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US Consulate General In Hyd Issues Fifth Highest No Of Such Visas In The World
The US consulate general in Hyderabad issues the fifth highest number of student visas in the world and the highest in the country, assistant secretary of state for consular affairs Michele Bond said on Friday .
There are more than 200 US consulates and embassies across the globe.
Speaking at a media interaction in the city, Bond reiterated that a large number of Indian students were pursuing their studies at American universities and said that they comprise the second largest community of students in the US with more than 1,32,000 members.
According to 2015 data, visas were given to around 60,000 Indian students by the US mission in the country that year with a large number being issued by the US consulate general in Hyderabad. While absolute figures were not released, Bond said that the US consulate general in Hyderabad “is a winner“.
Further, of the 1,38,000 H1-B visas sanctioned per year across the world, Indi ans are issued a majority of them, she said. “Typically , on an average, Indians get 70 per cent of them (H1-B visas).This year they are already above that with 72 per cent,“ Bond said. The “level of interest“ in visas on account of the hike in fee, she maintained, has not changed.
Apar t from students, Bond said that a vast major ity of Indian travellers enter the US on tourist and shortterm business visas.
While responding to a question on the screening of Muslims entering the US, as suggested by Republican presidential candidate Donald J Trump, Bond said that there is no discrimination while issuing visas to members of the community and that each application is given a “careful and fair“ review.“We are also focussed on making sure that wherever in the country anybody applies, people are being judged against the same standard which is, in fact, the same standard that we apply all over the world. So there is no discrimination, no difference in how we adjudicate our visa applications.“
Touching upon the issue of Indian students deported from US airports earlier this year, despite having valid visas, she hinted at the possibility of a communication gap between the US consulates or embassies that issue visas and the department of homeland security (DHS). “We are working very very hard to ensure that we are in sync with DHS and that we are screening students and every applicant so that there isn't anything that can prevent them from being admitted to the Unites States,“ she said.