New Delhi: With President Barack Obama signing an Executive Order to boost tourism in the US from emerging countries like India and China, the American Embassy here on Saturday said streamlining of the visa application process will be its priority.

"We want to make it easier for travelers to apply for a visa to visit the United States," James Herman, Minister- Counselor for Consular Affairs, said in a release here.

Herman said over the last five years the US mission increased staffing by over sixty percent and opened two new consulates in Hyderabad (in 2009) and Mumbai (in 2011).

Noting the importance of Indian travelers to the US, Herman said Indians represent the highest volume of work visa travelers to his country and the second highest number of foreign students there.

He said 2011 was a record year for H1B work visas—over 68,000 processed by Consular Team India alone and "we continue to support the people-to-people ties which define the growing partnership between our nations."

In 2011, we processed close to 700,000 visa applications across the nation.

Taking the initiative to boost foreign tourism and travel to the US, President Obama has issued an Executive Order to make it easier for foreign travelers throughout the world to visit his country and directed agencies throughout the US government to design a programme to make it easier for tourists to visit the United States.