No cap on Student Visas
“There is no cap on student visas in the US and the nation’s financial status has no bearing on admissions into universities,” said Vice-Consul, Consulate General of the United States, Greg Rankin, at an interactive session on visa counselling at RVR & JC College of Engineering here on Wednesday.
“We have a cap on H1-B visas for skilled professionals, but there is no cap on student visas,” clarified Mr. Rankin fielding a range of questions from students.
When a student asked if gaining an admission into a top university guaranteed a visa, Mr. Rankin replied in the negative, and went on to say that the fact that the student got admission into a top university might indicate that his prospects of gaining employment either in the US or India were bright and hence the chances of getting a visa were bright.
Mr. Rankin also cautioned the students about their choice of the universities. “There are tens of thousands of universities in the US. International students should not go by pictures posted on university websites but instead rely on credible information provided on sites like educationusa.state.gov or usief.org.in,” he said. He also asked students not to rely wholly on private consultants.
Students seeking visas should understand that they should be able to convince the consular officer that they intended to return to India by demonstrating that they had sufficient ties with family, business, lands, etc. and career prospects in India.
Many students were keen on ‘financial statement’ process, but Mr. Rankin said that financial statement was not strictly required as per Section 214 (B) of Immigration and National Act, but was being provided by students to demonstrate the financial capability.
Word of Caution
As a word of caution for those seeking off campus work, Mr. Rankin said that working off campus was prohibited by law and students would be taking a risk if they worked outside the campus in fuel stations, tubes and department stores making them vulnerable to physical attacks.
Information assistant, Public Affairs Section, D.V.L. Padma Priya, was also present. Dean, Student Affairs, RVR & JC College, Kolla Srinivas, presented mementos to the two officials.