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US embassy, consulates in India Plan to process ‘record’ number of visas in 2023

THE US EMBASSY and its consulates in India plan to process a “record” number of visas for Indians this year, Mumbai Consular Chief John Ballard said, in view of delays and a backlog in almost every visa category. Currently, the wait time for Indians applying for work visas ranges from 60-280 days, while for travellers, it is around one and a half years. The external affairs ministry has raised the issue of visa delays with US authorities on several occasions as well as matters related to further ease issuing of visas for all categories of Indian travellers.

The embassy adjudicated over 1,25,000 student visas last year, a record number for Indians, and expects even more Indian students to apply for visas this year, Ballard said. The US official also told PT/that the embassy has almost reached its pre-pandemic levels of visa processing, and expects to surpass those levels in this year. “Last year,we adjudicated over 8,00,000 total visa adjudications and we are almost up to our pre-pandemic levels,which we expect to surpass in 2023,” Ballard said.The only category in which the embassy is looking to reduce the backlog is for firsttime B1 and B2 tourist and business travel visas, he said. (Source The Financial Express)

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