Planning To Visit US? Apply Now And Get The Earliest Visa Interview Date After Nearly 1000 Day
The waiting period for Indians for a US visa interview is only getting longer; now, it is nearly three years.
According to US State Department, the wait is almost three years for first-time applicants from India for US business (B-1) and tourist (B-2) visas.
2 months global average, 3 years for Indians
The current waiting period for B1/B2 applicants requiring an interview stands at 999 days in Mumbai, 994 days in Hyderabad, 961 days in Delhi, 948 in Chennai and 904 in Kolkata.
The US State Department on Tuesday said that “the global median wait time for a tourist visa (B1/B2) interview appointment is under two months as of this month.”
Asked what applicants facing almost 1,000 days interview wait time in India should do, a senior embassy recently said: “They should keep applying. Once the line starts moving and wait time drops, they can advance their interview date without any fees.”
Not applicable for emergency visas
“Emergency appointments are available within days for applicants who meet the criteria. We are committed to reducing wait times as quickly as possible,” the US State Department said in a tweet.
To address the growing backlog, the US has made more applicants eligible for interview waiver, sending drop box cases abroad for adjudication and getting temporary staffers.
Waiting period will come down in 2023
The State Department expects the processing times to rebound faster than projected and to reach pre-pandemic levels in Fiscal Year 2023.
“The Department of State is successfully lowering visa interview wait times worldwide. We have doubled our hiring of US Foreign Service personnel to do this important work, visa processing is rebounding faster than projected, and in Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 we expect to reach pre-pandemic visa processing levels,” it said in a media note last week.
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Students may get a relief
In September, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, in his meeting with the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, had raised the issue of the backlog of visa applications from India to which the top American diplomat said he is sensitive to the matter and has a plan to address it.
Last week it was reported that student visa interviews would be waived for applicants who have previously travelled to the US on a tourist visa.
The step will help many Indian students as they are the largest overseas group in the US. In 2022, around 82000 Indians received US student visas.
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