The United States is on course to issue more than a million visas to Indians, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Donald Lu confirmed.
Additionally, Lu mentioned that the current Joe Biden administration is committed to processing all student visas this summer for Indian students aiming to start college in the States in the fall semester of 2023.
“We are on track to issue more than a million visas this year. This is a record for us, along with a record number of student visas and immigrant visas.”Donald Lu, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia
To achieve its one million target, the embassy is adding more staff, expanding the scope of drop-box facilities and opening up interview slots over the weekend. More than two lakh applications have already been processed so far in 2023.
He has also stated that priority will be given to work visas like H-1Bs and L-1 visas. These are the most sought-after visas among Indian IT professionals looking to work in America.
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows companies in the US to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.
The L-1 visa is an intra-company transfer visa by which US companies can transfer a key employee from an office in another country into the United States.
US-based technology companies rely on the H-1B visa to hire each year extensively from Asian countries like India and China.
Recently, there has been a growing concern among first-time visa applicants from India about the long waiting period for acquiring a US visa, especially the B1 (business) and B2 (tourist) categories.
“We've also been prioritising work visas: H-1B's and L visas. Wait times at some of our consular sections in India, for these visas are now below 60 days. We will continue to make sure that we prioritise visas for workers, as this is vital for both the American and the Indian economy,” he told news agency PTI.