India leading source for foreign students in US: Consul General

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Chennai, Jun 27 (UNI) United States Consul General David Hoppers today said India was the leading source country for foreign students in the US.

Speaking at an Open House programme for the media on student visa application process at the US Consulate General here, he said about 83,000 Indians were studying in US colleges and universities.

''We want this number to grow. But the worrying factor is that some student visa applicants do not succeed in getting visas because they are confused by the application process and the requirements,'' he added.

''Sometimes this may be because our visa application process is complex or applicants view the process as mysterious -- they don't know what to expect during the visa interview and become nervous and not perform well,'' he said.

He said the US consulate has invited the media to the programme today only to help remedy those situation.

Observing that opportunity to study in another country and get to know its people and culture was a huge boon to international understanding, Mr Hoppers said US encourages more American students to study abroad, including in India, and more foreign students, including Indians, to consider studying in US.

He said the US Consultate General, Chennai, had issued 15,000 student visas in 2007 and it was expecting a 38 per cent increase this year.

Appealing to the students to apply for visas early, Mr Hoppers also said the students should submit genuine documents and avoid those sold by brokers or vendors.

He said information about visa requirements should be obtained only from official sources from the Consulate General and the website http://chennai.usconsultate.gov and from the Visa Facilitation Services at www.vfs-usa.co.in.

Mr Hoppers, replying to a question, said the Hyderabad Consulate Office would be opened by the end of this year.

UNI GV RL AS1718

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