The US Mission to India has reached and surpassed its goal to process one million nonimmigrant visa applications in 2023 as Indians made over one in 10 visa applications worldwide.
The Mission has already surpassed the total number of cases processed in 2022 and is processing almost 20% more applications than in pre-pandemic 2019, according to a US Embassy press release.
The U S Mission has also implemented strategies to increase efficiency, extending interview waiver eligibility to new visa categories and utilizing remote work to allow staff around the world to contribute to Indian visa processing.
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Early next year, the Mission plans to implement a pilot program that would allow domestic visa renewal for qualified H&L-category employment visa applicants, it said.
“Our partnership with India is one of the United States’ most important bilateral relationships, and in fact one of the most important relationships in the world,” said US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti.
“The ties between our people are stronger than ever, and we will continue our record-setting volume of visa work in the coming months to give as many Indian applicants as possible the opportunity to travel to the United States and experience the US-India friendship firsthand,” he said.
Last year over 1.2 million Indians visited the United States, making this one of the most robust travel relationships in the world, according to the release.
Noting that Indians now represent over 10% of all visa applicants worldwide, including 20% of all student visa applicants and 65% of all H&L-category (employment) visa applicants, the release said, “the United States welcomes this growth.”
Recognizing the continued high demand for US visas, the United States continues to invest heavily in its operations in India. In the past year, the Mission has expanded its staffing to facilitate more visa processing than ever before, the release said.
The Mission has made significant capital improvements to existing facilities, such as the US Consulate in Chennai, and has inaugurated a new Consulate building in Hyderabad, .
As noted in the Joint Statement issued by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joe Biden during the President’s recent visit to India, the United States and India share a “close and enduring” partnership.
“Improved visa processing is only one example of the US Mission to India’s ongoing commitment to strengthening that partnership,” the embassy said.