Thursday, December 1, 2022

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TRAVELLING TO THE US: Be ready to wait three years to receive your VISA


If you thought the queue for a US visa could not possible get any longer, think again. First-time applicants for business (B1) and tourist (B-2) visas to the US now have to wait more than three years.

According to the US State Department, there is currently a less than two-month global wait time for a B1/B2 interview appointment.

Since the nation resumed application processing after the pandemic, the wait period for US visas in India has been extraordinarily long as well, and it has only gotten worse.

According to the US State Department, the current waiting times for B1/B2 applicants who require an interview has increase. They are 999 days in Mumbai, 994 days in Hyderabad, 961 days in Delhi, 948 days in Chennai, and 904 days in Kolkata.

The waiting period for people applying for visitor visas for the first time or who are not qualified for an Indian drop box application (interview waiver) is getting close to three years.

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A top embassy diplomat responded, when asked what candidates facing a nearly 1,000-day interview wait time in India could do, “They should keep applying. They are free to move up their interview date once the line starts moving and the wait time decreases.

“For applicants who match the requirements, emergency appointments are available in a few of days. The US State Department stated in a tweet that it was dedicated to cutting wait times as soon as possible.

In an effort to cut down on the growing backlog, the US has raised the number of applicants qualified for interview waivers, sent drop box cases to another country for adjudication, and employed temporary staff.

While students receive top priority during the admissions season, skilled workers, repeat B1/B2 visa applicants (whose visas expired within four years of application and now qualify for interview waiver), and crew are next on the list for expediting drop box cases. It may take several months before the B1/B2 interview wait time begins to decrease.

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However, the United States anticipates a quicker recovery than anticipated and pre-pandemic processing times by Fiscal Year 2023.

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