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Homechevron_rightWorldchevron_rightWith Delhi couple’s...

With Delhi couple’s visas, US embassy in India surpasses ‘one million’ goal

With Delhi couple’s visas, US embassy in India surpasses ‘one million’ goal

New Delhi: The United States Mission to India on Thursday hit its goal to complete one million non-immigrant visa applications this year with Ambassador Eric Garcetti personally handing over the one-millionth visa to a couple from Delhi.

Dr Ranju Singh, senior consultant at Lady Hardinge College received an email from the US Embassy about hers being the one millionth visa this year. Her husband Puneet Dargan, was granted the next visa.

The couple will be heading to the US in May 2024 to attend their son's graduation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

"The Ambassador meeting us in person was a great moment for us. We are looking forward to going to the US, we will be there at MIT to celebrate our son's proud day and then explore the country as tourists," Dr Singh said.

Greeting the couple as "Mr and Mrs One million", Ambassador Garcetti enquired about their travel plans to the US and made suggestions about what not to miss in the country as a tourist.

"I couldn't be happier today, happy for India, Indians, and the United States. Prime Minister Modi and President Biden had said lets do a better job in moving faster on the visas and so the Ministry of External Affairs here approved more bodies in places like Hyderabad...more people who can work on these visas, we changed our systems, we worked harder and smarter and we hit a million visa applications processed this year," the ambassador said.

"Our partnership with India is one of the United States' most important bilateral relationships, and in fact one of the most important relationships in the world. The ties between our people are stronger than ever, and we will continue our record-setting volume of visa work in the coming months to give as many Indian applicants as possible the opportunity to travel to the United States and experience the US-India friendship firsthand," he added.

The Mission has already surpassed the total number of cases processed in 2022 and is processing almost 20 percent more applications than in pre-pandemic 2019.

Last year over 1.2 million Indians visited the United States. Indians now represent over 10 percent of all visa applicants worldwide, including 20 percent of all student visa applicants and 65 percent of all H&L-category (employment) visa applicants.

According to a statement by the US Embassy, recognising the continued high demand for US visas, the United States continues to invest heavily in operations in India.

"In the past year, the Mission has expanded its staffing to facilitate more visa processing than ever before. The Mission has made significant capital improvements to existing facilities, such as the US Consulate in Chennai, and has inaugurated a new Consulate building in Hyderabad".

"The Mission has also implemented strategies to increase efficiency, extending interview waiver eligibility to new visa categories and utilising remote work to allow staff around the world to contribute to Indian visa processing. Early next year, the Mission plans to implement a pilot program that would allow domestic visa renewal for qualified H&L-category employment visa applicants," it said.

With inputs from PTI

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TAGS:US EmbassyEric GarcettiUS AmbassadorIndia NewsWorld NewsNon-immigrant visaUS Mission to India
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