US Issues Record-High 1.4 Million Visas For Indians In 2023
NEW DELHI (ANI) – The US Consular Team in India processed a record 1.4 million US visas in 2023, which is higher than ever, and has brought down the visitor visa appointment wait times by 75 percent.
The US Embassy and Consulates in India said that Indians now represent one out of every 10 US visa applicants around the world.
“In 2023, the US Embassy and Consulates in India processed a record-smashing 1.4 million US visas. Demand across all visa classes was unprecedented, with a 60 per cent increase in applications compared to 2022. Indians now represent one out of every ten US visa applicants around the world,” the statement read.
Visitor visas (B1/B2) have rebounded to represent the second-highest number of applications in the US Mission’s history — over 7,00,000.
Process improvements and investments in staffing have brought the appointment wait time for visitor visas down from an average of 1,000 days to only 250 days around the country with minimal wait time in all categories.
The US consular team in India issued over 1,40,000 student visas in 2023 – more than in any other country in the world setting a record for the third year in a row, the statement added.
Among the specific states, Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, and Chennai are the top four student visa processing posts in the world. This has made Indian students the largest group of international graduate students in the United States. They make up more than a quarter of the over one million foreign students studying in the United States.
The US Embassy and Consulates further stated that ’employment visas’ remain a top priority.
Consular Team India consolidated most petition-based visa processing in Chennai and Hyderabad to increase efficiency, leading to the processing of over 3,80,000 employment visas for Indians and their family members in 2023 and allowing the US Mission to maintain a minimal appointment wait time.
In another development, a pilot program this year will allow eligible H1B holders to renew their visas in the United States, further streamlining the process for this group.
It further informed that the Consulate General Mumbai eliminated a queue of over 31,000 immigrant visa cases delayed by the pandemic.
Those who have a pending immigrant visa petition and are ready for scheduling can now obtain an appointment within the standard, pre-pandemic appointment window, it added.
“The US Mission continues to invest in the future of consular services in India and explore ways to provide more efficient and convenient services. These investments have included the opening of a new USD 340 million facility in Hyderabad in March 2023, the announcement of two new consulates in Ahmedabad and Bangalore, continued capital improvements to our facilities around the country, and the permanent assignment of more consular officers to India,” the US Embassy and Consulates said in the statement.