US to hike student visa fee by about 10 from May 30. Experts explain why

US to Hike Student Visa Fee by About 10% From May 30. Experts Explain Why

From May 30 onwards, students seeking a visa to the United States of America (USA) will have to shell out 25 dollars more as the fee will jump from the current 160 dollars to 185 dollars. Ankur Dhawan, President, upGrad Abroad reminds us that the wait time for students when it comes to visa interview slots in the past couple of years has mainly been due to an insufficient workforce at US consulates. Hence, “This means the consulate services require more manpower to handle visa requests. This visa fee hike directly results from demand, supply and running operations costs,” says Dhawan and adds that the last revision happened about eight to ten years ago.

Rohit Sethi, Director, ESS Global, a study abroad consultant, believes that the fee hike is to adjust to the inflation. As the High Commission of any country is a non-profit organisation, the revised charges are more likely to be used for supporting the infrastructure of their country. Mayank Maheshwari, COO and Co-Founder of University Living also cites global inflation as the reason for revising the charges. What all the three agree on that this will not make any difference with regards to the number of students applying to the US.

The Indian students will now have to pay around INR 15,165.65 as per the present exchange rate. Earlier, this fee was around INR 13,000.

Basically, the hike is $25. Indian students seeking the F-1 Visa (Academic Student) or J-1 Visa (Exchange Visitor) will now have to pay $185, which is around INR 15,165.65 as per the present exchange rate.

Does this mean that more appointment slots will be given?
“As of now, we are struggling with the appointment dates and a lot of other factors for the students but I believe that they must be working on something to get this resolved,” says Rohit Sethi, bringing up the very important factor of visa appointment. With the next big cycle coming up in September, certainly the passport offices are expecting a mad rush. “In the past during the post-pandemic years, even getting an appointment date for the interviews was next to impossible and was a very big issue for any person or student traveling to the USA,” Mayank Maheshwari reminds us.

Nevertheless, the three assure that the intake to the US will not be hampered in any way. “However, what could impact this choice is the long waiting period for visa interview slot availability, as students want to start their educational journey immediately,” concludes Dhawan.

Courtesy : NewsCareers360


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