New Delhi: The United States embassy and consulates in India said it processed a record number of visas in 2023, meeting the unprecedented demands across all visa classes. In a statement on Monday, the US embassy said its consular team issued over 1.4 million visas to Indians in 2023, setting a world record for the third year in a row. The embassy registered a 60 per cent increase in applicants compared to the previous year.
The US embassy also claimed that Indians represent “one out of every 10 US visa applicants around the world”.
The statement also said the US embassy and consulates in India met this demand through a three-month staffing surge in Mumbai early in the year, by increasing permanent staff, and through the employment of innovative technical solutions. The embassy also cut short visitor visa appointment wait times by 75 per cent in India.
It said the US embassy and consulates in India processed 140,000 visas to Indian students in 2023, which was more than in any other country in the world. Indian cities, like Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, and Chennai, now stand as the top four student visa processing posts in the world.
The US embassy and consulates have brought the appointment wait time for visitor visas down from an average of 1,000 days to only 250 days around the country. The waiting period for visa is minimal in all other categories. Indian students have become the largest group of international graduate students in the US and make up more than a quarter of the over 1,000,000 foreign students studying in the country.
The statement also said the US embassy and consulates in India have consolidated most petition-based visa processing in Chennai and Hyderabad to increase efficiency, leading to the processing of over 380,000 employment visas. However, for Indians employment visas remain a top priority.