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Indian citizens were the largest group to be issued H1B and L visas by the US last year, states Peter Haas, recently appointed consul general in Mumbai. Highlighting on the strong US-India people-to-people connections, Hass said, “While 8 lakh Americans travel to India each year, the US issues half a million non-immigration visas to Indians yearly.” “There are one lakh Indians studying in the US and 2.8 million Indian-Americans living there,” he said. Hass also mentioned the role the US plays in India’s investment sector. "Tens of thousands of Americans now work for companies with names like Essar, Tata, Reliance, Mahindra and Wockhardt," he said. In the course of strong people-to-people connections between India and US, the US state department has created a new position, Senior Advisor for Outreach, to tap the large Indian-American population. "These Indian-Americans cherish their ties back to India, and they support strong ties between the US and India. But they don't always know how to build them,'' added Haas. The new Senior Advisor hopes to link Indian-Americans with Indians to support a stronger US-India partnership.

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