Record Number of Nonimmigrant Visas Issued

By Andrew M. Wilson

January 4, 2024 | Immigration Blog

Record Number of Nonimmigrant Visas Issued; Encouraging Third-Country National Processing; Optimism for Better Visitor Visa Appointment Availability; & More - Department of State Released Summary of 2023 Worldwide Visa Processing Highlights

The Department of State (DOS) recently released some highlights from its 2023 worldwide visa processing operations. Included was a nice bonus expectation for visitor visa processing in 2024. Some key highlights include:

* Consulates issued more nonimmigrant visas worldwide in 2023 than in any year since 2015 - a nice rebound after recovering from COVID limitations.

* The total number of nonimmigrant visas issued in 2023 was 10.4 million.

* Interview waivers continue to be an effective strategy to combat visa appointment backlogs. 40% of those 10.4 million visa processes did not require an in-person interview.

* New technology has reduced the number of visa applicants subjected to 221g administrative processing on security grounds.

* DOS continues to encourage third-country national processing. The update reads: "As wait times continue to drop, we encourage any visa applicant who can travel to another embassy or consulate with shorter wait times to consider doing so. As a global organization, we recognize that there are reasons for applying anywhere appointments are available, even outside your home country and will not disadvantage applicants who choose this route."

* DOS' goal is for more than 90% of their overseas posts to have visitor visa interview wait times under 90 days in 2024.

Disclaimer: The information in this post is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from our firm or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

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