Immigration Specialists London

USA Visa Refusal Rate 2021: Understanding the dynamics of US visa approval and refusal rates in 2021 is crucial for applicants and immigration professionals alike. This guide provides an in-depth analysis of the refusal rates for various visa categories, including B1/B2, H1B, F1, and F2 visas, offering insight into the trends and factors influencing these outcomes. We also discuss the common reasons behind visa denials and compare the 2021 rates to previous years. With this information, applicants can better prepare for their US visa applications, enhancing their understanding of the US immigration process.

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USA Visa Refusal Rate

1. Overview: US Visa Rejection Rates in 2021


Applying for a US non-immigrant visa can be a meticulous process, with varying acceptance and rejection rates over the years. Understanding these trends and the factors affecting them is crucial for potential applicants.

US Visa Refusal Rate: Yearly Details

  • 2018:
    • Applications Decided: 12.76 million
    • US Visa Refusals: 3.73 million
    • US Visa Issuances: 9 million
    • US Visa Acceptance Rate: 70.53%
    • US Visa Refusal Rate 2018: 29.47%
  • 2019:
    • Applications Decided: 11.73 million
    • US Visa Rejections: 2.99 million
    • US Visa Approvals: 8.74 million
    • US Visa Approval Rate: 74.50%
    • US Visa Rejection Rate 2019: 25.50%
  • 2020:
    • Applications Decided: 5.36 million
    • US Visa Denials: 1.35 million
    • US Visa Grants: 4.01 million
    • US Visa Success Rate: 74.85%
    • US Visa Denial Rate 2020: 25.15%
  • 2021:
    • Applications Decided: 3.15 million
    • Refusals: 356,240
    • Issuances: 2.79 million
    • Acceptance Rate: 88.68%
    • US Visa Refusal Rate 2021: 11.32%

Analysis of Year-over-Year Trends

The data shows fluctuating trends in US non-immigrant visa acceptance and rejection rates. A significant increase in the acceptance rate from 70.53% in 2018 to 88.68% in 2021 can be observed. Factors influencing these changes include policy shifts, economic conditions, global events like the COVID-19 pandemic, and the quality of applications.

Chances of US Visa Approval

The chances of US visa approval depend on several factors, including the type of visa, individual circumstances, and application quality. Proper documentation and preparation are crucial.

  • Chances of Visa Approval After Rejection:
    • Applicants often succeed in subsequent attempts by rectifying the issues in their initial application.
  • Note on US Visa Chances Calculators:
    • Online tools claiming to estimate visa chances should be used with caution, as only consular officers can make accurate assessments.

Top Reasons for US Non-immigrant Visa Denials

  • Inadequate documentation:
    • Incomplete or incorrect documentation can lead to denial.
  • Insufficient financial resources:
  • Misrepresentation of information:
  • Criminal history/security concerns:
    • Security risks may lead to denial.
  • Immigrant intent:
    • Nonimmigrant visa applicants must prove temporary stay intentions.
  • Prior visa violations:
  • Health-related issues:

This overview highlights the critical factors affecting US visa acceptance and rejection rates, helping applicants better prepare for their visa applications. For the latest details, please refer to our post on US Visa Acceptance Rate 2022.

US Visa Acceptance and Refusal Rate 2019, 2020, 2021
Us Visa Acceptance And Refusal Rate 2019, 2020, 2021

2. B1/B2 Visitor Visas


In 2021, the approval rates for different categories of US B1/B2 visas varied significantly. Here’s a breakdown of the acceptance rates for these visa types:

B1/B2 US Visa Approval Rates 2021

  • B1 Business Visas:
    • Acceptance Rate: 88.49%
    • Purpose: Business-related travel
  • B2 Tourist Visas:
    • Acceptance Rate: 58.25%
    • Purpose: Leisure or medical treatment
  • B1/B2 Combination Visas:
    • Acceptance Rate: 83.20%
    • Purpose: Both business and tourism
  • B1/B2/BCC Combination Cards (Mexican Citizens):
    • Acceptance Rate: 96.18%
    • Purpose: Business, tourism, and border crossing
  • B1/B2/BCV Cards (Lincoln Foil for Mexican Citizens):
    • Acceptance Rate: 91.13%
    • Purpose: Business, tourism, and border crossing

Analysis of Different Types of Visas

  • B1 Visas:
    • Backed by companies, applicants for business visas often have a clear and defined purpose for their travel, contributing to a higher approval rate.
  • B2 Visas:
    • Cater to a more diverse applicant pool, including tourists and those seeking medical treatment, which may lead to a comparatively lower approval rate.

External Factors Affecting Approval Rates

External factors such as changes in U.S. immigration policy and global events like the COVID-19 pandemic can significantly influence visa approval rates.

Chances of Getting a B1/B2 Visa

The likelihood of obtaining a B1/B2 visa largely depends on the applicant’s travel purpose and adherence to visa qualifications. Business travelers, due to their typically clearer travel objectives and company backing, often have higher approval rates compared to those applying for tourism visas.

Key Points for Applicants:

Understanding these factors can help potential applicants prepare better for their visa interviews and increase their chances of approval.

U.S. B1B2 Visitor Visa Acceptance and Rejection Rate 2021
U.s. B1B2 Visitor Visa Acceptance And Rejection Rate 2021

3. Work Visas


The year 2021 saw varying acceptance rates for different types of H-Type work visas in the United States. Here’s an overview of these rates and factors affecting them:

H-Type US Visa Approval Rates in 2021

  • H1B Work Visa:
    • Acceptance Rate: 92.85%
    • Purpose: Specialized occupations requiring theoretical or technical expertise.
  • H1B1 Work Visa:
    • Acceptance Rate: 97.84%
    • Purpose: For Chilean and Singaporean nationals in specialized occupations.
  • H2A Agricultural Worker Visa:
    • Acceptance Rate: 95.60%
    • Purpose: Temporary agricultural work.
  • H2B Non-Agricultural Worker Visa:
    • Acceptance Rate: 94.15%
    • Purpose: Temporary non-agricultural work.
  • H3 Trainee Visa:
    • Acceptance Rate: 85.84%
    • Purpose: For trainees or special education visitors.
  • H4 Visa:
    • Acceptance Rate: 95.51%
    • Purpose: For dependents (spouses and children) of H-Type visa holders.

H1B Visa Interview Success Rate

The success rate of H1B visa interviews varies annually and across different U.S. consulates. Factors influencing these rates include:

  • Applicant’s Credentials:
    • The educational background, work experience, and skills of the applicant play a crucial role.
  • Quality of Application:
    • How well the application is prepared, including the accuracy and completeness of documentation.
  • Geopolitical Considerations:
    • Diplomatic relations and policies between the applicant’s home country and the U.S. can impact visa decisions.

Impact of U.S. Immigration Policies on H1B Visas

U.S. immigration policies, especially changes under different administrations, significantly affect H1B visa approval rates:

  • Trump Administration:
    • Policies introduced heightened scrutiny on H1B applications, leading to fluctuations in approval rates.
  • Biden Administration:
    • Some of the earlier policies are being revisited, potentially impacting future approval rates.

Key Points for Applicants

  • Stay Informed:
    • Keep updated on current U.S. immigration policies to understand their impact on visa applications.
  • Prepare Thoroughly:
    • Ensure that your application is accurate and complete, with all necessary documentation.
  • Highlight Credentials:
    • Emphasize your educational background, work experience, and specialized skills to strengthen your application.

Understanding these factors can help potential applicants better prepare for their visa interviews and increase their chances of success.

US H1B H2A Work Visa Approval and Denial Rate 2021
Us H1B H2A Work Visa Approval And Denial Rate 2021

4. Student Visas


Examination of 2021 F1 and F2 Visa Rejection Rate

The F1 student visa, crucial for international students wishing to study in the U.S., and the F2 visa, for their dependents, have seen varying acceptance and rejection rates over the years. In 2021, there was a noticeable trend in these rates, reflecting changes in policy and other factors.

F1 Student Visa Rates

In 2021, the F1 visa had an acceptance rate of 80.16%, meaning a majority of applicants were successful. However, there was still a significant rejection rate of 19.84%. This pattern of acceptance and rejection has varied over the years, often influenced by changes in U.S. immigration policy, global events like the COVID-19 pandemic, and the quality of applications.

F2 Visa Rejection Rate

For those applying for F2 visas, the scenario is slightly different. In 2021, the acceptance rate was lower at 67.66%, with a higher rejection rate of 32.34%. This variation can be attributed to the specific requirements and scrutiny that dependents of F1 visa holders face during the visa process.

Yearly F1 and F2 Visa Acceptance & Rejection Rates

  • 2021:
    • F1 Visa Acceptance Rate: 80.16%
    • F1 Visa Rejection Rate: 19.84%
    • F2 Visa Acceptance Rate: 67.66%
    • F2 Visa Rejection Rate: 32.34%
  • 2020:
    • F1 Visa Acceptance Rate: 68.81%
    • F1 Visa Rejection Rate: 31.19%
    • F2 Visa Acceptance Rate: 67.17%
    • F2 Visa Rejection Rate: 32.83%
  • 2019:
    • F1 Visa Acceptance Rate: 74.62%
    • F1 Visa Rejection Rate: 25.38%
    • F2 Visa Acceptance Rate: 70.37%
    • F2 Visa Rejection Rate: 29.63%
  • 2018:
    • F1 Visa Rejection Rate: 34.97%
    • F2 Visa Rejection Rate: 36.62%

This examination highlights the changing landscape of F1 and F2 visa applications, emphasizing the importance of understanding the nuances of each application type. The fluctuations in acceptance and rejection rates over the years underscore the need for thorough preparation and awareness of current policies and global circumstances impacting visa decisions.

US F1 Student Visa Acceptance Rate 2021
Us F1 Student Visa Acceptance Rate 2021

5. Other Visas


US Visa Rejection Rate by Visa Type 2021

  • J Visas:
    • J1 Exchange Visitor Visa: 8.37%
    • J2 Visa for Spouses/Children of J1: 5.87%
  • L Visas:
    • L1 Intracompany Transferee Visa: 5.84%
    • L2 Visa for Spouses/Children of L1: 4.10%
  • K Visas:
    • K1 Fiancée Visa: 17.78%
    • K2 Visa for Children: 3.85%
  • A Visas (Diplomatic):
    • A1 Visa: 6.07%
    • A2 Visa (Other Foreign Government Official): 6.74%
    • A3 Visa (Attendants/Servants of A1/A2): 15.12%
  • E Visas (Treaty):
    • E1 Visa (Treaty Trader): 5.79%
    • E2 Visa (Treaty Investor): 7.49%
    • E3 Visa (Australian Specialty Occupation): 3.35%
  • G Visas (International Organizations):
    • G1 Visa (Principal Resident Representative): 8.63%
    • G2 Visa (Other Representative of a Foreign Government): 8.91%
    • G3 Visa (Representative of a Non-recognized Government): 3.39%
    • G4 Visa (International Organization Officer/Employee): 3.05%
    • G5 Visa (Attendant/Servant of G1-G4): 21.70%
  • M Visas (Students):
    • M1 Student Visa: 21.74%
    • M2 Student Visa: 25.76%
  • O Visas (Extraordinary Ability):
    • O1 Visa (Extraordinary Ability): 8.05%
    • O2 Visa (Assistants to O1): 7.12%
    • O3 Visa (Spouses/Children of O1/O2): 6.77%
  • P Visas (Performers):
    • P1 Visa (Athletes, Artists, Entertainers): 4.49%
    • P2 Visa (Artists/Entertainers in Exchange Program): 7.14%
    • P3 Visa (Artists/Entertainers in Culturally Unique Programs): 20.96%
    • P4 Visa (Spouses/Children of P1, P2, P3): 5.36%
  • U Visas (Victims of Crimes):
    • U1 Victim of Criminal Activity Visa: 36.41%
    • U2 Spouse of U1 Visa: 30.94%
    • U3 Child of U1 Visa: 25.81%
    • U4 Parent of U1 Visa: 6.67%
    • U5 Sibling of U1 Visa: 16.67%
  • V Visas (Permanent Residents):
    • V1 Spouse of Permanent Resident: 4.24%
    • V2 Child of Permanent Resident: 2.37%
    • V3 Derivative Child of V1 or V2: 3.45%
  • Q Visas (Cultural Exchange):
    • Q1 Cultural Exchange Program: 20.97%
  • Other Visas:
    • I Representative of Foreign Media: 6.95%
    • R1 Religious Occupation: 14.64%
    • R2 Spouse or Child of R1: 20.02%
    • TN NAFTA Professional: 9.79%
    • TD Spouse or Child of TN: 3.63%
    • N8 Special Immigrant (Parent): 33.33%
    • N9 Special Immigrant (Child): 50.00%
    • CW1 CNMI Transitional Worker: 5.44%
    • CW2 Spouse or Child of CW1: 4.44%

This detailed breakdown provides a comprehensive view of the rejection rates for various US visa types in 2021, offering valuable insights for prospective applicants.

6. Adjusted B1B2 Rates


U.S. Visa Acceptance Rates by Country in 2021

In 2021, U.S. visa acceptance rates varied significantly by country, reflecting the nuanced nature of U.S. visa policy and its global impact.

  • High Approval Rates:
    • Countries like Argentina, Papua New Guinea, and Peru had acceptance rates above 95%.
    • These high rates suggest strong bilateral relationships and effective visa processing.
  • Low Approval Rates:
    • Some countries had acceptance rates below 50%.
    • Lower rates may be due to geopolitical dynamics, economic conditions, and historical immigration patterns.
  • General Trends
    • Most countries had more than 75% of their U.S. visa applications approved.
    • The variation in rates highlights the complexity of U.S. visa policies and their application in different national contexts.

Understanding these patterns can help applicants better prepare for their U.S. visa applications, considering the specific challenges and advantages of their home countries.

Adjusted U.S. Visa Acceptance Rate by Country 2021

A-D

  • Afghanistan: 27.91%
  • Albania: 89.22%
  • Algeria: 61.60%
  • Angola: 41.48%
  • Antigua and Barbuda: 83.34%
  • Argentina: 97.69%
  • Armenia: 62.93%
  • Australia: 85.73%
  • Austria: 93.71%
  • Azerbaijan: 87.73%
  • The Bahamas: 92.09%
  • Bahrain: 77.52%
  • Bangladesh: 70.09%
  • Barbados: 87.07%
  • Belarus: 83.19%
  • Belgium: 83.43%
  • Belize: 74.64%
  • Benin: 67.95%
  • Bhutan: 56.67%
  • Bolivia: 88.70%
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina: 78.16%
  • Botswana: Not Listed
  • Brazil: 85.75%
  • Brunei: Not Listed
  • Bulgaria: 81.60%
  • Burkina Faso: 75.45%
  • Burma: 60.60%
  • Burundi: 46.77%
  • Cabo Verde: 74.68%
  • Cambodia: 64.38%
  • Cameroon: 60.07%
  • Canada: 48.19%
  • Central African Republic: 63.64%
  • Chad: 27.23%
  • Chile: 86.58%
  • China: 20.91%
  • Colombia: 72.25%
  • Comoros: 26.32%
  • Costa Rica: 92.03%
  • Croatia: 95.35%
  • Cuba: 47.31%
  • Cyprus: 84.91%
  • Czech Republic: 83.76%
  • Democratic Republic of Congo: 62.64%
  • Denmark: 68.89%
  • Djibouti: 11.66%
  • Dominica: 77.15%
  • Dominican Republic: 95.67%

E-H

  • Ecuador: 84.32%
  • Egypt: 76.19%
  • El Salvador: 79.37%
  • Equatorial Guinea: 25.87%
  • Eritrea: 44.04%
  • Estonia: 90.91%
  • Eswatini: 91.11%
  • Ethiopia: 92.48%
  • Fiji: 43.36%
  • Finland: 83.49%
  • France: 77.79%
  • Gabon: 68.75%
  • Gambia: 59.70%
  • Georgia: 36.96%
  • Germany: 75.18%
  • Ghana: 82.51%
  • Great Britain and Northern Ireland: 88.03%
  • Greece: 89.14%
  • Grenada: 80.37%
  • Guatemala: 92.74%
  • Guinea: 38.74%
  • Guinea-Bissau: 37.50%
  • Guyana: 63.24%
  • Haiti: 54.13%
  • Honduras: 87.62%
  • Hong Kong S.A.R.: 94.72%
  • Hungary: 83.33%

I-M

  • Iceland: 75.00%
  • India: 87.75%
  • Indonesia: 94.17%
  • Iran: 33.19%
  • Iraq: 63.52%
  • Ireland: 60.00%
  • Israel: 95.08%
  • Italy: 84.14%
  • Jamaica: 80.87%
  • Japan: 95.31%
  • Jordan: 61.91%
  • Kazakhstan: 56.71%
  • Kenya: 65.14%
  • Kiribati: 50.00%
  • Kosovo: 87.49%
  • Kuwait: 81.82%
  • Kyrgyzstan: 56.00%
  • Laos: 10.14%
  • Latvia: 84.09%
  • Lebanon: 47.79%
  • Lesotho: 50.00%
  • Liberia: 45.83%
  • Libya: 75.74%
  • Liechtenstein: 75.00%
  • Lithuania: 84.09%
  • Luxembourg: Not Listed
  • Macau: 87.50%
  • Madagascar: 78.18%
  • Malawi: 87.88%
  • Malaysia: 92.79%
  • Maldives: 33.33%
  • Mali: 37.04%
  • Malta: 83.33%
  • Mauritania: 16.86%
  • Mauritius: 90.08%
  • Mexico: 95.77%
  • Moldova: 33.63%
  • Mongolia: 60.43%
  • Montenegro: 90.70%
  • Morocco: 79.15%
  • Mozambique: 67.25%

N-S

  • Namibia: 89.29%
  • NATO Countries: Various Rates
  • Nepal: 81.28%
  • Netherlands: 74.72%
  • New Zealand: 87.26%
  • Nicaragua: 87.28%
  • Niger: 38.61%
  • Nigeria: 56.22%
  • North Korea: 0.00%
  • North Macedonia: Not Listed
  • Norway: 91.35%
  • Oman: 83.55%
  • Pakistan: 67.47%
  • Palau: Not Listed
  • Palestinian Authority Travel Document: 49.20%
  • Panama: 91.71%
  • Papua New Guinea: 96.55%
  • Paraguay: 86.67%
  • Peru: 95.89%
  • Philippines: 89.80%
  • Poland: 81.52%
  • Portugal: 82.14%
  • Qatar: 88.31%
  • Romania: 82.97%
  • Russia: 70.58%
  • Rwanda: 65.04%
  • Samoa: 67.42%
  • San Marino: Not Listed
  • Saudi Arabia: 86.57%
  • Senegal: 65.05%
  • Serbia: 86.73%
  • Seychelles: Not Listed
  • Sierra Leone: 64.30%
  • Singapore: 90.28%
  • Slovakia: 89.13%
  • Slovenia: 84.81%
  • Solomon Islands: Not Listed
  • Somalia: 33.33%
  • South Africa: 82.33%
  • South Korea: 81.97%
  • South Sudan: 54.29%
  • Spain: 81.71%
  • Sri Lanka: 74.66%
  • St. Kitts and Nevis: Not Listed
  • St. Lucia: 82.53%
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines: Not Listed
  • Sudan: 59.10%
  • Suriname: 93.58%
  • Sweden: 60.54%
  • Switzerland: 81.08%
  • Syria: 55.96%

T-Z

  • Taiwan: 87.35%
  • Tajikistan: 42.76%
  • Tanzania: 92.73%
  • Thailand: 68.18%
  • Timor-Leste: Not Listed
  • Togo: 83.02%
  • Tonga: 53.33%
  • Trinidad and Tobago: 92.95%
  • Tunisia: 75.08%
  • Turkey: 86.30%
  • Turkmenistan: 68.00%
  • Tuvalu: Not Listed
  • Uganda: 61.30%
  • Ukraine: 84.85%
  • United Arab Emirates: 91.07%
  • United Kingdom: 88.03%
  • Uruguay: 91.18%
  • Uzbekistan: 54.02%
  • Vanuatu: 66.67%
  • Venezuela: 72.78%
  • Vietnam: 88.68%
  • Yemen: 45.70%
  • Zambia: 83.46%
  • Zimbabwe: 90.69%
US Visa Acceptance Rate by Country 2021
Us Visa Acceptance Rate By Country 2021

7. US Visa Refusal Rate by Country 2018


In 2018, U.S. B-visa refusal rates varied significantly across countries, highlighting the diverse challenges faced by applicants. These variations provide insights into the factors influencing visa decisions and the importance of understanding country-specific trends.

  • High Refusal Rates
    • Countries like Venezuela, Haiti, and Honduras had refusal rates exceeding 50%. These high rates may be influenced by:
      • Economic instability
      • Security concerns
      • High rates of previous visa overstays and illegal immigration
    • Applicants from these countries may face stricter scrutiny and need stronger documentation to improve their chances of approval.
  • Low Refusal Rates
    • Conversely, Argentina, Hong Kong SAR, and the United Arab Emirates experienced much lower refusal rates. These lower rates may reflect:
      • Stronger economic ties
      • Lower risk profiles
      • A history of compliance with U.S. visa regulations
  • Implications
    • The varied refusal rates underscore the complexities of the U.S. visa process and the influence of regional dynamics on outcomes. Applicants from countries with higher refusal rates should be particularly attentive to U.S. consular requirements to enhance their chances of approval.

Adjusted USA Visa Refusal Rate by Nationality 2018

High US Visa Refusal Rate (Above 50%)

  • Venezuela: 74.28%
  • Haiti: 67.59%
  • Honduras: 60.32%
  • Nigeria: 57.47%
  • Jamaica: 54.46%
  • Guatemala: 53.62%
  • Nepal: 51.53%
  • El Salvador: 51.49%

Moderate US Visa Refusal Rate (30% – 50%)

  • Dominican Republic: 49.54%
  • Ghana: 49.35%
  • Pakistan: 47.89%
  • Kenya: 41.59%
  • Ethiopia: 41.74%
  • Bangladesh: 40.05%
  • Ukraine: 40.97%
  • Jordan: 42.62%
  • Algeria: 34.85%
  • Colombia: 35.11%
  • Egypt: 32.15%
  • Ecuador: 31.38%

Lower US Visa Refusal Rate (10% – 30%)

  • India: 26.07%
  • Lebanon: 25.22%
  • Mexico: 24.93%
  • Belarus: 23.26%
  • Bolivia: 22.19%
  • Thailand: 22.17%
  • Vietnam: 26.20%
  • Trinidad and Tobago: 19.28%
  • China: 17.00%
  • Turkey: 17.49%
  • Russia: 14.89%
  • Brazil: 12.73%
  • Indonesia: 12.81%
  • Panama: 11.71%
  • Romania: 10.44%

Very Low US Visa Refusal Rate (Below 10%)

  • Costa Rica: 9.91%
  • Saudi Arabia: 7.47%
  • South Africa: 7.31%
  • Israel: 5.10%
  • Malaysia: 4.94%
  • Hong Kong SAR: 4.25%
  • Uruguay: 4.11%
  • Poland: 3.99%
  • United Arab Emirates: 3.75%
  • Kuwait: 2.71%
  • Argentina: 1.73%
US Visa Rejection Rate by Country 2018
Us Visa Rejection Rate By Country 2018

8. FAQs on US Visa Rejection Rate by Country


  1. What Was the Overall Approval Rate for US Non-Immigrant Visas in 2021?

    In FY2021, the US processed 3,148,323 non-immigrant visa applications, including B1/B2, F1, H1B, C1/D, and J1 visas. The approval rate was 88.68%, with 11.32% of applications being denied.

  2. What Are the Approval Rates for US B1/B2 Visitor Visas?

    In 2018, the US B1 business visa had an 88.49% approval rate, the B2 tourist visa had a 58.25% approval rate, and the B1/B2 combination visa had an 83.20% approval rate.

  3. How Does the US B1/B2 Visitor Visa Approval Rate Vary by Country?

    The approval rate for US B1/B2 visas varies significantly by country. In 2021, several countries had an approval rate exceeding 90%, with Argentina at 97.69%, Papua New Guinea at 96.55%, and Peru at 95.89%, among others.

  4. What Was the Approval Rate for the US H1B Work Visa in 2021?

    In 2021, the US decided 66,307 H1B work visa applications, with an approval rate of 92.85% and a denial rate of 7.15%.

  5. What Were the Approval and Denial Rates for the US F1 Student Visa in 2021?

    For the US F1 student visa in 2021, there were 446,422 applications with an approval rate of 80.16% and a denial rate of 19.84%.

  6. What Was the Approval Rate for the US J1 Exchange Visitor Visa in 2021?

    In 2021, the US J1 Exchange Visitor visa had an approval rate of 91.63% and a denial rate of 8.37%, with 141,511 applications being processed.


For further details please refer U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs.