The U.S. Issued Record 5.2 Million Nonimmigrant Visas


For those considering a journey to the United States, there has never been a better time to apply for a visa. The U.S. Department of State is having an exceptional year in visa processing, making it easier for travelers, students, and workers to come to the U.S. Here’s what you need to know about the latest updates and achievements in visa issuance.

A Historic Year for Visa Issuance

In the first half of the 2024 fiscal year (October 2023 to March 2024), the State Department issued nearly 5.2 million nonimmigrant visas globally. This impressive figure surpasses all previous records for the same period. Notably, 30% of U.S. embassies and consulates set all-time records for the number of nonimmigrant visas issued.

The Department of State plays a crucial role in facilitating travel and tourism, a vital sector for the U.S. economy. International visitors contribute significantly, with recent figures showing an annual impact of $239 billion, supporting approximately 9.5 million American jobs.  The following are the key highlights from FY 2024.

Tourism and Business Travel (B1/B2 Visas):

  • Nearly 4.1 million B visitor visas (including border crossing cards) were issued for tourists and business travelers.
  • The highest-volume missions, including Mexico, India, Brazil, China, Colombia, Argentina, the Dominican Republic, and Ecuador, issued a record number of visas.

Academic and Workforce Contributions (F, M, J, H Visas):

  • 134,000 exchange visitor program participants and 115,000 students received visas, reinforcing the U.S. as a top academic destination.
  • Temporary or seasonal worker visas reached a record-breaking 205,000, supporting essential sectors like agriculture.
  • Almost 160,000 visas were issued to airline and shipping crew members, the second-highest half-year record.

Family Reunification and Employment (Immigration Visas):

  • Over 281,000 immigrant visas were issued in the first half of FY 2024, with a quarter of embassies and consulates surpassing past decade records.
  • More than 152,000 visas were issued to immediate family members of U.S. citizens, setting a new record for this category.

Enhancing Visa Processing Capabilities

To meet the growing demand for U.S. visas, the State Department has implemented innovative technological solutions and expanded the use of secure tools, such as waiving in-person interviews for eligible applicants. These measures ensure timely processing while maintaining strict national security standards.

What This Means for You

If you are planning to visit, study, or work in the United States, the current momentum in visa processing means your application is likely to be handled more efficiently than ever. The Department of State’s commitment to supporting the U.S. economy and American families through effective visa processing is stronger than ever.

(Immigration laws and policies change regularly.  If you have any questions regarding this article, please visit to schedule a legal consultation.)  


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