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|January 12, 1998
Three-fold rise in US visas for Indian hacksThe growing informatics industry in the United States is increasingly drawing computer professionals from India, if the ever-growing number of visa applicants is any indication.
Bruce McKenzie, chief of the consular section in Bombay, said the number of applicants for non-immigrant visa in the temporary workers category in Bombay has registered a sharp increase over the last three years with the figure going up three folds from nearly 3,000 in 1995 to over 9,000.
Indians account for nearly 40 per cent of the total limit of 65,000 visas allowed from all over the world per annum in this category. Last year alone 30,000 Indians with confirmed jobs were issued non-immigrant visas, he said.
McKenzie said the computer system in the consulate in Bombay had been upgraded and several new facilities added to minimise long queues and waiting period for the applicants.
He said the US visa section in Bombay is the busiest in South Asia among all the four centres in India.
The Bombay centre has issued 78,225 non-immigrant visas during 1997 against 42,021 in 1995. Last year 63,516 visas were issued, he said.
He denied reports appearing in a section of the press that people from Gujarat bearing the surname 'Patel' are being discriminated against or denied visas. ''Visa is being issued to all Patels and no Patel is refused a visa.''
He informed that the US government is considering a proposal to increase the application fee for visas from the present $20 (Rs 800) to $ 45 (Rs 1,620).
- Compiled from the Indian media
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