US embassy and consulates in India said they have issued record-breaking visas to Indian students in 2022. State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said the US issued more student visas in fiscal year 2022 than in any year since 2016. Price said US embassy and consulates in India in particular broke their all-time record for the number of student visas issued in a single fiscal year.
"We issued nearly 1,25,000 student visas. We recognize that some applicants may still face extended visa wait times, and we're making every effort to further reduce visa interview appointment wait times as quickly as possible in India and around the world, including for first time tourist visa applicants," he said.
According to the US official, they have doubled the hiring of US foreign and service personnel and added that visa processing is recovering faster than projected over the coming years. The United States is making every effort to reduce the waiting time for visa interview appointment in India as soon as possible, he said.
Responding to a question, Price said he certainly understands the frustrations of those having long wait times. "I can tell you that it is a priority of the Secretary and of the Department to do everything we can to reduce that backlog and ultimately to reduce the wait times. We are committed to safeguarding national security while facilitating legitimate travel to nonimmigrant travellers," he said.
"And we know that timely visa processing is essential to the US economy and to the administration's goal of family reunification. We've made great strides in recovering from pandemic-related closures and staffing challenges, but we're still working to respond to the significant demand for visa services," he added.
Price said the demand for visa services has only increased as pandemic restrictions have eased in countries across the world and people are looking for opportunities to travel to the United States.
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