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Scramble for Student Visas on Day 1 of Reopening Freezes US Embassy Portal | College Admission
[Published on: 15.06.2021]

Scramble for student visas on Day 1 of reopening freezes US embassy portal

  • A scramble for interview slots among applicants who have to join US colleges this fall led to glitches on the embassy portal as it resumed processing student visas in India on Monday.
  • We are aware of the high demand for student visa appointments. Please remember, do not refresh too often, as you may be locked out of your account. Appointments remain available at all posts, and we will continue to add appointments as conditions allow, the US embassy said in a tweet on Monday after it resumed the process of facilitating travel for those who have to join colleges in July and August.
  • Students who kept refreshing in the hope of booking a slot were eventually blocked for suspicious activity for 72 hours. By afternoon, the site had a message that said: We are down for maintenance.
  • The embassys tweet warning students not to refresh too often drew scores of replies. My account got locked without a prior warning. Many others are facing this issue too. Request you to unlock the accounts, at least this time, said one.
  • The consulate had held a webinar on June 10 to hand out information on visas interviews and pre-boarding requirements. Officials had assured candidates that everyone would get a slot once the process opened. Student visas remain a top priority for the US mission to India and we are making every attempt to facilitate student travel in time for the fall semester, the embassy had said.
  • However, an aspirant who is flying out for a post-doctoral programme said, There was no clarity on the time when the embassy would open appointment slots. Many logged in a little after midnight. When we realised the site was not accepting bookings, we slept for a bit and logged in again early in the morning.
  • Study abroad counsellor Pratibha Jain said, This is the first time the consulate website has crashed. I am surprised they did not anticipate the rush. Nobody was able to open the site. Going by the previous numbers about 80,000 to 1 lakh students must have logged in at the same time; it is like opening a two-by-two door for entry into a large stadium; there is going to be a stampede. Another counsellor added: Ideally, the process should have been staggered.
  • Students who have been locked out have requested the embassy to unblock their accounts. One father tweeted asking for locked accounts to be reopened: Please empathise and let not our kids go through more stress. Another said: The site kept crashing leaving us with no choice but to log in many times and now weve been blocked for 72 hours.
  • Meanwhile, France is wooing students from India and has resumed student visa processing. Emmanuel Lenain, ambassador of France to India, tweeted: Looking to study in France? Student visa applications are now open at your nearest VFS centre! Get all the information you need on programmes & scholarships, plus free counselling at your nearest Campus France office: .

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