The U.S. Embassy in New Delhi has announced that they have officially reached their U.S. Mission to India goal of processing one million visas in India in 2023. This number represents far more than the total number of cases that were processed the previous year in 2022 and have also surpassed pre-pandemic processing numbers.
#Missionto1M accomplished! We are excited to announce that the U.S. Mission to India has reached and surpassed our goal to process one million visa applications in 2023!— U.S. Embassy India (@USAndIndia) September 28, 2023
We will not stop here and continue our progress in coming months, to give as many Indian applicants the… pic.twitter.com/4mTypC2wqh
India continues to be one of the top countries in terms of visa applications for the United States. The U.S. Embassy in India reports that over 1.2 million Indians visited the United States in 2022. Additionally, over 10% of all visa applicants worldwide are Indians, which includes 20% of all student visa applicants and 65% of employment-based H and L visas. This demand continues to grow as the U.S. is seeing an abundance of interest for nonimmigrant visas from India.
The U.S. Mission to India has also made significant investments into the relationship between the United States and India, which includes increasing staff members for visa processing, improving embassies and consulates, and developing the new Hyderabad consulate location. There have also been changes made when it comes to the visa application process, such as adding new interview waiver eligibility, to speed up visa processing and improve efficiency. They have also integrated remote work for employees to support the increase in Indian visa processing.
US Visa Renewal Stamping in USA Pilot Program for H & L Visas
The press release announcing the news of reaching the 1 million visa goal also mentioned the pilot program for domestic visa renewal for H and L employment visas. Previously, the announcement of this pilot program stated that this would take place towards the end of 2023. Now, the U.S. Embassy in India states that this program will occur early next year in 2024.
This pilot program will test reintroducing visa stamping for visa renewals within the United States for certain petition-based non-immigrant visa categories. It will be primarily targeted for H and L visa holders to start, in particular, H1B visas. It may expand to other categories over time. Currently, those who need to renew a US visa have to travel back to their home country for stamping.
Hopefully, the increase in processing of visas in India and the continuous investments into the India and U.S. partnership will allow Indian applicants to receive visas in a more timely manner, especially after the pilot program for H and L renewals is underway.