Indians seeking a business or tourist visa will now be able to apply for an appointment at a US embassy or consulate outside India. In a move to reduce wait time for US visa, the US embassy in India made this announcement yesterday. Currently, the waiting period for US visa at a few centers in the country is around 800 days.
Recently the US Embassy in Thailand has opened B1/B2 appointment slots for Indians who will be visiting the country in the coming months. Similarly, appointments for US business and tourist visas will soon be made available for Indians visiting other countries.
Special interviews are being organized on Saturdays for first-time applicants at the US embassy in Delhi and the consulates in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Chennai. While additional consular staff is being deployed in order to speed up the process and reduce wait time for US visa.
Another major development for people seeking to renew their US visa is that they can now send their application via dropbox. In-person evaluation of biometrics is not required as the US government already has biometrics from their previous application.
Despite the long waiting period last year, approximately 1,25,000 Indian students were issued visas to fulfill their dream of studying in the United States. With things getting back to normal, the US embassy and consulate expects to receive a record number of student visas from India in 2023. Several efforts are being made to avoid any further backlogs.
The US mission in India has released more than 2,50,000 additional B1/B2 appointments a fortnight ago, while also adjudicating 8,00,000+ non-immigrant visas in 2022.
A proposed hike in US visa application fee for employment-based visas was also announced earlier this year. But it is uncertain whether it will have any impact on the US visa applications in the coming months.
What do you think of the initiatives taken to reduce wait time for US visa applications in India? Share your thoughts in the comments below.