US F1 Visa Applicants

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US F1 Visa Applicants to Get Student Visas at a Faster Rate


18 January 2023


There is good news for US student visa holders or recent graduates for Optional Practical Training. The US government has included F-1 student visa holders and OPT graduates in the premium processing service. This decision is made to reduce USCIS processing times and the multi-application immigration backlog.


Under the rule of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), new options for premium processing for increased immigration benefits have been added. This will allow applicants to pay an additional fee between $1,500 and $2,500 to expedite their application. This will allow them access to premium processing for more form types.


As of July 2021, data from the Indian government shows 2,11,930 Indian students were enrolled in US universities. About 20% of the total international students in the country are Indian students, as reported in the 2021 Open Doors Report.


The new measure goes into effect in 60 days and will extend the premium processing time to new employment, student applications and family members.


The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reviewed over 9.5 million pending applications as of February. This scales a 66% increase.


“We remain committed to delivering timely and fair decisions to everyone it serves. There is a foundational need to improve backlog and processing times. This is an issue that we take very seriously, and it is critically important to us. Every single applicant, irrespective of the benefit they are seeking from USCIS, is entitled to a timely decision. We are taking steps to ensure we are addressing case processing times in a meaningful way,” stated the director of USCIS, Ur Jaddou.


USCIS also announced changes in the F-1 student visa rules in 2021. The announcement was made regarding the applications stating international students need not proffer several applications to extend their non–immigration visas. DHS also announced that the rules and regulations set by the former Trump administration on international students had been revoked. 


Applications submitted using Form I-539 to request adjustments or status extensions for most dependents (including F-1 students) will gradually be eligible for premium processing. This will also discuss Form I-765, which is required to apply for an Employment Authorization Document for OPT graduates. The length of the extension term for work permit renewals will likewise be automatically extended.


The US government has been stressing the importance of being a good host for international students in recent months. This is likely to provide extended benefits to Indian students. The USA granted around 15,000 F-1 visas between October 2019 to September 2020. According to the US State Department, this showcased a significant drop of around 64% compared to the previous year.


Moreover, if you wish to study in USA, contact our expert counsellors at any branch of Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC). You can also take free online counselling through our website. Our expert counsellors will provide guidance and support you for the admission and visa process. Contact or 1800-1230-00011.

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