A huge drop of 70% in applications for US visas


The number of people who are withdrawing their visa applications for the US has dropped by nearly 70%, say immigration agencies and lawyers based in Chandigarh.

The fall in the number of people deciding against immigrating to the US comes at a time when two senators in the North American country have proposed to cut the number of green cards issued in a year from 1 million to 500,000.

Given that the US had issued 900,000 visas to Indian citizens in 2014, the drop in the number of visas that would be issued to Indians this year would be drastic. Kuldip Singh, a memberassociate of bar in USA, UK, and Canada with over 45 years of experience in immigration law, said, “Each day, I am getting more than 400500 enquiries by email and 100200 applicants coming in person and now looking to change their destination to either Canada, Australia or New Zealand.”

Kuldip went on to describe the passage of a Bill in which the American president had banned the entry of people from seven countries, as “arbitrary and unjustified”. A civil engineering student at State University of New York, Rushil Verma, had earlier planned to settle in the US after his studies. However, he has changed his mind now. “It’s not on my mind anymore. I have many Sikh friends here and their parents are now planning to shift to Canada. They don’t want to live here anymore. I will not be surprised if there is a dip in the number of Indian students applying to US universities next academic year,” he said.

Kuldip said Indians were now looking to Canada, New Zealand and Australia for immigration options. An official at the Chandigarh-based over seas education consultancy IDP confirmed that there had been a dip in the number of applications by students who wanted to study in the US. “Students are preferring Australia, Germany and the UK over the States. With Trump being elected as the President, they are worried of being sent back after some time,” said the official.

An immigration consultant based in Jalandhar also confirmed that people are looking for other options.

Sapna Hundal, Capability Developer,The Chopras, based in Chandigarh said “We are in the middle of submitting applications in US universities, but many students are withdrawing their applications.This is unheard of.”

 Nitin from Amritsar said, “I have always dreamt of studying and working in the US but now I am looking elsewhere.”

Indians who have moved to USA recently too are jittery .Aditi Sharma from Dharamshala, who had shifted to US with her husband said, “My husband is working in an IT company, but now we don’t know whether we should to move back to India or buy more stuff to settle in US.”