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India corners 72% of H-1B, 30% L-1 visas despite fee hike

V Rishi Kumar Hyderabad | Updated on January 17, 2018 Published on August 26, 2016

Michele Thoren Bond, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs at US Department of State, at a press conference in Hyderabad on Friday. - Photo: Mohammed Yousuf   -  BusinessLine

Hyderabad, 5th for student visas issued

The steep hike in US visa fees appear to have had little impact on the number of Indians heading to America. Indian applicants cornered 72 per cent of the H-1B visas and 30 per cent of L-1 visas issued worldwide.

The number has been steadily rising with US visas issued to Indians for business and tourism showing an 81 per cent growth over the past five years, said Michele Thoren Bond, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs. It crossed the one million mark last year. The Hyderabad consulate ranks fifth for the number of visas issued for students worldwide.

Going by the current trends — with India and the US trying to boost bilateral business links and tourism in 2017 — the number is likely to become bigger, said Bond.

Addressing a media conference here, she said the growth in visas has come in different categories, including those for students, business and tourists. Referring to visas meant for US jobs and highly skilled professionals, she said Indians have got 72 per cent of the H-1B visas and 30 per cent of L-1 visas issued.

Visa fee issue

Asked about concerns expressed by Indian companies on the increase in visa fee, she said it was matter dealt by the US Congress.

Mentioning that the US has become much sought-after by Indian students, she said over 1,32,000 students were pursuing studies in the US and last year about 60,000 students were issued visas.

Hyderabad ranking fifth for the number of student visas issued only reflects the growing interest among Indian students to pursue higher education in the US, she pointed out. There are about 200 US visa issuing centres in the world.

Asked about the recent instances of Indian students being deported, she said they might be one-off incidents and efforts are on to work closely with the Homeland Security Services in the US on this issue.

She said the new consular centre with 52 counters as against 16 now in Hyderabad will be ready by 2020.

Published on August 26, 2016
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