US Consulate in Chennai handles 16,000 visas daily: Diplomat

Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 19 (IANS) The United States Consulate in Chennai handles nearly 16,000 visa applications every day even as the number of Indian students studying in the US registered the largest growth for the second year in a row, a US diplomat said here on Saturday.

Addressing reporters here, Chief of Consular Service at the Consulate General of the United States at Chennai, Charles E. Luoma-Overstreet, said the Chennai office that opened in 1968 began by handling about 5,000 visas and today it handles 12,000 to 16,000 visa applications every day.

“Last year more than three lakh applications were sanctioned,” Overtstreet said.

On his first visit to the state capital, Overstreet has been taking part in meetings as part of the International Education Week and said the latest report published shows that for the second year in a row, Indian students studying in the US registered the largest growth.

“The number of Indian students studying in US universities stands at 165,918 as on the previous fiscal up by 24.95 per cent as compared to 2014-15. Nearly 4,100 visas were given to students in Kerala,” Overstreet said.

He also downplayed speculation that with Donald Trump taking over as the new President, policies could change and might be detrimental to Indian students.

“The President does not make laws. It is the Congress that takes decisions about policies,” he said.

While replying to questions on the process of immigration when it comes to issuing visas for the US, he said that the best thing to practise is to be honest when candidates appear for an interview before the Consular.

“Merely memorising what someone (agents) says will not help as documents presented should also be proper. Our officers are very friendly,” said Overstreet,

–IANS

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