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Top US consular official visits missions in Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi

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New York, Feb 20

US Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs, Rena Bitter, arrived in India to engage with embassy and consulate colleagues in Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi.

During her week-long visit, which will conclude on February 27, she will also be visiting Doha to observe the work of US consular teams, a US State Department statement said.

In India, home to the second largest US consular operation in the world, she will visit facilities in Chennai and Mumbai and lead a delegation in a bilateral consular dialogue with counterparts in New Delhi.

“Our consular operations in India and Qatar bolster the critical people-to-people and economic ties the US shares with these vital partners,” the statement said.

“The Assistant Secretary’s trip highlights our sustained commitment to the protection of US citizens overseas and the facilitation of legitimate travel and immigration to the US.”

Her visit follows a year of record-breaking visa issuances in the country with Indians now representing one out of every 10 US visa applicants around the world.

The US Embassy and Consulates in India processed 1.4 million visas during 2023 and appointment wait time dropped by 75 per cent, according to the US Embassy.

Bitter’s visit comes just as Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, Richard R. Verma, arrived in India on February 18 to advance the US-India global strategic partnership on a full range of issues, including economic development, security and technology.

Verma, who served as the 25th US Ambassador to India from 2014 to 2017, met Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Monday.

Verma’s India visit is part of a three-nation tour from February 18-23, which will also cover Maldives and Sri Lanka in an attempt to strengthen the country’s cooperation with each of these key Indo-Pacific partners.

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