New Delhi: Students seeking education opportunities in the United States, who have been refused an F-1 Visa in the past, will not be able to get a slot when the appointment applications open this summer, Minister Counsellor for Consular Affairs at the US embassy, Donald L Heflin said on Wednesday. The summer season for student visas will open in June and the first half of July, informed Heflin during a 45-minute live chat on the web page of the US consulate general in Delhi.Also Read - US Embassy Signboard in Delhi Defaced, Right-Wing Group Claims Responsibility

“We want the summer season to be for fresh applicants. People who have never applied before, students who have just finished high school and want to go for graduate studies or students who have just graduated and want to go for Masters. This summer when we open for appointments, if you have been refused before, you will not get a slot,” Heflin said. Also Read - US Waives In-Person Interview For Many Visa Applicants In India Till Dec 31: Report

According to the envoy, eight lakh US visas were likely to be issued in 12 months in India in what he hoped to be a recovery year for visa operations since the disruptions caused by COVID-19. Also Read - Multiple Rockets Fired At US Embassy In Baghdad, 2 Injured

“Later in the summer from August 15 to September 1, around 15,000 appointments will be available for people who have either been refused this summer or last year,” he said.

“I know a lot of people are freaking out about it but we have been shut down for a long in view of the pandemic. We didn’t have a bunch of people who have been refused before applying again, we have got a lot of them now … hence the decision,” he added.

What is F-1 Student Visa

The F-1 Student Visa allows foreign nationals to enter the United States as full-time students at any accredited college, university, conservatory, seminary, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution or in a language training program.

(With PTI inputs)