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US grants ten percent of requested visas in India

Some 500,000 Indians aspire to visit the United States every year, but the American government issues only about 55,000 visas, the Times of India reported on 15 April. This is due to lack of adequate manpower and infrastructure, US Transport Secretary Norman Y Mineta said in Bangalore on Friday.

"We are overwhelmed at the number of people requesting for visas to the US. About 55,000 visas are issued, while there are nearly 400,000-500,000 requests," he told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting organized by the American Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

He said visa processing time was longer since the Congress passed a law making personal interviews mandatory for visa seekers.

"We are improving infrastructure and adding more people," a US government official said.

He said the Chennai consulate, which has 20 officials involved in issuing visas, will have three additions by the end of this year. The Chennai consulate issues the largest number of visas to the US, largely to IT professionals from Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai.