Tuesday, February 27, 2024

US increasing staff, opening new consulates to reduce visa delays: Garcetti

by Antariksh Singh

In a bid to streamline and expedite the visa application process for Indian citizens, the United States is bolstering its staff and opening new consulates, according to a statement by U.S. Ambassador Eric Garcetti on Monday.

During an interactive session organized by the Observer Research Foundation, Ambassador Garcetti revealed that a new consulate had recently been inaugurated in Hyderabad, and plans were underway to establish additional consulates in Bengaluru and Ahmedabad. The move is aimed at reducing the waiting time for visa issuance and improving the overall efficiency of the process.

“I had a look at the new premises for establishing a consulate at Ahmedabad yesterday. Some more people have already joined the Hyderabad consulate as we are increasing the staff strength in the city,” Ambassador Garcetti stated, emphasizing the commitment to enhancing operational capacities.

The U.S. Ambassador highlighted the recent surge in the number of U.S. visas being issued in India, noting a significant increase of one-third in recent weeks. He further projected a 10-15% rise in the total number of visas issued by the embassy for the current calendar year.

Explaining the delays in visa processing, Garcetti attributed the challenge to the sheer volume of applicants. He pointed out that other large countries, such as Brazil and Mexico, were encountering similar issues, emphasizing that the increased demand reflected the strong ties and growing interactions between the United States and India.

The move to open new consulates and bolster staff strength is a proactive step by the U.S. government to address the concerns of Indian visa applicants who have been grappling with prolonged waiting times. By expanding its diplomatic presence in key cities like Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Ahmedabad, the U.S. aims to not only reduce processing times but also enhance the overall experience for visa seekers.

As the diplomatic relationship between the United States and India continues to strengthen, these strategic measures underscore the commitment to fostering seamless people-to-people exchanges and facilitating increased travel between the two nations. The initiatives are expected to have a positive impact on the thousands of Indian citizens aspiring to visit the United States for various purposes, including tourism, education, and business.

Antariksh Singh

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