Chennai: The US Consulate General here has recorded a 27 per cent increase in the number of 'L' visa applications in the first quarter of this year, a senior diplomat said today.
So far in 2012, we have processed 6,044 L visas a 27 per cent increase over the same period in 2011, Nicholas Manring, Chief of Consular Services at the United States Consulate General told reporters.
In the corresponding period last year, it received over 4,700 applications.
The US Consulate General here is the only American mission in India that receives and processes L blanket visas since December 1 last year and is the mission to send the largest number of L visas (skilled workers) in the world to the United States, another official said.
We have specific interview appointment slots for out of town Blanket L applicants late in the morning, so applicants can fly in and out on the day of the interview and do not need to spend a night in Chennai, he said.
Since last week, a pilot programme has been started here to waive the interview procedure for people renewing visas, primarily for tourist and short-term business travel visas, renewing within 48 months of expiration for B1/B2 visas, Manring said.
This allows people to present their application and passport at the Consulate, have their photograph and fingerprints taken, but many will not have to then go on to be interviewed, he said.