Processing 1M visa applications this year is our goal: US Ambassador

India has almost 2,00,000 students in the United States, and last year, it was the number one source of students from abroad to come to America

By Nikisha Uddagiri  Published on  26 May 2023 3:32 PM GMT
Processing 1M visa applications this year is our goal: US Ambassador

Hyderabad: The United States Ambassador to India, Eric Garcetti, expressed his admiration for the thriving partnership between the United States and India during his visit to Hyderabad. Garcetti acknowledged the immense growth and enthusiasm he witnessed in the city, emphasizing its significance as a key hub in India and globally.

The highlight of Ambassador Garcetti’s visit was the inauguration of the new American consulate in Hyderabad. In his address, he expressed gratitude to Tim, the welcoming host, and commended the consulate’s architectural representation of local art, symbolising the commitment to fostering a strong US-India relationship. Garcetti emphasised the consulate’s role as an investment in the future of bilateral relations, Telangana, and the region.

Cultural exchanges

Reflecting on his visit to Hyderabad, Ambassador Garcetti said, “My time here has been truly remarkable. I had the privilege of visiting the remarkable Chowmahalla Palace, immersing myself in its rich historical significance as a heritage site. Additionally, I had the opportunity to engage with local experts and I was deeply moved by the strong connection between the Indian dream and the American dream.”

He added, “These interactions have further solidified my belief in the immense potential of our partnership and the shared values that bind us together. The people-to-people exchanges and cultural connections play a vital role in deepening our friendship and understanding.”

Educational exchanges

One of the remarkable aspects of the growing US-India partnership is the significant increase in the number of Indian students pursuing education in the United States. Ambassador Garcetti highlighted this achievement by stating, “India has almost 2,00,000 students in the United States, and last year, it was the number one source of students from abroad to come to America.”

The surge in Indian students studying in the United States reflects the strong academic ties between the two countries and the recognition of the quality education opportunities available in American universities, he said. This educational exchange plays a vital role in fostering mutual understanding, cultural exchange, and people-to-people connections, which are essential for strengthening the overall bilateral relationship.

Furthermore, ambassador Garcetti emphasised the significant growth in bilateral trade between the United States and India, highlighting the exponential increase in trade volume. He said, “Today, the US is India’s largest trading partner, with last year’s bilateral trade reaching $191 billion.” This substantial figure demonstrates the immense economic cooperation between the two nations and the potential for further expansion in trade and investment opportunities, he added.

The US ambassador then visited Hyderabad’s incubator T-Hub, which is touted as the largest of its kind globally. Impressed by Telangana’s role in nurturing startups and transforming ideas into tangible opportunities, Garcetti acknowledged the region’s impact on job creation and innovation.

Visa process

Ambassador Garcetti addressed the significance of the streamlined visa process for Indians wanting to visit the United States. Recognising the strong bond between the two nations, Garcetti highlighted the importance of visas, particularly for students aspiring to pursue educational opportunities in the United States.

He said, “Efforts have been made to streamline visa processing and reduce wait times, with the goal of processing over 1 million visa applications this year. Steps have also been taken to address the demand for student visas, with additional appointments being made available.”

He added, “To meet the growing demand for visa services, the number of consular officers in Hyderabad is set to double. This expansion aims to process visa applications efficiently and effectively, providing timely support to students and other applicants.”

Ambassador Garcetti expressed a commitment to working honestly and fairly to address any necessary changes. “The objective is to facilitate travel, strengthen bilateral ties, and promote the interests of both the United States and India,” he said.

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