Some immigration agencies and lawyers based in Punjab, India, say visa applications for the United States has dropped by nearly 70 percent.
The US issued 900,000 visas to Indian citizens in 2014. The drop in the number of visas issued to Indians this year would be drastic, according to Kuldip Singh, a member associate of bar in US, UK, and Canada with over 45 years of experience in immigration law, reported The Times of India.
“Each day, I am getting more than 400-500 inquiries by email and 100-200 applicants coming in person and now looking to change their destination to either Canada, Australia or New Zealand,” said Singh.
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, the Times reported.
“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,” Verma was quoted as saying.
An official at the Chandigarh-based overseas 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, reported the Times of India.
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 US 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.”
President Donald Trump’s executive order on a Travel Ban imposed on seven Muslim-majority countries, which was later reversed by courts, continue to dominate conversations in the Indian community in the US, especially those on work visa. There have been reports of some H-1B visa holders facing a hard time to get back into the US, after traveling overseas.