Sat. Jul 13th, 2024
Mid-Fiscal Year 2024 Visa Milestones Support U.S. Economy and Global Ties

We are proud of the work our teams worldwide are doing to facilitate travel, promote people-to-people ties, and bring economic benefit to local communities and key sectors across the United States. The positive momentum of 2023’s record-breaking year for visa processing continues in 2024.

In the first half of fiscal year (FY) 2024 (October 2023 to March 2024), the State Department issued nearly 5.2 million nonimmigrant visas worldwide, more than in any previous year over the same period.  During the past six months, 30 percent of our U.S. embassies and consulates overseas set all-time records for nonimmigrant visas issued.

We take seriously our role in supporting travel and tourism, a key sector and critical enabler for U.S. job growth, while upholding national security.  International visitors have in recent years contributed as much as $239 billion annually to the U.S. economy, supporting an estimated 9.5 million American jobs.  

In the first half of FY 2024:

  • The Department issued nearly 4.1 million B visitor visas (and border crossing cards) for tourists and temporary business travelers worldwide.
  • Our highest-volume missions continued to set records. Nearly two-thirds of B visitor visas and border crossing cards were issued in Mexico, India, Brazil, the People’s Republic of China, Colombia, Argentina, the Dominican Republic, and Ecuador.  Together these missions issued more visas than ever before on record.

Our efforts bolster the United States as a top academic destination, and facilitate the workforce and talent needed to keep our economy strong.  By mid-year FY 2024:

  • We issued visas to nearly 134,000 exchange visitor program participants and 115,000 students. According to the Department of Commerce, international students contributed nearly $38 billion to the U.S. economy in 2022 and more than 335,000 jobs.
  • We issued a record-breaking 205,000 visas to temporary or seasonal workers in agriculture and other sectors, providing lawful labor pathways which support key parts of the American economy and protect the U.S. food supply.
  • We issued nearly 160,000 nonimmigrant visas to airline and shipping crew members who support our global transportation and supply chains. This was the second-highest half-year issuance record in this category in history.
  • We issued nearly 25,000 employment-based immigrant visas – 75 percent more than the same period in FY 2019.

The timely processing of immigrant visas to reunite families and support the U.S. economy remains an administration priority.  In the first six months of FY 2024:

  • We issued over 281,000 immigrant visas
  • A quarter of U.S. embassies and consulates issued more immigrant visas by the FY 2024 midpoint than in any prior year of the last decade.
  • We issued over 152,000 immigrant visas to family members of U.S. citizens in the Immediate Relative category – an all-time high for the fiscal half-year mark.

We continue to bolster our capacity to tackle historically high levels of demand for U.S. visas.  These efforts include the adoption of innovative technological solutions, as well as expanding the use of proven, secure tools such as waiving in-person interviews for eligible visa applicants, while maintaining strict national security requirements.  The Department of State is committed to supporting the U.S. economy and American families and communities through the timely processing of visa applications around the world.

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originally published at Politics - JISIP NEWS