Wait time for first-time tourist visa interviews reduced, says US envoy Eric Garcetti


United States Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti, on Wednesday, said that the wait time for first-time tourist visa interviews has been reduced by more than 50 per cent, adding that goal for 2023 is to process at least one million visas.

Speaking at IIT Delhi, Garcetti highlighted the progress made in visa processing, stating that the US Mission in India is currently processing visas faster than ever before.

Addressing the audience at IIT Delhi, Garcetti said, “We’re already doing this. We’re currently processing more visas, faster, than the US Mission in India ever has before. We have set a goal for ourselves to process at least a million visas in 2023, and we’re already more than halfway towards reaching that goal.”

“Our investments have brought real results, and we’ve seen wait times for first-time tourist visa interviews fall by more than 50 per cent,” he added.

To remove barriers that hinder qualified travelers from experiencing the United States, Garcetti emphasized the need to expand operations.

The US Ambassador said that they will continue to invest in expanding the visa operations and broadening the team.

“We’ll find innovative solutions to streamline the visa process, such as reducing the need for in-person interviews, which allows consular teams around the world to assist in processing visas for the growing number of Indian travellers,” the envoy said.

India and US are doing every bit of effort to make the visa process smooth and in that process, recently, during his interaction with the Indian community in the US, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that Indian professionals can renew their work visas without travelling abroad.

“America’s new consulates will be opened in Bengaluru and Ahmedabad. It has now been decided that the H1B visa renewal can be done in the US itself,” PM Modi said while addressing the Indian diaspora at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington DC.

India is going to open a new consulate in Seattle this year. Apart from this, Indian Consulates will be opened in 2 more cities in America.

“Together we are not just forming policies and agreements, we are shaping lives, dreams and destinies,” said PM Modi.
Meanwhile, at the IIT Delhi, Garcetti praised India and said that the country is improving lives and pulling people out of poverty through its transformative technology.

“Our countries (India and US) have so much in common because the Indian dream and the American dream are two sides of the same coin- we share the same vision. Our people want to achieve success for our communities and our families. We embrace possibility, new opportunities, new knowledge, and the chance to make a difference. We want to leave the world better off and more secure than we found it – not just for ourselves and our own countries, but for everyone,” the Ambassador said.

“Our connection is very personal, based on affinity and friendship. We’re linked by a diaspora community more than four million strong. Through educational and business connections, and an appreciation for each other’s cultures, our friendship grows along with our shared experience and shared ambitions,” he added.

Giving examples of its strong relationship with India, Garcetti said that last year one out of every five US student visas issued worldwide went to an Indian student, and over 200,000 Indians are studying in America.

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