US issues record low number of visas in last two years
A record low number of visas were issued during 2020-2021 from the US Embassies and Consulates across the world. Almost every measure of immigration shows fewer people from overseas came to the US since the pandemic.
COVID-19 regulations prompted the State Department to issue 38% fewer immigrant visas in 2021 and 68% fewer non-immigrant visas in 2020-2021 as compared to 2019. The United States issues nonimmigrant visas each year in all categories, with an average of 8.5 million to 10 million. According to the data released by the US State Department, some 4,013,210 non-immigrant visas were issued in 2020 and 2,792,083 in 2021 in same category.
Whereas some 8,742,068 non-immigrant visas were issued in 2019. In 2020, some 15, 642 non-immigrant visas were issued to Pakistani nationals from the US Embassy Islamabad and 10,127 from US Consulate Karachi as compared to 21,356 and 16,476 respectively in 2019.
The such number of non-immigrant visas issued in other years is significantly higher as compared to these two years. For example, 8,742,068 visas were issued during 2019, and 9,028,026 were issued during 2018. and some 9,681, 913 were issued in 2017. Classes of Immigrants Visas issued at US Foreign Service Posts, some 240,526 immigrants visas were issued in 2020 and 285,069 in 2021 as compared to 462,422 Visas in 2019.
The main reason for fewer visa issuances during 2020 and 2021 was the closure of US Embassies and Consulates Visakhapatnam Services across the globe due to the pandemic (COVID-19).
Meanwhile, the diplomatic missions continued to issue only emergency type visas at a limited level. According to the US State Department, "Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, posts were instructed to suspend routine visa services and provide only mission critical and emergency services in late March 2020.
This had a significant impact on the provision of Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visa-related services. Posts were only able to resume limited services on a post-by-post basis beginning in July 2020, as local conditions allowed."
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