By Suresh Bodiwala
CHICAGO: The Indian consulate in Chicago issued a record 45,357 visas and 11,367 OCI cards last year.
Giving this information during an interaction with the ethnic media here, the newly appointed Consul General of India Dr Ausaf Sayeed announced the Consulate will hold town hall meetings with people to address their problems faced by them while seeking visa and passport services.
With the US Midwest being home to a huge Indian diaspora, Dr Sayeed said the Indian Consulate will regularly interact with the public to get their feedback on the services provided by it.
Highlighting the high volume of work at the consulate, Dr Sayeed said their endevour is to reduce to formalities and time in seeking providing various services.
Since as many as 150 of the Fortune 500 companies are located in the Midwest region, Dr. Sayeed said there is much greater scope for boosting Indian trade and business with this part of the US.
About the issue of illegal Indian immigrants in Chicago, the Indian consul general said, “Right now, I don’t know the dimensions of the problem. But definitely we will guide the immigrants in the conversion of their status so that they can live legally.”
Among those present from the ethnic media were Prashant Shah from India Tribune, Bhailalbhai from DesiTalk, Ramesh Sopariwala from India Post, Hemant Brahmbhatt from Hi India, Vandana Zigan from TV Asea, Tausif Malik from Desi Times, Dr. Chandrakant Modi,Jyotikumar Chokshi and Nagesh from Asian Media USA, Suresh Shah from Gujarat Samachar and few from others.
Here is the data for 2012 by Indian Consulate General in Chicago:
VISA & PASSPORT SERVICES:
Number of Visas Issued in 2012 = 45,357 (up to 24th Sep 2013) — 30,427
Number of OCI Cards in 2012 = 11,367 (up to 24th Sep 2013) — 5,620
Number of Passports Issue in 2012 = 1830 (up to 24th Sep 2013) — 1304
Number of PIO Cards Issued in 2012 = 4957 2013 (up to 24th Sep 2013) – 3292
Miscellaneous services in 2012 = 11164 2013 (up to 24th Sep 2013) – 8927
TRADE FIGURES :
India’s Exports to Midwest Region (9 states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota) = $ 4,013 million
India’s imports to Midwest Region = $ 2,389 million
Two- way trade between India and the Midwest = $6,403 million