In2011, a record number of Indian natives visited the United States, according to TheEconomic Times. This has prompted the Obama administration to exempt certain applicants from having to appear for personal interviews during the visa process through the Interview Waiver Program.
The record of travelers, 660,000 Indian-native visitors, is expected to increase to more than a million in 2015. The U.S. Department of State implemented the Interview Waiver Program because of the increase of travel, as well as the welcoming natureof U.S. residentsand strong relationship between thecountries.
The United States is one of the top MICE – meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions – destinations in the world because of the abundance of amenities foundnear convention centers, including shopping, restaurants, travel options and tours.
“Travel and tourism to the U.S. is an important way for us to expand our cultural and commercial ties and increase trade with countries,” Nancy Powell, U.S. Ambassador to India, told The Times.”But most important aspect of travel and tourism is not dollar figures, but the person-to-person relationships that are cultivated.”
On January 14, U.S. consular staff in India reported that H1-B visasand other category -H visas will be issued at a higher rate, according to Workpermit.com.The main category that Indianatives apply for is theH1-B visa, which isgranted to highly skilled graduates in STEM fields, orscience, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The amount of L-1 visas, a non-immigrant visa used to enter the United States for work, granted to India natives has decreased by a few thousand; however, the number of category-H visas rose from 114,000 in 2011 to 130,000 in 2012. This is one of the main reasons why the numberof visas given out has changed categories. H1-B visas arecapped at 65,000 withanother 20,000 designatedfor individuals withmaster’s degrees.