New Delhi: The US Mission to India said Thursday that it has reached and surpassed its goal to process one million non-immigrant visa applications in 2023.
Stating that Indians made over one in 10 visa applications worldwide, the Mission said it has already surpassed the total number of cases processed in 2022 and is processing almost 20 per cent more applications than in pre-pandemic 2019.
“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,” US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti said.
“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,” Garcetti added.
The Ambassador Thursday handed over the passport to the one millionth visa holder and said: “… this year we are so proud… we have processed over 1 million visa applications.”
Last year, over 1.2 million Indians visited the US, making this one of the most robust travel relationships in the world.
Indians now represent over 10 per cent of all visa applicants worldwide, including 20 per cent of all student visa applicants and 65 per cent of all H&L-category (employment) visa applicants.
Recognising the continued high demand for its visas, the Mission said that the US continues to invest heavily in our operations in India.
In the past year, the Mission said it expanded its staffing to facilitate more visa processing and made significant capital improvements to existing facilities, such as the US Consulate in Chennai, and inaugurating a new Consulate building in Hyderabad.
The Mission said that beginning next year, it plans to implement a pilot program that would allow domestic visa renewal for qualified H&L-category employment visa applicants.