In India, one million visas are expected to be issued this year by the US Consulate General. Half a million visas have already been processed.
His remarks included how consular offices in India were preparing for the upcoming student visa season, as well as how they were on track to reach the one million visa mark for all visa classes taken together, according to Hugo Rodriguez, principal deputy assistant secretary for Consular Affairs in Washington.
“Mission India in the past six months issued nearly two-and-a-half times the number of non-immigrant visas than in the same time period last year. We are processing more visas now than we did in the pre-pandemic 2019,” said Rodriguez.
“We continue to look for ways to try to maximise travel for B1, B2 visas (for tourists and business purposes). For example, we have expanded the use of interview waiver and so many people who previously had a visa in any category are able to send in their passport without having to come in for an interview, and as a result, we are able to get even more people to come in to get their visas,” said John Ballard, consular chief at US Consulate General Mumbai.
“We have a number of posts outside India that have visa appointment times reserved for Indian applicants. So, if you need to get a B1/B2 visa and the wait time here is outside your parameters, you can go to our consular section in Bangkok. Frankfurt, too, has spaces available,” added Rodriguez.
Rodriquez and Ballard both urged Indians not to use agents when American visa wait times had risen.As a result of the officers’ advice, visa applicants were encouraged to demonstrate their bonafide documents and to present their true cases.
“Come with your real documents and present your real case. Trust your own situation and come talk to us,” added Rodriguez
Earlier also senior administration officials have said the country is on track to issue more than a million visas to Indians this year. They assured that the Biden administration is committed to processing all Indian student visas this summer.
US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Donald Lu stressed that they are also prioritising work visas.
Most tech companies heavily rely on the H-1B visa to hire employees every year from countries such as India and China to perform specialities that require theoretical or technical expertise. It is a non-immigrant visa that enables US companies to hire foreign workers in speciality occupations.
Among visas, H-1B’s and L visas, are the most sought-after by Indian techies.