In 2023, the US Embassy and Consulates in India successfully processed 1.4 million visas, achieving a remarkable 75% reduction in appointment wait times despite heightened demand. Indians now constitute one-tenth of the total global US visa applicants.
In 2023, the US Embassy and Consulates in India handled an impressive 1.4 million visa applications. Despite an unprecedented surge in demand for visas across various categories, appointment wait times saw a significant 75% reduction. Indians now account for one-tenth of all global US visa applicants.
Experiencing a 60% surge in applications over the previous year, the US government responded by deploying additional staff for three months in Mumbai to meet the heightened demand. Meanwhile, New Delhi achieved a remarkable feat by setting a student visa record for the third consecutive year, approving over 140,000 such visas in 2023. Indian students have now become the predominant group among international graduate students in the US, constituting over a quarter of the one million-plus foreign students pursuing education in the country.
According to an official statement from the US Embassy, visitor visas (B1/B2) have made a significant recovery, now constituting the second-highest volume of applications in the history of the U.S. Mission, surpassing 700,000. The implementation of process enhancements and increased staffing investments has notably reduced the appointment wait time for visitor visas from an average of 1,000 days to just 250 days nationwide.
These developments unfold as the US government prepares to initiate a pilot program enabling eligible H1B holders to renew their visas within the United States. Emphasizing the significance of employment visas, officials have streamlined the processing of most petition-based visas in Chennai and Hyderabad to enhance efficiency. In 2023, over 380,000 employment visas for Indians and their family members were successfully processed. Additionally, the Mumbai Consulate resolved a backlog of over 31,000 immigrant visa cases delayed by the pandemic.
According to the official document, individuals with pending immigrant visa petitions now have the opportunity to schedule appointments within the standard, pre-pandemic appointment window.
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