As economic ties between India and US strengthen, the number of Indians visiting the US could triple by 2020. This increase can be gauged by a steady rise in number of visa applications to the US embassy.
Consular affairs of the US expects visa applications from India to rise by 14% every year till 2020. Tourist and business visas that do not have any upper limit on the number of visas issued would be doled out in maximum numbers.
“We expect visa applications by Indians to touch around 2.1 million by 2020,” said James W Herman, minister-counselor for consular affairs at the US Embassy in India. He said, at present, close to 0.7 million visas are processed every year.
This compares to a 4% annual growth in visa applications between 2001 and 2008. There was a slight dip for two years between 2009 and 2010.
Herman added that the cap on H1B visas remains at 65,000 with no plans to reduce H1B visas issued. He said there is no cap on L1 visas or other types of business and tourist visas.
“In compliance with President Obama’s orders we will continue to innovate and find creative solutions so that visa-waiting time is reduced considerably. We want to make it easier for travellers to apply for a visa to visit the United States,” Herman explained.
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