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US increasing staff, opening new consulates to reduce Visa delays : Garcetti

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NEW DELHI : The US is increasing staff strength and opening new consulates, including in Ahmedabad, to reduce the waiting time for issuance of Visas from India, US Ambassador Eric Garcetti said on Monday.

One consulate was recently opened in Hyderabad and premises are being looked at in Bengaluru and Ahmedabad for new consulates, he said during an interactive session, organised by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF).

I had a look at the new premises for establishing a consulate in Ahmedabad yesterday. Some more people have already joined the Hyderabad consulate as we are increasing the staff strength in the city and premises are being taken up in Bengaluru and Ahmedabad for setting up new consulates,” he said.

He said the number of US visas being issued in India had increased by one-third in recent weeks and the embassy was likely to issue 10-15 per cent more visas than usual in the current calendar year.

Garcetti said the delay in issuance of visas was due to the large number of applicants, and other large countries such as Brazil and Mexico were facing similar issues.

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