The number of nonimmigrant USA visas issued in India more than doubled from 3.57 lakh in 2006 to 8.57 lakh in 2015. The number of student visas issued doubled between 2013 and 2015.
Ever since the President of United States of America (POTUS) Donald Trump issued an executive order imposing a 120-day suspension of the refugee program and a 90-day ban on travel to the United States of America (USA) from citizens of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan, there has been considerable anxiety and confusion among people from various countries who want to travel to the USA. Even in India, both students and job-seekers are confused about their plans to go the USA. But data indicates that the number of Nonimmigrant USA Visas issued in India more than doubled in the last 10 years.
8.57 Lakh Nonimmigrant Visas issued in 2015
The total number of nonimmigrant visas issued by the five issuing offices in India increased from 3.57 lakh in 2006 to 8.57 lakh in 2015, an increase of more than 140%. Except for the decrease in 2008 & 2009, the number of nonimmigrant visas issued in India has increased every year. In fact, the number of nonimmigrant visas issued increased by over 70% between 2012 and 2015, during Barrack Obama’s second term as the POTUS.
Chennai US consulate issued the most Visas in the last 10 years
US consulates in New Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata & Mumbai issue US Visas. The consulate in Hyderabad started issuing visas in 2009. In the period between 2006 & 2015, the Chennai consulate issued more than 19 lakh nonimmigrant visas, more than 1/3rd of all the visas issued in India. The consulate in Mumbai issued 15.92 lakh visas or 28.5% of all the visas. The Delhi consulate issued 11.82 lakh visas followed by Hyderabad consulate which issued 6.25 lakh visas. The consulate in Kolkata issued only 4.87% or 2.71 lakh visas of all the visas issued between 2006 and 2015.
More than half the Visas issued in India are B-1 & B-2
The following are some of the common visa categories in which visas are issued.
Business Visa (B-1): Consult with business associates, attend a scientific, educational, professional, or business convention or conference, settle an estate, negotiate a contract etc.
Tourism & Visit (B-2): Tourism, vacation (holiday), visit with friends or relatives, medical treatment, participation in social events hosted by fraternal, social, or service organizations, participation by amateurs in musical, sports, or similar events or contests etc.
Temporary Work Visa (H-1B): To work in a specialty occupation. Requires a higher education degree or its equivalent.
Dependent Visa (H-4): A dependent visa issued to immediate family members (spouse and children under 21 years of age) of the H-1B visa holders.
Student Visa (F-1): To enter the USA to attend university or college.
Intracompany Transfer (L): To work at a branch, parent, affiliate, or subsidiary of the current employer in a managerial or executive capacity, or in a position requiring specialized knowledge.
The above categories of visas accounted for more than 90% of the visas issued to Indians. More than 50% of the visas issued in India are in the B-1 & B-2 categories. H-1B accounted for 12.5% of all the visas while more than 10% of the visas were in the H-4 category. The student visas (F-1) accounted for 7.8%. In fact, the number of student visas doubled from 36,141 in 2013 to 74,831 in 2015.