US Visa Appointments Open But Applicants Face Significant Wait Time Due To High Demand

Mrunmayai Bobade
Updated on Sep 28, 2022 01:07 PM IST

As US visa appointments are open now for all categories, the waiting time remains significant due to its inflated demand. The US embassy and consulate in India announced that they may not be able to grant non-immigrant visas to all travellers in a timely manner due to the surge in visa requests.

US Visa Appointments Open But Applicants Face Significant Wait Time Due To High Demand
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On September 27, 2022, the US Embassy and Consulates in India stated that they may not be able to accommodate all travellers despite their time-sensitive travel purposes.

Considering the surge in US visa applications, the embassy advised anyone considering applying for a non-immigrant visa in order to travel to the United States temporarily to check the wait time required for an interview using a tool on the website.

The embassy noted that due to decreased staffing and extensive Covid-19 operational disruptions since March 2020, appointment demand for US visas is high throughout all categories. This results in longer waiting times for the majority of regular non-immigrant visa appointments at the embassy in New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, and Mumbai.

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In-person B1 and B2 visa appointments were being processed by the embassy as of early September, however, these appointments were not stand-ins.

The embassy noted that until December 31, 2022, certain types of visa applicants are exempt from attending an in-person interview due to a Department of State authorisation.

This new authorisation is only valid for visitors who have been previously granted any sort of visa, requesting a visa from their country of residence, or applying for F, H-1, H-3, H-4, non-blanket L, M, O, P, Q, and academic J visas.

Individuals who previously received a refusal but it was not later waived are not eligible for this authorisation. If additional details from applicants are needed, adjudicating consular authorities may ask for a face-to-face interview.

Additionally, candidates who renew any visa within 48 months of its expiration are still qualified for an interview waiver.

As stated by the US Department of State/Travel.State.Govt website, consulates and embassies could have a particular procedure for visa applications where the in-person interview criterion is rescinded. Candidates are advised to check the respective embassy or consulate website to see if their case qualifies for a waiver of the in-person interview.

Despite paying the visa application processing fee, many applicants are still awaiting visa appointments, according to the US Embassy. As a result, they are making every effort to resume normal visa processing as soon as feasible.

Up until September 30, 2023, the US Mission will prolong the validity of their payment, also known as the MRV fee. All applicants would be given a chance to book and attend a visa appointment with their previously paid money if they were unable to do so due to the cessation of ordinary consular operations.

Regarding the Drop Box appointments, the embassy announced that only a handful of requests for renewals of the M, L, H, C1/D, I, O, F and J visas are being accepted by consular offices throughout India. To find out if they qualify for dropbox processing, candidates must visit the official website, where they can also make an appointment to drop off their documents.

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US Non-Immigrant Visa Waiting Period Now Exceeds Two Years

Many Indians are currently preparing to travel abroad due to the lifting of restrictions following the Covid-19 outbreak and the normalisation of long-haul flights. However, visitors may now have to wait longer than two years to obtain a visa to the US.

The time required to obtain a non-immigrant visa varies depending on the Indian city and the type of visa, as shown below:

Name of the City

Type of Visa

Waiting Period (in Days)

 

Delhi

Visitor Visas 

833

Student/Exchange Visitor visas

430

All other non-immigrant visas

390

 

Mumbai

Visitor Visas 

848

Student/Exchange Visitor visas

430

All other non-immigrant visas

392

 

Hyderabad

Visitor Visas 

848

Student/Exchange Visitor visas

430

All other non-immigrant visas

219

 

Chennai

Visitor Visas 

780

Student/Exchange Visitor visas

29

All other non-immigrant visas

415

 

Kolkata

Visitor Visas 

767

Student/Exchange Visitor visas

444

All other non-immigrant visas

360

Apply to US Visa With the Help of Our Experts! 

Source: Moneycontrol 

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