Record 1.4 million US visas issued for Indians in 2023; Every 1 out of 10 applications Indian's

US visas: Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, and Chennai emerged as the top four global posts for student visa processing.

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Prateek Gautam
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US visas: The US Consular Team in India achieved a milestone by processing a historic 1.4 million US visas in 2023, marking a remarkable surge and concurrently reducing visitor visa appointment wait times by 75 percent. Indians now account for one-tenth of all US visa applicants worldwide.

Unprecedented Demand and Processing Efficiencies

In a groundbreaking achievement, the US Embassy and Consulates in India reported an exceptional demand, witnessing a 60 percent surge in visa applications compared to 2022. The statement highlights that Indians constitute one in every ten global US visa applicants, emphasizing the growing interest in travel and opportunities in the United States.

Visitor Visas Rebound: Significant Processing Enhancements

Visitor visas (B1/B2) experienced a resurgence, constituting the second-highest number of applications in the history of the US Mission, surpassing 700,000. Notably, process improvements and increased staffing investments have substantially reduced the average appointment wait time for visitor visas from 1,000 days to a mere 250 days nationwide across all categories.

Student Visas Set Record: Indian Students Leading the Way

The US consular team in India issued over 140,000 student visas in 2023, securing a record for the third consecutive year and positioning Indian students as the largest group of international graduate students in the United States. Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, and Chennai emerged as the top four global posts for student visa processing.

Employment Visas and Streamlined Processes

Prioritizing 'employment visas,' the Consular Team India streamlined petition-based visa processing in Chennai and Hyderabad. This resulted in the efficient processing of over 380,000 employment visas for Indians and their families in 2023, maintaining minimal appointment wait times. A pilot program for eligible H1B holders to renew visas within the United States is set to further enhance efficiency.

Consular Services Advancements and Investments

The US Embassy and Consulates reiterated their commitment to enhancing consular services in India. Investments included the inauguration of a USD 340 million facility in Hyderabad, the announcement of new consulates in Ahmedabad and Bangalore, ongoing capital improvements, and the permanent assignment of additional consular officers to India. These initiatives aim to provide more efficient and convenient services to visa applicants.

A Testament to Growing Ties

The surge in US visa issuances for Indians in 2023 reflects the deepening ties between the two nations. The significant drop in wait times signals the successful implementation of strategic measures by the US Embassy and Consulates in India, facilitating smoother and more accessible visa processes for applicants.