US issued record-high 140,000 visas to Indian students in last year | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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US issued record-high 140,000 visas to Indian students in last year

Nov 29, 2023 07:45 PM IST

The US also issued nearly eight million visitor visas for business and tourism, more than in any American fiscal year since 2016

Indians accounted for almost a quarter of the 600,000 student visas issued by the US from October 2022 to September 2023, when the State Department also issued more than 10.4 million non-immigrant visas globally.

During the 2023 fiscal year, the US State Department issued a near record level of non-immigrant visas – more than 10.4 million globally (Representative Photo)
During the 2023 fiscal year, the US State Department issued a near record level of non-immigrant visas – more than 10.4 million globally (Representative Photo)

The US also issued nearly eight million visitor visas for business and tourism, more than in any American fiscal year since 2016. These figures were possible due to innovative solutions, such as expanding interview waiver authorities that allow frequent travellers who meet strict national security standards to renew their visas without visiting a US embassy or consulate.

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“Our embassy and consulates in India issued an all-time record of more than 140,000 student visas,” the US State Department said in a statement. It added that the they issued more than 600,000 student visas during this fiscal year, the highest since FY 2017. The US federal fiscal year runs from October 2022 through September 2023.

The State Department is committed to facilitating legitimate travel to the US while maintaining high national security standards, and at the same time, international visitors are instrumental in building people-to-people ties and bringing enormous economic benefits to local communities and key sectors of the American economy.

During the 2023 fiscal year, the State Department issued a near-record level of nonimmigrant visas – more than 10.4 million globally. Half of the US embassies and consulates worldwide “adjudicated more nonimmigrant visas than ever before”, the statement said.

The US also issued nearly eight million visitor visas for business and tourism, more than in any fiscal year since 2016.

As part of efforts to prepare Americans for a global environment and to attract future leaders from abroad, international students at US colleges and universities inject up to $38 billion into the US economy annually. The State Department also issued nearly 40,000 student visas to African students, of which more than 9,700 were to Nigerian applicants.

In the context of bolstering national and economic security, international visitors contributed as much as $239 billion in annual spending to the US economy in recent years and supported an estimated 9.5 million American jobs.

The US also issued 442,000 visas to temporary and seasonal workers, addressing the need for workers in agriculture and other sectors where few US workers are available. This contributed to the US economy while addressing the root causes of irregular migration, the statement said.

A total of 590,000 non-immigrant visas were issued to high-skilled workers and executives to work alongside American experts in some of the US’ most critical fields, ranging from emerging technology to healthcare. Nearly 365,000 non-immigrant visas were issued to airline and shipping crew members, who are essential for maintaining global transportation and supply chains that support global economies.

The US is now exploring new technologies to streamline visa operations, such as the option of domestic renewal in select visa categories. “America is open for business, and US visa operations support the nation every day,” the statement said.

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