US issues record low number of visas in last two years

03:16 PM | 16 Jul, 2022
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."

Tahir Mahmood Chaudhry is a journalist and blogger based in New York. He works for Daily Pakistan as United Nations/New York Bureau Chief. He can be reached at:


PKR exchange rate to US dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 21 Feb 2024

Pakistani currency remains stable against US dollar and other currencies in the open market on February 21, 2024 (Wednesday).

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.6 for buying and 282.4 for selling.

Euro comes down to 300 for buying and 303 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 350.5 for buying, and 354 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.15 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.35.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 21 Feb 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 279.6 282.4
Euro EUR 300 303
UK Pound Sterling GBP 350.5 354
U.A.E Dirham AED 76.15 76.9
Saudi Riyal SAR 74.35 75.1
Australian Dollar AUD 181 183
Bahrain Dinar BHD 743.32 751.32
Canadian Dollar CAD 207 209
China Yuan CNY 38.89 39.29
Danish Krone DKK 40.38 40.78
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.74 36.09
Indian Rupee INR 3.37 3.48
Japanese Yen JPY 2.10 2.18
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 902.41 911.41
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.6 59.2
New Zealand Dollar NZD 171.68 173.68
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.43 26.73
Omani Riyal OMR 725.96 733.96
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.76 77.46
Singapore Dollar SGD 207 209
Swedish Korona SEK 26.53 26.83
Swiss Franc CHF 316.9 319.4
Thai Bhat THB 7.93 8.08


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