US embassy expects increase in visa applications made by Indians

Following US President Barack Obama's announcement of the streamlining of the visa application process for tourists, the US Embassy in New Delhi, India has announced they expect a significant increase in the number of visas applications being made by Indians.

In 2011, the US Embassy in India processed around 700,000 visas. The US embassy expects the number of visa applications made in India to continue to grow at a rate of 14 percent per year.

"We expect 14 percent year-on-year growth in visas processed between now and 2020. We expect visa application process to reach 2.1 million by year 2020," Minister-Counsellor for Consular Affairs at the US Embassy in India, James W Herman said.

"After the executive order following President Barack Obama's announcement on the thrust on tourism, we're hoping to achieve faster processing and lower wait time for all visa categories," Herman added.

Herman also noted that 2011 was a record year for US H1-B work visas with over 68,000 applications being processed by the US Consular Team in India. Over the last five years the US has increased staffing by over sixty percent and opened two new consulates in Hyderabad and Mumbai.

"President Obama's executive order is quite exciting for us. It's a challenge to us to continue to innovate and find creative solutions. We have been very successful over the past five years in keeping visa waiting time down. We also minimise the time people spend in the counsellor. We want to make it easier for travellers to apply for a visa to visit the United States," Herman added.

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