Indians now represent one out of every 10 US visa applicants across the world
The US processed more visas in India than ever before during 2023. The wait time for visitor visa was cut down by 75% through a combination of increase in staff numbers, innovations and increased efficiency.
Over the past year, the US embassy and consulates in India processed 1.4 million visas. Indians now represent one out of every 10 US visa applicants across the world and demand for all types of visas was “unprecedented” in 2023, with a 60% increase in applications compared to the figures for 2022, the US embassy said in a statement.
With more than 700,000 applications, visitor or B1 and B2 visas now represent the second highest number of applications for the US. The statement said the US missions met this demand through a staffing surge for three months in Mumbai early in 2023, by increasing permanent staff levels, and through the use of innovative technical solutions.
Process improvements and investments in staffing brought the appointment wait time for visitor visas down from an average of 1,000 days to 250 days across India. “Wait times are minimal in all other categories,” the statement said.
The US missions in India issued more than 140,000 student visas in 2023 – more than in any other country in the world, setting a record for the third year in a row, the statement 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 US and make up more than a quarter of the over one million foreign students studying in the US,” the statement said.
The US will continue to invest in the future of consular services in India and explore ways to provide more efficient and convenient services. These investments include the opening of a new $340-million facility in Hyderabad last year, the announcement of two new consulates in Ahmedabad and Bangalore, continued capital improvements for facilities around India, and the permanent assignment of more consular officers to the country.