The US Embassy in India has achieved a significant milestone by processing more visa applications in 2023 than in any previous year, according to an official announcement earlier this week. The surge in demand is attributed to various categories, including students, workers, and tourists.
In a social media post on its official handle on X, formerly Twitter, the US Embassy expressed the accomplishment and conveyed that the Consular Team is gearing up to serve thousands of students, workers, tourists, and more in the upcoming weeks, coinciding with the busy holiday travel season. The post also extended wishes for safe travels to all applicants.
This heightened demand for visas follows the US Embassy’s extraordinary issuance of 90,000 student visas during the summer months of July and August. Notably, this meant that nearly one in four student visas issued globally during this period was granted to Indian applicants.
The embassy has also made substantial strides in reducing wait times for first-time tourist visa interviews, achieving a reduction of over 50 per cent. In 2023, the Embassy had set a target to process at least one million visas, underscoring the increasing ties between India and the United States.
To address the escalating demand, the US is taking proactive measures, including augmenting staff strength and establishing new consulates. US Ambassador Eric Garcetti confirmed this, stating that a consulate has recently opened in Hyderabad, and efforts are underway to explore premises for new consulates in Bengaluru and Ahmedabad. He mentioned that the huge volume of applications was a key factor contributing to delays in visa processing, a challenge shared by other major nations such as Brazil and Mexico.Garcetti acknowledged the recent one-third increase in the number of US visas issued in India and anticipates issuing 10-15 per cent more visas than usual in the current calendar year. The move to open additional consulates aligns with the embassy’s commitment to enhance efficiency and expedite the visa issuance process for Indian applicants.