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US to expedite student visa process

US consul General said the consular staff will work even on Saturdays.

india Updated: May 31, 2006 22:38 IST

The American consulate plans to expedite student visa process to ensure that students joining US schools are not late to join classes.

US consul General Michael Owen on Wednesday said the consular staff will work even on Saturdays in view of the huge demand for student visas.

He has urged students to use the online visa application system aimed at mechanising the appointment procedure and spare the consular staff for further visa processing job.

"We are happy that the number of students seeking admissions in the US is growing. Last year nearly 80,000 students from across the India were granted students visas and we would love to see the number cross the magic figure of one lakh students," Owen said.

India tops the list for the fourth year in succession for sending maximum number of students to the US for education. Last year, 80,000 Indian students got visa to study in US schools with the Chinese second with 64,000 student visas.

Consular section chief Joseph Pomper said that last year 8,000 students were interviewed for student visa in Mumbai. He sought to dispel rumours that the US has put a ceiling on the number of student visas to be granted in India.

"We are happy to grant student visas as long as they are bonafide students and satisfy our criterion," Pomper said clarifying there was no such thing as quota for states in India or by surnames while granting student visas.