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Visa evaluation process to be eased:US Consul General

Written by: Staff

Kolkata, Feb 22 (UNI) US Consul General in Kolkata Henry V Jardine today said efforts were was underway to ease the process of evaluating visa applications.

Mr Jardine, who was speaking after formally inaugurating a new consular facility at the US Consulate General here, said the steps were undertaken in view of the growing number of applicants.

US Consular Chief Paul M Fermoile said efforts were also on to reduce the time limit of getting a visa appointment from the normal 86 days to three weeks.

He said two more consular officers would shortly be appointed to deal with the excess pressure of issuing visas from Kolkata.

In 2005, around 22,000 people were issued visas from the Kolkata office with tourism related visas accounting for the highest number.

Meanwhile, according to data from public affairs office, US Consulate General here, the US Mission in India issued almost two-thirds of all H1-B visas that were given worldwide in 2005.

The four visa processing posts in India (Chennai, Mumbai, New Delhi and Kolkata) together accounted for 33.4 per cent of the worldwide processing of H1-B visas for temporary workers in financial year 2004-5, the data said.

According to the Congressional Research Service Report of January 2006, almost two-thirds of the 1,22,981 intra-company transfer visas (L) were issued to Indians in fiscal 2004-5.

EDS:Here pick up suitably from earlier series.

UNI TJP PL/src RR RK1648

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