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India near 1,000 days: US says ‘world median B1/B2 visa interview appointment wait time beneath 2 months’ now

NEW DELHI: The interview ready interval for first time customer — B1 (enterprise) and B2 (vacationer) — visa candidates in India continues to climb even because the US State Division on Tuesday stated the “world median wait time for a vacationer visa ( B1/B2) interview appointment is beneath two months as of this month.”
In keeping with the State Division web site, the ready interval for B1/B2 candidates requiring an interview as on Tuesday is 999 days in Mumbai; 994 days in Hyderabad; 961 days in Delhi; 948 in Chennai and 904 in Kolkata.
Because of this the ready interval is quick approaching three years for first time customer visa candidates or others who don’t qualify for a drop field utility (interview waiver) in India. Subsequently, a primary time B1/B2 applicant might now get date for interview in late 2025!
To make sure, Uncle Sam has in previous two months taken numerous steps to scale back wait interval in India however given the backlog and variety of purposes right here, it could take a number of months earlier than the interview appointment wait interval falls.
“As of November 2022, the worldwide median wait time for a vacationer visa (B1/B2) interview appointment is beneath two months. Emergency appointments can be found inside days for candidates who meet the factors. We’re dedicated to lowering wait occasions as shortly as potential,” the US State Division stated in a tweet.
A senior officer from the US Embassy in Delhi had lately spelt out the steps being taken to expedite visa processing in India. These embody making extra candidates eligible for interview waiver, sending drop field instances overseas for adjudication and getting non permanent staffers.
Whereas visa purposes are nearly again to pre-Covid numbers, staffing at US missions in India to course of the identical are prone to get again that degree solely in about 9 months or by late subsequent summer season.
Requested what candidates dealing with nearly 1,000 days interview wait time in India ought to do, the official had stated: “They need to hold making use of. As soon as the road begins transferring and wait time drops, they’ll advance their interview date with none charges.”
Given the huge quantity of visa purposes throughout classes like college students, B1/B2, expert staff (H) and crew in India — the one nation with that demand as of now as China is but to open up totally, — the US is prioritizing visa classes.
Whereas college students get prime precedence in admission season, subsequent on the listing is expediting drop field instances for expert staff, repeat B1/B2 visa seekers (whose visas expired inside 4 years of utility that now makes them eligible for interview waiver) and crew. It might probably be a number of months earlier than the interview wait time for B1/B2 begins dropping.
In a press release on November 17, titled “addressing US customer visa wait occasions”, the US State Division had stated it’s dedicated to facilitating “professional journey” to the US whereas safeguarding nationwide safety.
“Many candidates for US visas are required by regulation to look in individual. Nevertheless, native pandemic-era restrictions on public locations like our abroad consular sections curbed our potential to see visa candidates. This decreased the variety of visa purposes the Division might course of. Now that the majority international locations have lifted restrictions, 96% of our embassies and consulates can present routine visa companies. The mix of pent-up demand from the previous two years mixed with common seasonal demand has resulted in prolonged wait occasions for US visa interview appointments in some places – most notably for first-time customer visa candidates and immigrant visa candidates in some international locations.”
“The Division of State is efficiently reducing visa interview wait occasions worldwide. We’ve doubled our hiring of US Overseas Service personnel to do that vital work, visa processing is rebounding sooner than projected, and in fiscal yr 2023 we count on to succeed in pre‑pandemic visa processing ranges.”
“We’ve exceeded pre-pandemic ranges of processing in key visa classes that help the US economic system.… We issued extra scholar visas in FY 2022 than in any yr since FY 2016. In the course of the 2021-2022 tutorial yr, worldwide college students contributed greater than $32 billion to the US economic system… We’re processing extra visas with fewer consular officers,” it added.
“We’ve used revolutionary technological options to electronically redistribute nonimmigrant visa workloads from abroad posts with excessive visa appointment wait occasions to different posts with extra capability. Every day, for instance, US consular officers in numerous elements of the world remotely adjudicate hundreds of nonimmigrant visa purposes for candidates from international locations with lengthy interview wait occasions who don’t require an interview. This has allowed our consular officers in these international locations to deal with first-time and different visa candidates who do require an interview,” the assertion stated.

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