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US doubling hiring to speed up Indian visas



(News Agency) The US is working to engage diplomatic spouses and doubling direct hires at its embassy to accelerate visas to Indians, a US official said on Tuesday.

Ordinary citizens and businesses have complained about long waits for US visas as the embassy had cut staff during the pandemic and couldn't meet the rising demand for visas at the required pace when the economies reopened.

"We are doubling the number of direct hires, we have to facilitate the issuance of visas here at the embassy and we are also working to bring on diplomatic spouses to also work in the process in the areas of visas," said Arun Venkataraman, US assistant secretary of commerce for global markets.
"So we are continuing to take steps... We have already made progress and are issuing more visas than we ever did before," said Venkataraman, who is in New Delhi ahead of the planned March visit of US commerce secretary Gina Raimondo.

The US has issued more H1B and L visas in 2022 than it did in pre-pandemic 2019, he said, adding that good progress had been made in issuing visas to students.