Do you think it's tough to pursue higher education in the US than ever before?
Diplomatic tensions and growing uncertainty over visa and immigration policy is causing a big worry to Indian students who're applying for admission at US varsities. But, the numbers tell is differently - there is a good rise in US visas for Indian students.
According to a report, around 1.86 lakh Indian students achieved US education visa for the year 2017 and that's 12% higher than the previous year-2016. On top of it, India takes the second position with 17% when it comes to the total international student population in the United States.
The US Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM), May Kay-Carlson has said that the number of students coming from India has doubled in last 10 years and opined 'it will further strengthen the foundation upon which our strategic partnership is built.'
In the recent past, pending reforms on H1B and H4 visas have been a major concern to the Indians, but the DCM has tried to de-escalate it by saying - 'no big changes are implemented to H1B program and nothing new on H4 at this point. Certainly, employment visas and worked permits for India, US or for every country in the world is a sovereign decision where every country works at what makes sense for their citizens and for that particular sovereign economy'
Mukesh Aghi, President of US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, also played down the fears of Indians by pointing that 'there is no strong bill at this stage. A sense of uncertainty exists only in India but no panic on the ground in America.'
The Government of India has been talking with US Congress on proposed reforms to H1B and H4 visas. It remains to be seen whether these growth numbers build a confidence in Indian students who are aiming to study in US educational institutions.