New Delhi, Sep.14 (ANI): U.S. Ambassador to India Timothy J.Roemer on Monday inaugurated the new consular section at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi today.
The new facility is the result of a multi-year, 10 million dollar expansion that will permit the embassy to provide faster and better consular service to the Indian community.
"This facility is a reflection of the enduring strength of the U.S.-India relationship," Ambassador Roemer said in his remarks at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, "and demonstrates the United States' commitment to our expanding people-to-people ties just as we are strengthening our strategic partnership for the prosperity, security, and democratic future of all our citizens."
The new facility doubles the waiting area, triples customer seating, adds a modern queuing system to guide customers through the visa process and adds many new interviewing windows to ensure that visa applicants and American citizens can speak to an officer more quickly and in a convenient, modern environment.
The demand for consular services in India has surged to new levels mirroring the deepening strategic partnership. Over the past five years, the issuance of U.S. non-immigrant visas in India have more than doubled from approximately 275,000 in 2003 to approximately 560,000 in 2008.
Indians have also been the largest foreign student population in U.S. colleges and universities since 2001 and the number reached nearly 95,000 in 2008.
Reflecting the U.S. Embassy's commitment to provide enhanced services in every part of India, a new Consulate was opened in Hyderabad in November 2008 and has already issued more than 30,000 visas. There have also been dramatic expansions in the Consulates in Chennai and Kolkata and an entirely new Consular facility is in advanced stages of construction in Mumbai's northern suburbs. (ANI)