Consulate General of the United States, Hyderabad
|Consulate General of the United States of America Hyderabad|
Seal of the United States Department of State
|United States Department of State|
|Inaugural holder||24 October 2008|
The Consulate General of the United States of America, Hyderabad is a United States diplomatic mission located in Hyderabad. The consulate provides visa and consular services to the Indian citizens in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. It is housed in the historic Paigah Palace. It was the United States government's first new consulate general anywhere in the world since 1985, and also the first new United States consulate general in India since its Independence in 1947.
Until the consulate opened in Hyderabad, the Consulate General of the United States, Chennai received about 40% of its visa applications from Telangana. In early 2006, the then Chief Minister of the State Dr. Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy announced that the United States government has agreed to open a consulate in the capital city of Hyderabad. He also announced steps to provide temporary and permanent accommodation to the consular staff. This announcement came soon after the visit of President of the United States George W. Bush to the state capital. Hyderabad was chosen because of "its strategic location in terms of a large visa demand, a broad-based economy spanning information technology, bio-technology and other life sciences besides a diverse population, including Muslims." Soon after this, the then United States Ambassador to India David Campbell Mulford announced that the consulate will begin its operations in 2007 and inauguration planned for 2008. The purpose of opening the consulate in Hyderabad was to reduce the burden of the consulate in Chennai that issues the highest number of visas in India.
In 2007, United States signed an agreement with the local government to lease the Paigah Palace for five years. Mulford announced that the palace will be renovated to serve as a temporary accommodation for the consulate. The state government designated 12 acres (0.049 km2) in the city where a permanent consulate would be built, and was expected to be ready for use in 2011.
In 2008, the facility opened with the capacity to process 100 visa applications in a day. The consulate first started interviewing visa applicants from 10 March 2009 and in a year's time it interviewed 100,000 applicants. In the years following its opening, the number of students traveling to the United States from Telangana & Andhra Pradesh increased significantly.
The consulate has conducted activities that foster and promote education in the United States, Indo-US business ties and social causes such as renovation of a two-centuries-old tomb of Mah Laqa Bai, a Nizam-era Urdu poetess and courtesan.
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