Record Number of Nonimmigrant Visas Issued
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.
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