Thursday, March 30, 2023

US Student Visa Interview: US says issued 1,25,000 student visas to Indians in 2022, making efforts to reduce interview appointment time | India News

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NEW DELHI: The United States is making every effort to reduce the waiting time for visa interview appointment in India as soon as possible, even as the US embassy and consulates in the country have broken their record by issuing nearly, 1,25,000 student visas in the fiscal year 2022, state department spokesperson Ned Price said Wednesday.
“Visa processing is recovering faster than projected and over the coming year, we expect to reach pre-pandemic processing levels,” Price told reporters at his daily news conference, adding the US issued more student visas in 2022 than in any year since 2016.
“We issued nearly 1,25,000 student visas. We recognise 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.
Admitting that there was a slowdown in clearing visa backlog for Indian tourists, Price said that some applicants may still face extended wait times.
“I can tell you that it is a priority of the secretary and of the department to do everything we can to reduce that backlog and ultimately to reduce the wait times,” he said, adding the US is committed to safeguarding national security while facilitating legitimate travel to nonimmigrant travellers.
“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 further said.
Highlighting the US efforts in processing the visas quickly, Price said in response to a question, “We are successfully lowering visa wait times worldwide. We’ve doubled our hiring of US Foreign Service personnel to do this important work.”
Price added the demand for visa services has only increased as pandemic restrictions have eased in countries across the world and people are looking for opportunities to travel to the United States.
Earlier in November 2022, a senior US Embassy official exuded confidence in India, saying that New Delhi is expected to surpass China in getting the number of visas by 2023 and will be ranked two in the issuance of visas after 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,” the senior US Embassy official had said in New Delhi.
(with inputs from agencies)

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