Describing visa issue as a top priority for Washington, the United States says its consular teams have been making a huge push to process as many visa applications as possible in India.
â€œThis is a top priority for our government. We know that there is more work that we can do, and we are working hard to do it,â€ State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller told reporters Thursday.
â€œWith respect to visas, our consular teams have been making a huge push to process as many visa applications as possible in India, including in those visa categories that are key to the bilateral relationship,â€ he said.
Miller was responding to a question on what can India expect from the US on diplomacy, immigration and visa issues ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s official state visit to Washington next week.
The spokesperson said he did not â€œwant to get ahead of the White House, who will be hosting Prime Minister Modi, of course. Theyâ€™ll be making further announcements about the visit in the coming days leading up to the trip next week.â€
â€œI will say generally our partnership with India is one of our most consequential relationships. We work closely with India on our most vital priorities,â€ Miller said. â€œThey play a crucial role in ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific that is connected, prosperous, secure, and resilient.â€
â€œAnd I know Secretary (Antony) Blinken looks forward to seeing Prime Minister Modi and other members of the Indian delegation, while theyâ€™re here; and working to make progress on all the issues with which we consult with India,â€ he added.
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Miller’s remarks came shortly after US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti said that consular teams in Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Mumbai and New Delhi are on track to process the highest number of Indian student visa applications in history this year.
“This summer, we’re on track to process the highest number of Indian student visa applications in the history of this Mission,” Garcetti had tweeted praising his consular teams.
About one out of every five US student visas (17.5 %) was issued in India in 2022. Indians were also issued the highest numbers of H&L employment visas (65%) during the year.
Meanwhile, in a readout of National Security Advisor Jake Sullivanâ€™s visit to New Delhi on June 13-14, the White House said he reviewed preparations for the upcoming official state visit of the Prime Minister.
He met with Modi, Minister for External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, and his counterpart National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
Sullivan â€œreviewed preparations for the upcoming official state visit of the Prime Minister, and discussed a range of strategic, regional, and bilateral issues including steps to advance the strategic technology and defense partnership between the United States and India,â€ according to the readout.
The two National Security Advisors unveiled a roadmap for cooperation at a stakeholder event on the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET), it said.
â€œSullivanâ€™s visit underscored the dynamism of the US-India partnership in advance of Prime Minister Modiâ€™s historic official state visit next week to the United States,â€ the White House stated.