bazaar Staff
NEW DELHI: Student visa applications in India shot up dramatically in May, increasing by 37% to hit a new record for the number of application received in a month-long period.
The US Consulate in Chennai recorded 2,731 new student visa, or F1, applications during the month of May, bringing the total from December 1, 2013 through May 31, 2014 to around 8,000, reports The Times of India. That 8,000 figure is a sharp increase from the 5,000 recorded over the same six-month time frame in 2012-2013 – in fact, it’s an increase of 60%.
What’s more, US Consulates in Mumbai and New Delhi are also reportedly registering similarly robust numbers, a key indicator that interest in going to the US for undergraduate and post-graduate studies has not at all waned; if anything, it’s increased, and competition to study in America will only get fiercer, even as India navigates its way into the Modi era.
Unsurprisingly, the majority of applications are for students interested in the STEM fields, particularly IT, software development, systems engineering, and computer sciences. Apparently realizing that their hopes of getting into the big name school will diminish as more students apply for F1s, Indians are now targeting community colleges with increasing frequency,
This may be to take advantage of programs that several US community colleges have in which a student can matriculate to a better university within the same state, but only if they maintain a certain Grade Point Average (GPA) after a handful of semesters, usually between two and six.
Female applicants have also increased, with the Chennai Consulate seeing about 24% of its applications being from women since the beginning of 2014. Karnataka leads in terms of states applying at the Chennai Consulate, with 50% of the applications being from that state. Tamil Nadu registered 40%, and Kerala constitutes the rest.
In an effort to better handle the large influx of applicants, the Chennai Consulate is attempting to streamline the process by making sure students spend no more than 30 minutes in the Consulate. The process for obtaining an F1 visa in India begins with the submitted paper application, followed by a fingerprints and photograph stage, and lastly an interview, which takes place the day after the previous stage.
Additionally, the Consulates are printing about 80% of the approved visas on the same day that approval is granted, which could mean that Indian students in the US could increase even more from their roughly 100,000 current total. China currently has the most students in the US, while India is second.