The State Department announced that 5.2 million nonimmigrant visas were issued worldwide in the first half of fiscal year 2024 — more than any previous year over the same period.

Key Points:

  • During the past six months, 30% of U.S. embassies and overseas consulates set all-time records for nonimmigrant visas issued.
  • Nearly 4.1 million B visitor visas and border crossing cards were issued for tourists and temporary business travelers worldwide, with nearly two-thirds from Mexico, India, Brazil, the People’s Republic of China, Colombia, Argentina, the Dominican Republic and Ecuador.
  • The number of nonimmigrant visas issued in the first half of FY2024 in work and study-related categories at U.S. embassies and consulate offices abroad were as follows:
    • Approximately 134,000 visas for exchange visitor program participants and 115,000 visas for students
    • 205,000 visas for temporary or seasonal workers in agriculture and other sectors
    • 160,000 visas for airline and shipping crew members
  • Around 25,000 employment-based immigrant visas were issued worldwide.

Additional Information: The U.S. embassy and consulates in India are among the highest volume offices. India also broke visa processing records in 2023 with its ongoing efforts to streamline processes and improve efficiencies. Most recently, the U.S. Consulate Mumbai conducted a “Super Saturday” visa drive on May 12, screening 1,700 first-time student visa applicants for approval. Although the season for student visas starts on May 20, conducting the Saturday push a week ahead helped meet the high demand. In previous years, the drive was conducted sporadically, but moving forward it will be held on a quarterly basis.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice Group.

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