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US issues 5 lakh non-immigration visas to Indians every year

Posted on August 26, 2011
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MUMBAI: US diplomat Peter Haas, recently appointed consul-general in Mumbai, stressed the importance of people-to-people contact in Indo-US ties.

US-India people-to-people connections are more powerful than any government initiative, said Haas. “While 8 lakh Americans travel to India each year, the US issues half a million non-immigration visas to Indians yearly,” he said adding that Indian citizens formed the largest group of people to be issued H1B and L visas by the US over the last year.

“There are one lakh Indians studying in the US and 2.8 million Indian-Americans living there,” he said. Recognizing the importance of the Indian diaspora for creating and strengthening people-to-people ties, the US state department has created a new position, Senior Advisor for Outreach, in order to tap the large Indian-American population. “These Indian-Americans cherish their ties back to India and they support strong ties between the US and India. But they don’t always know how to build them,” he added. The new Senior Advisor hopes to link Indian-Americans with Indians to support a stronger US-India partnership.

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