The number of visa applications to the US has increased by 37% in the month of May, this year. The fall of the rupee value has not affected the students going to the US for higher education.
Nicholas J Manring, consul, American Consulate General, Chennai, said that, about 1,300 interviews for the visa process will be conducted everyday.
The number of applications processed for F1 visa has increased from 5,000 to 8,000 between December 1, 2013 and May 31, 2014. All categories of visa applications have seen a increase, wherein maximum growth is seen in student visa. The rupee-dollar rate has no impact on the students heading to the US, he added.
The larger share of applications are from students who are aspiring for postgraduate and higher studies, mostly in the field of information technology, systems engineering and computer science. There is also increase in the number of students opting for undergraduate courses. A notable increase has been observed in the number of applications to community colleges.
The same trend is also seen in the US consulates in Mumbai and Delhi as well.
The majority of applicants are men while there is a marginal rise in the number of women applicants. From January 1 to January 23, about 24.3% of applicants in the Chennai US consulate were women.
He also said, "Of all the applications, 40% of the applicants are from Karnataka, second comes Tamil Nadu and then Kerala."
The US consulate is set to make the student visa application process simpler. The consul said, "The first day is for taking fingerprints and photographs while the second day is reserved for interviews."
"We are trying to see that students are at the consulate only for about 30 minutes. Around 80% of the visas are printed on the same day." added the consul.
The students are advised to start the process as early as possible so they have enough time to sort out other issues if they pop up at the later stage.
Students' education is funded by families in most of the cases, and students with scholarships and student loans follow behind. The students in south India have strong interest in pursuing eduction overseas, he added.
About 100,000 international students in the US are Indians, making it the second largest group after China.
On June 29, Yashna Trust -EducationUSA, Bangalore, will conduct a pre-departure orientation programme from 10am-1.30pm. This is for students travelling to the US for higher education this fall or next spring.
The orientation programme is designed to brief students on academic, cultural, financial and practical aspects of student life on a US campus. Non-members have to pay a nominal fee.
Venue for orientation programme: Rotary House of Learning, No.11, Promenade road, Frazer Town, Bangalore - 560005