February 18, 2024
Record-Breaking Year: Record 1.4 Million Visas Issued to Indians by US in 2023
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Record-Breaking Year: Record 1.4 Million Visas Issued to Indians by US in 2023

Record-Breaking Year: Record 1.4 Million Visas Issued to Indians by US in 2023

Record-Breaking Year: Record 1.4 Million Visas Issued to Indians by US in 2023

The US Consular Team in India achieved a milestone by processing a record-breaking 1.4 million US visas in 2023, marking a 60% increase from the previous year. This surge in demand has significantly reduced the visitor visa appointment wait times by 75%, bringing it down from an average of 1,000 days to just 250 days across the country.

India’s Significant Presence in US Visa Applications

Indians now represent a remarkable one-tenth of all US visa applicants globally. Visitor visas (B1/B2) witnessed a resurgence, constituting over 700,000 applications, the second-highest in the US Mission’s history. Process improvements and staffing investments have contributed to the efficiency, making US consular services more accessible for Indian applicants.

Education and Employment Visa Highlights

The US consular team issued over 140,000 student visas in 2023, setting a record for the third consecutive year. Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, and Chennai emerged as the top four global processing posts for student visas, making Indian students the largest group of international graduate students in the United States. Moreover, the processing of over 380,000 employment visas for Indians and their family members demonstrated the continued prioritization of ’employment visas.’

Strategic Consolidation for Efficiency

To enhance efficiency, the Consular Team in India consolidated most petition-based visa processing in Chennai and Hyderabad. This consolidation facilitated the processing of employment visas while maintaining minimal appointment wait times. The US Mission aims to streamline visa renewals for eligible H1B holders with a pilot program to renew visas within the United States.

Investments in Consular Services

The US Embassy and Consulates underscored their commitment to future consular services in India. Notable investments include the opening of a new USD 340 million facility in Hyderabad, the announcement of two new consulates in Ahmedabad and Bangalore, ongoing capital improvements to facilities, and the permanent assignment of more consular officers. These initiatives aim to provide efficient and convenient services, adapting to the evolving needs of visa applicants in India.

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