Here’s all you need to know about applying for the UK and the US visa

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Here’s all you need to know about applying for the UK and the US visa
  • VFS Global is processing over 23,000 visa applications daily from India.
  • The UK has announced the launch of priority and super priority visas for Indian students.
  • From Dropbox appointments to adding visa officers in consulates, the US is taking several steps to clear the backlog of Indian visa applications.
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Since the UK and the US are among the top study destinations for Indian students, the high commissioners of both the countries have said that they are working around the clock to clear the massive backlog of visa applications.

To cater to the pent-up visa demand that has built up since the pandemic struck in 2020, the US has added five more visa officers at their consulate in Mumbai.

“There has been a massive spike in visa demand. We’re experiencing unprecedented volumes — between 20,000 to 23,000 visa applications daily on an average from India, given the pent-up travel demand,” VFS Global COO (South Asia) Prabuddha Sen said, according to the Economic Times.

To put it in perspective, the average wait time for a US visitor visa is 500 days, according to the US Department of State Travel website.

When it comes to the UK, the wait time for a visitor visa is over 2 months. This is due to the Ukraine crisis, backlog from the pandemic and the increase in waiting period from 3 weeks to almost 3 months for a simple visitor visa.

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UK’s Priority and Super Priority visas for Indian students

We want to see an unprecedented number of students come to the UK this year, the British High Commissioner to India Alex Ellis said earlier in August. In June 2022, nearly 118,000 Indian students received a UK study visa. In August, Ellis announced that the priority and super priority visas had been available for Indian students.

For ₹46,000, one can access the UK’s priority visa. The super priority visa will cost the applicant over ₹ 73,000 and can be applied through the UK government website. This also extends to visitor visas where the applicant can get their visitor visa within three weeks of application.

In a twitter announcement, Ellis said, “A lot of you have been in touch about visa delays; many apologies, as I know this is causing a lot of problems.”

US will soon clear backlog: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken

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The US has a massive backlog of visa applications from India. In a meeting with India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken assured him of giving application clearance a boost.

The country has also introduced ‘ Dropbox appointment’ since June 2022, where applicants with an interview waiver appointment can now choose to drop off their documents at any visa application centre or document delivery location, regardless of where their dropbox appointment is scheduled.

“We had constraints from Covid about the number of people we could have in our embassies at any one time etc. We are now building back very determined really from that surging resources. We have a plan when it comes to India to address the backlog of visas that have built up. I think you'll see that play out in the coming months," Blinken said.

Checklist before applying for a UK or USA visa

Here's a checklist for those travelling to the UK for leisure, stay or study:

  1. UK visa application form
  2. Two photographs
  3. A valid passport
  4. Bank statement of last six months
  5. Proof of accommodation
  6. Statement of travel purpose
  7. Tuberculosis test results.
  8. Biometric result
  9. UK visa invitation letter
  10. Birth certificate (under 18 travellers)
For visitors visiting USA next year or applying for a student visa, here is your checklist:
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  1. A non-immigrant DS-160 application form.
  2. One photograph
  3. Receipt of non-immigrant US visa application payment
  4. Social media details.
  5. Invitation letter for US visa
  6. Affidavit of support
  7. Payslips or salary statement
  8. Original property ownership papers
  9. Register for an F-1/J-1 student visa appointment.
  10. A Certificate of eligibility for non-immigrant (F-1/J-1) student status (Form 1-20/DS-2019)
As a priority, students should ideally follow the twitter handles and official websites of the UK and the US embassies as this is where they frequently upload their most recent announcements regarding updates of visa applications.

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Here’s all you need to know about applying for the UK and the US visa