Monday, June 17, 2024

Making ‘huge push’ to process as many visa applications in India: US

Consular teams have been making a huge push to process as many visa applications as possible in India, which remains the US government’s top priority, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a news briefing.

“The consular teams have been making a huge push to process as many visa applications as possible in India, including in those visa categories that are key to the bilateral relationship,” Miller said on Thursday in response to a question on what can Indian can expect from the US on diplomacy, immigration and visa issues ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit.

“This is a top priority for our government. We know that there is more work that we can do, and we are working hard to do it,” he said.

Miller’s remarks came just after US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti said that consular teams in Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Mumbai and New Delhi are on track to process the highest number of Indian student visa applications in history this year.

“This summer, we’re on track to process the highest number of Indian student visa applications in the history of this Mission,” Garcetti had said in a tweet praising his consular teams.

Garcetti had said that one out of every five US student visas was issued in India in 2022 — more than the proportion of the Indian population in the world.

In 2022, Indians were issued the highest numbers of H&L employment visas (65 per cent) and F1 student visas (17.5 per cent) worldwide.

Miller said that White House will be making further announcements about Modi’s visit in the coming days leading up to the trip next week.

The State Department spokesperson told reporters that the US looks forward to closely working with India on most vital priorities, which includes ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific.

“I will say generally our partnership with India is one of our most consequential relationships. We look closely with India on — we work closely with India on our most vital priorities. They play a crucial role in ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific that is connected, prosperous, secure, and resilient,” Miller said.

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