US to resume routine in-person tourist visa appointments from September | India News

NEW DELHI: The United States will resume regular in-person tourist appointments from September.
The US Embassy in India tweeted on Sunday night: “The US mission to India is pleased to announce that we are resuming routine in-person tourist visa appointments in September 2022. Previously scheduled placeholders have now been cancelled.”
“Applicants whose placeholder appointments were cancelled may now reenter the scheduling system to book regular appointments. Appointments have been opened through 2023. (See the website for availability),” it added.
India had emerged as the fifth largest source country for international visitors to the US in 2021 — up five places from pre-pandemic 2019 — despite the deadly delta wave that saw many countries, including Uncle Sam, imposing restrictions on outbound travel from here for many months.
The US received about 2.2 crore international visitors last year, down 72% from 2019. Mexico (1.04 crore) and Canada (25.3 lakh) — that share a land border with Uncle Sam — occupied the top two slots as source countries. India was the third largest overseas source country (not sharing a land border with the US) with 4.3 lakh visitors from here, next only to Colombia (10.6 lakh) and UK (4.6 lakh), according to US department of commerce data.
In terms of spending by overseas visitors (not including airfares) in America, Indians were the third highest. The commerce department’s data shows US travel and tourism-related exports in 2021 was at $81 billion. Of this, Mexico accounted for $11.7 billion, China at $9 billion and India at $5.8 billion.
The 4.3 lakh visitors from India were 71% lower than pre-pandemic 2019 levels. Once in line with the global trend, the US also relaxes the pre-departure testing requirement for fully vaccinated travellers from India, travel will again grow at a much faster pace. This will be a further boost when sky-high jet fuel prices fall globally, enabling airfares to return to saner levels.

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