On November 28, 2023, the U.S. State Department shared a press release highlighting the agency’s operations and the significant numbers of different types of visas issued in the last fiscal year.
From October 2022 through September 2023, the State Department issued a near record level of non-immigrant visas – more than 10 million globally – 8 million visitor visas for business and tourism and more than 600,000 F-1 student visas (embassy and consulates in India issued an all-time record of more than 140,000 student visas). 590,000 visas were issued to high-skilled workers and executives to work in some critical fields, ranging from emerging technology to healthcare, and nearly 365,000 to airline and shipping crew members.
The State Department attributes these achievements to innovative solutions, such as expanding the interview provision that allows certain visa applicants to renew their visas without the need for an interview appointment at the consulate or embassy.
The interview waiver flexibility is set to expire on December 31, 2023. There is no announcement as yet from the administration regarding its continuity.
We at D&A are monitoring the situation and will provide updates as and when available.
This article has been written by Zeenat Phophalia, Esq. Of Counsel, Davies & Associates, India Office.
Zeenat Phophalia is qualified to practice law in New York, United Kingdom and India. She practices in the area of U.S. immigration law with a focus on business immigration, and has represented corporate clients including large and medium sized companies and startups across sectors such as IT, consulting, consumer goods, manufacturing and telecommunications.