New Delhi: India is the United States’ number one priority, US Visa officials said while adding that after the COVID pandemic, there has been a rise of around 36 percent in visa processing across the country.
While addressing a media interaction organized by Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies on Tuesday, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Visa Services in the Bureau of Consular Affairs Julie Stufft said, “India is the number one priority that we are facing right now. We are absolutely committed to getting out of this situation. Anyone in India seeking a visa appointment or visa have to wait for that’s not certainly our ideal.”
She further stated, “So far this year, we have issued 36 percent more visas than we did before the COVID pandemic in India. And that is a huge percentage of progress.”
Stufft also announced that come fall, the US will start the Visa stamping program domestically within the US for visa renewals, including H-1 and L-1. Visa. The Department of State representative told reporters that initiatives are in place to speed up domestic visa revalidation in certain categories on a pilot basis.
“This fall will be the first that we’ll be able to put out a call for applications. The pilot is this summer..and we’re gonna be doing it for people in worker status. So that would be H’s and L and, and I’s,” the official added.
Acknowledging that the difficulties are still being experienced, the officials said the department was also expanding its interview waiver process for some temporary workers, students and academic exchange visitors.
“All the non-visitor time or student-visa have very very low wait times and that’s really key. Our H-1B and F student’s wait time were just as high almost six months ago and so we brought down the wait time,” she added.