One Million Indian Citizens Set to Receive US Visas in 2023

The United States has set a target of issuing one million visas to Indian citizens this year, with the US Embassy in India adding more staff and expanding services to achieve this goal.
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The United States has announced that it will issue visas to one million Indians this year, a significant increase over last year.

Almost a month after opening up visa slots for Indian citizens on weekends, the US Embassy in New Delhi announced that it has already processed over two lakh applications and is on track to meet its goal of processing one million non-immigrant visa applications by 2023.

Non-immigrant visa categories include business, travel, student visas, and crew visas. According to the Embassy, the US Department of State processed approximately nine million non-immigrant visa applications worldwide in 2022.

US Visa Image With Flag

Expanding services to accommodate more Indian applicants

To meet the goal, the Embassy is increasing staff, expanding the scope of drop-box services, and opening up interview slots over the weekend to make the process easier for Indian citizens. Visa processing times have already decreased significantly.

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In January, the US embassy opened up special interview slots on Saturdays for faster visa processing for first-time applicants, as part of a “multi-pronged initiative” to address the visa application backlog caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In addition to the national capital, the US mission has increased the size of its consular staff in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, and Hyderabad.

According to the Embassy spokesperson, the one million visa plan is an India-specific effort to strengthen people-to-people ties between the two countries.

The drop-box service, which allows you to renew your US visa without having to go through an interview, is now available for a variety of categories, including student visas, business and tourist visas, and skilled worker visas.

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In addition, the department is increasing the number of consular officers who are permanently assigned to embassies and consulates.

India a priority for US visa services

While addressing the media in Washington a couple of weeks ago, Deputy Assistant Secretary for visa services in the Bureau of Consular Affairs, Julie Stufft, had said, “India is the number one priority now.”

She added, “So far this year, we have issued 36 per cent more visas than we did before the COVID-19 pandemic in India. And that is a huge percentage of progress.”

The US Embassy in India announced last month that Indians travelling abroad can get a visa appointment at the US Embassy or consulate of their destination. It cited Thailand as an example, stating that the country has increased appointment capacity for Indians seeking B1 and B2 visas (business and travel).

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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Travelobiz.com, he's passionate about writing.

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