It is ranked third worldwide in processing of visa applications, says envoy
CHENNAI: The office of the U.S. Consulate General in Chennai ranks number one in the country in terms of issue of visas for temporary workers, Consul-General in South India Andrew T. Simkin said on Tuesday.
Addressing members of the Consultative Committee of City Chambers of Commerce, he said the Chennai office ranked third worldwide in processing of visa applications. Last year, the Consulate-General issued 3 lakh visas. The issue of visa for temporary workers indicated that there was a huge demand for them in the U.S.
Sensing the growth potential, the office of the U.S. Consulate General has decided to construct new office buildings for Chennai and Mumbai. The new office building in Mumbai would become operational by the end of 2009, while the Chennai office will be ready in the next five years.
Mr. Simkin, who is on a three-year assignment, said he would continue the good work done by his predecessor David T. Hopper.
The office of the U.S. Consulate General in Hyderabad would become operational by the year-end. This showed the importance the U.S. attached to India in general and south India in particular.
“It was decided to have a U.S. Consulate in Hyderabad rather than in Bangalore, as it generated more traffic. Out of the total 3 lakh applications processed last year, the Hyderabad region alone accounted for 30-40 per cent of it, as against 15-20 per cent from the Bangalore region. The office of Consulate General is being opened after 20 years,” he said.
U.S. Consulate Principal Commercial Officer Aileen Crowe Nandi said the bilateral trade between India and the U.S. had grown by nearly three times in the past six years, from $15.6 billion to $ 41.6 billion.
India, she said, was a major trading partner of the U.S. A large trade mission on SME would visit Hyderabad next month to explore business opportunities.
Later, she would organise the visit of a trade delegation to the U.S. on the solar and automotive sectors, Ms. Nandi said.