'10 pc of US non-immigrant visa applications from India'

US Consulate General (Chennai) has processed 2,36,000 non-immigrant visa applications in the last 12 months, said American Consulate General (Chennai) Chief Consul Nicholas J Manring.

Speaking on the procedures to be followed to obtain a US Visa at a programme organised by Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Wednesday, Manring said that 10 per cent of all US non-immigrant visa applications come from India. The five posts of the United States Mission to India adjudicated over 6,00,000 non-immigrant visa applications in the last 12 months.

Chennai consulate receives 50 per cent of its visa applications from Karnataka of which majority are from Bangalore. However, starting a US consulate in Bangalore is an extensive decision and has to be made in Washington. “Presently there are no plans to start up a new consulate,” he said.

Speaking about the Chennai Consulate, he said that 1/3rd of US Visas granted from India are from Chennai Consulate. Visa applicants in Chennai spend less than one hour in the consulate on their interview day on average. Appointments are available for all visa categories within 12 work days at the US Consulate General in Chennai, he said.

In the last 12 months, 29 per cent of all L1 visas and 25 per cent of all H1B visas were issued in Chennai. Each officer in the consulate conducts approximately 100 interviews per day, he said.

The number of student visas from India to US have increased. There are more than 1,03,000 Indian students studying at US universities, which is more than any other country except China, he added.

“We are vigilant about frauds and take them very seriously. A visa applicant needs to articulate the reason for travel clearly as an officer makes a decision on granting the visa on the complete story articulated at the interview window,” he said.

On September 26, the US Embassy and Consulates became part of a new, global change on how visas are processed.

With this, applicants may now pay their visa application fees via electronic fund transfer (EFT) or via mobile phone or in cash at Axis and Citibank branches.

Applicants need to have two appointments on different days, one for offsite facilitation centre for fingerprinting and photos and second one at the embassy consulate for the interview. Appointments can me made at www.ustraveldocs.com/in, he concluded.
American Consulate General (Chennai) Visa Vice Consul Adam Kotkin was also present.

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