Finally some good news on the US visa processing time for India

For India, finally some good news on US visa processing time

According to a senior official of the US Embassy in New Delhi, the waiting time for issuance of US visas is expected to see a significant drop by the summer of 2023 and normalcy is likely to move towards normalcy by the summer of next year.

There are four categories of US visas, including student visas, work visas, tourist visas, and marine crew essential visas. All of these categories have waiting periods and backlogs.

“After students, our next big issue is H&L (Visa of IT employees – H1B comes under this). We have opened 100,000 slots here. This has halved the waiting time,” the embassy official said.

Officials have said that they expect Indian visa applications to overtake China by next year and become second only to Mexico in the world. The current wait time for drop-box visa applications (visas that do not require an interview) is approximately nine months, and measures are being taken to reduce the waiting period.

The senior embassy official also claimed that Washington, India is the top priority in terms of visa applications. The reason cited for the current backlog is due to covid, which caused trouble in boarding, revision, and shifting of councilor staff.

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Staff also need to be trained in 5-6 Indian languages, which is time-consuming, and by the summer of 2023, the US embassy will have 100 percent council staff, the most in 10-12 years.

The US embassy also plans to accommodate a 10 percent increase in student visa applications this year. The US embassy in India also went up 10 percent for students from 2021 onwards.

Currently, the focus is on clearing the backlog, and due to the current staffing shortage, the embassy has set up temporary vice counsels and plans to have 100 percent, permanent vice counsels.

A senior US embassy official said, “The number of visas we are working on every day is more than the number of people who apply. Positive move. This will increase as we get 100 percent staff by next year.”