US Embassy in India Processes Record 1.4 Million Visas, Slashes Wait Times by 75%

In a groundbreaking achievement, the US embassy and consulates in India processed an unprecedented 1.4 million visas in 2023, resulting in a remarkable 75% reduction in wait times for visitor visa appointments. This surge in visa processing is attributed to strategic initiatives, including staffing increases, innovative technological solutions, and heightened operational efficiency.

Indians now constitute one-tenth of all US visa applicants worldwide, reflecting an extraordinary 60% increase in demand for various visa categories in 2023 compared to the previous year. Visitor visas (B1 and B2) account for over 700,000 applications, making them the second-highest in volume. To meet this surge, the US missions deployed a three-month staffing surge in Mumbai, bolstered permanent staff levels, and implemented innovative technical solutions.

Process improvements and strategic investments in staffing led to a significant reduction in the average wait time for visitor visas from 1,000 days to just 250 days across India. The statement emphasized minimal wait times in all other visa categories.

The US missions in India issued over 140,000 student visas in 2023, setting a world record for the third consecutive year. Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, and Chennai now stand as the top four global student visa processing posts. Indian students have become the largest group of international graduate students in the US, representing over a quarter of the one million foreign students studying in the country.

The focus on employment visas remains high, with over 380,000 employment visas processed for Indians and their families in 2023. Consolidation of petition-based visa processing in Chennai and Hyderabad increased efficiency, ensuring minimal appointment wait times for these visas.

A pilot program scheduled for 2024 will enable eligible H1B holders to renew their visas in the US, streamlining the process for this group. The US consulate general in Mumbai successfully cleared a backlog of over 31,000 immigrant visa cases, allowing those with pending immigrant visa petitions to schedule appointments within the standard pre-pandemic window.

The US continues its commitment to enhancing consular services in India, including the opening of a new $340 million facility in Hyderabad, the announcement of two new consulates in Ahmedabad and Bangalore, ongoing capital improvements, and the permanent assignment of additional consular officers to the country.


Source: MSN