The Asian Age

Record 1.4m US visas to Indians in 2023; 60% rise in applicatio­ns

■ Visitor visa appointmen­t time wait down by 75%

- AGE CORRESPOND­ENT NEW DELHI, JAN. 29

The United States issued a “record-smashing” 1.4 million visas to Indians in 2023, bringing down visitor visa appointmen­t wait times by 75 per cent, the US embassy said in a statement on Monday, adding that “Indians now represent one out of every 10 US visa applicants around the world”.

Also in 2023, the US consular team in India issued over 1.4 lakh student visas, which is “more than in any other country in the world setting a record for the third year in a row”, the statement added. There was a 60 per cent increase in visa applicatio­ns from Indians compared to 2022.

Process improvemen­ts and investment­s in staffing have brought down appointmen­t wait times for visitor visas from an average of 1,000 days to only 250 days around the country while wait times are minimal in all other categories, it said.

“Taken individual­ly, Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad and Chennai now stand as the top four student visa processing posts in the world. As a result of these surging numbers, Indian students have become the largest group of internatio­nal graduate students in the United States and make up more than a quarter of the over one million foreign students studying in the United States,” the embassy said.

Visitor visas (B1/B2) have rebounded to represent the second highest number of applicatio­ns in the US mission’s history – over 700,000.

“The US embassy and consulates met this demand through a threemonth staffing surge in Mumbai early in the year, by increased permanent staff levels, and through the employment of innovative technical solutions,” it said.

◗ AS A result of these surging numbers, Indian students have become the largest group of internatio­nal graduate students in the United States and make up more than a quarter of the over one million foreign students studying in the United States

 ?? — PTI ?? Armed forces bandsmen perform during the Beating Retreat ceremony at Maulana Azad Stadium in Jammu on Monday.
— PTI Armed forces bandsmen perform during the Beating Retreat ceremony at Maulana Azad Stadium in Jammu on Monday.

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