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USA VISA Update News – US Embassy in India Announces New Rules for Student Visa Applicants

The United States Embassy in India has recently announced significant changes to the visa application process for Indian students. This development, effective from November 27, 2023, specifically impacts applicants for F, M, and J student visas. These changes are crucial for students aspiring to study in the U.S. and aim to prevent fraud and misuse of the appointment system.

New Passport Information Requirement

The most notable change introduced by the embassy is the mandatory use of accurate passport information by all F, M, and J student visa applicants. From creating a profile to scheduling visa appointments, applicants must ensure that their passport details are correct. This measure is taken to enhance the integrity of the appointment system and curb identity frauds​​​​​.

Consequences of Inaccurate Information

The embassy has made it clear that any discrepancies in passport information will have serious consequences. Applicants who have created a profile or booked an appointment using an incorrect passport number will not be accepted at the Visa Application Centers (VAC). Such appointments will be canceled, and the visa fee will not be refunded​.

Advice for Applicants with Incorrect Information

For those who have already created a profile or booked an appointment with incorrect passport information, the embassy advises creating a new profile with accurate passport details or updating any existing profile with the correct information. However, this will necessitate the payment of a new visa fee if the old receipt is linked to a profile with incorrect information. In cases of lost, stolen, or renewed passports, applicants must provide evidence of the old passport number for their US visa appointment​.

Overview of F, M, and J Student Visas

The US offers three types of student visas: F, M, and J. The F visa, or Academic Student Visa, is for those attending an accredited academic institution. The M visa, or Vocational Student Visa, caters to students enrolling in non-academic programs. The J visa, or Exchange Visitor’s visa, is designed for various groups, including students and teachers, focusing on cultural exchange. F and M visa applicants must enroll in a school or program certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), while J visa applicants require sponsorship from an organization approved by the US State Department​.


These new rules by the US Embassy in India mark a significant shift in the student visa application process, aiming to enhance security and efficiency. Aspiring students must pay close attention to these changes to ensure a smooth visa application experience.

Implications for Indian Students and 5 Essential Tips for Navigating the New US Student Visa Rules

Implications for Indian Students:

  1. Strict Adherence to Accurate Passport Information: Indian students must ensure that their passport details are correctly reflected in their visa application profiles and appointments. This precision is now a critical part of the process.
  2. No Room for Error: Mistakes in passport information can lead to the cancellation of visa appointments and loss of the visa application fee, adding financial consequences to procedural errors.
  3. Increased Responsibility for Personal Information Management: Students are now more accountable for the information they provide, emphasizing the importance of personal responsibility in the application process.
  4. Potential Delays and Additional Costs: Those needing to correct passport information will face delays and additional costs, as a new visa fee will be required if the old receipt is linked to incorrect details.
  5. Awareness of Visa Types and Requirements: Understanding the specific requirements for F, M, and J visas is essential, as each visa type has distinct requirements and purposes.

5 Tips for Navigating the New Rules:

  1. Double-Check Passport Details: Before submitting any information, verify your passport details thoroughly. Ensure that the name, number, and other details exactly match your passport.
  2. Stay Informed about Visa Types: Understand the differences between F, M, and J visas. Choose the right visa type based on your academic or vocational aspirations and ensure compliance with specific requirements.
  3. Plan for Potential Delays: Start the application process early to accommodate any unforeseen delays, especially if you need to correct information or reapply.
  4. Keep Evidence of Old Passport Details: If you have a lost, stolen, or renewed passport, keep a photocopy or other evidence of your old passport. This will be crucial if your visa appointment is linked to your previous passport.
  5. Regularly Check Updates from the Embassy: Stay updated with any further changes or announcements from the US Embassy. Regularly visit their official website or follow their social media channels for the latest information.

By understanding these implications and following these tips, Indian students can navigate the new US student visa rules more effectively, ensuring a smoother application process.

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