The US embassy and consulates in India announced that they issued a record number of visas to Indian students in 2022.
According to State Department Spokesperson Ned Price, the United States issued more student visas in the fiscal year 2022 than in any other year since 2016. According to Price, the US embassy and consulates in India broke their all-time record for the number of student visas issued in a single fiscal year.
“We issued nearly 1,25,000 student visas. We recognize that some applicants may still face extended visa wait times, and we’re making every effort to further reduce visa interview appointment wait times as quickly as possible in India and around the world, including for first-time tourist visa applicants,” he said.
According to a US official, they have more than doubled the hiring of US foreign and service personnel, and visa processing is recovering faster than expected in the coming years. According to him, the US is making every effort to reduce the waiting time for visa interview appointments in India as soon as possible.
In response to a question, Price stated that he understands the frustrations of those who face long wait times.
“I can assure you that the Secretary and the Department are doing everything possible to reduce the backlog and, ultimately, wait times. We are committed to ensuring national security while allowing nonimmigrant travellers to travel legally,” He stated.
“And we know that timely visa processing is essential to the US economy and to the administration’s goal of family reunification. We’ve made great strides in recovering from pandemic-related closures and staffing challenges, but we’re still working to respond to the significant demand for visa services,” he added.
According to Price, the demand for visa services has only increased as pandemic restrictions in countries around the world have been lifted and people are looking for opportunities to travel to the United States.
Previously, a senior US Embassy official stated in November 2022 that India is expected to surpass China in terms of visa issuance by 2023, ranking second only to Mexico.
“We expect that India will surpass China in getting the number of US visas by next year’s summer. After Mexico, India is expected to rank number 2 in the issuance of US Visas,” a Senior US Embassy official said in New Delhi.
100,000 slots have been made available in the US for those seeking H and L worker visas. The wait times will be reduced as a result of what has already happened.
“India is a number one priority for Washington right now. We have big categories in students, high-tech workers, tourists, and business,” the official added.