Visa rejection scare at Hyderabad Consulate haunts students

Visa rejection scare at Hyderabad Consulate haunts students
Highlights

“Mission Visa - impossible to make it possible”, reads the status of a frustrated engineer, Anil Kumar, on a social media site. Anil failed to clear the F1 visa (student visa) interview at the US consulate in Hyderabad.

“Mission Visa - impossible to make it possible”, reads the status of a frustrated engineer, Anil Kumar, on a social media site. Anil failed to clear the F1 visa (student visa) interview at the US consulate in Hyderabad. His interview lasted for less than 2 minutes, after which his visa was rejected on grounds of ‘immigrant intent.’ Immigrant intent implies that the visa applicant intends to leave his home country and immigrate to the US permanently.

Anil’s visa interview was scheduled on June 2 at 9 30 am. He reached the consulate by 8:30, finished his security check, and waited in the lobby for half an hour before he was called by the visa officer. The officer looked at his financial documents, asked him what he would do after finishing his masters in the US, and rejected his visa. Anil said, “I told the visa officer that I would come back to India after masters. I think he was not convinced by my answer.” Anil opined that the student visa issuance has become more stringent this year due to the deportation row in January.

Many students heading to two US universities namely Silicon Valley University (SVU) and Northwestern Polytechnic University (NPU), for pursuing higher education, were denied entry in January this year. Incidentally, a majority of these students belonged to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. It is reported that due to this incident, US consulate in Hyderabad has adopted a more stringent procedure while issuing visas to students who are planning to fly to US in August.

P Sri Vidya, an engineering graduate from Vijayawada who secured admission in a US University, has decided to choose the US consulate in Chennai instead of Hyderabad for her visa interview. Two of her friends failed to clear the visa interview at Hyderabad which scared her, forcing her to select the Chennai consulate for her interview. Vidya said, “I want to clear the interview in the first attempt itself, as I will have to shell out another 11000 rupees to book a slot for the second time.”

Vidya is one among so many Telugu students who prefer Chennai and Mumbai Consulates over Hyderabad for visa interviews. Enquiries revealed that interview slots for Chennai and Mumbai are filling up fast. It is reported that some Hyderabad locals are going all the way to Chennai, fearing the reportedly tough situation at Hyderabad Consulate.

However, US consulate officials at Hyderabad do not subscribe to the viewpoint that the student visa rejection rate is relatively higher in Hyderabad Consulate. A source from the Consulate, on condition of anonymity, said, “Visa approvals are being done just on the merit of individual cases. No student would get a raw deal in the US consulate if all the documents are found to be genuine.”

By Mounika Gali

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