Hugo Rodriguez, principal deputy assistant secretary of the Bureau of Consular Affairs in Washington, said during a media conference on Wednesday that the US Embassy and Consulate General in India is on track to grant a staggering one million visas this year.
With nearly 500,000 visas already processed, the embassy is preparing for the upcoming student visa season while making steady progress towards the ambitious goal.
Significant Increase in Non-Immigrant Visas
Rodriguez highlighted the exceptional performance of the consular offices in India, emphasizing that in the past six months alone, they have issued nearly two-and-a-half times more non-immigrant visas compared to the corresponding period last year.
Impressively, the current visa processing volume exceeds the pre-pandemic levels witnessed in 2019, underscoring the consulate’s commitment to facilitating travel.
Expanded Interview Waiver System
John Ballard, consular chief at the US Consulate General Mumbai, discussed measures taken to streamline the visa application process. He announced the expanded use of the interview waiver, enabling individuals who previously held a visa in any category to submit their passports without undergoing an interview.
This approach has resulted in a higher number of visa approvals, allowing more individuals to obtain their visas conveniently.
Alternative Options for Visa Applicants
To alleviate wait times and accommodate a larger pool of applicants, Rodriguez mentioned that several US consular posts outside of India have reserved visa appointment slots exclusively for Indian applicants.
If the wait time in India is longer than desired, applicants seeking B1/B2 visas can consider visiting the consular section in Bangkok or avail of available spaces in Frankfurt.
Also Read: Latest Updates On US Visa Services Resumptions Across the Globe
Caution Against Hiring Agents
In response to previous surges in wait times for US Visas, Rodriguez and Ballard urged Indian visa applicants to avoid employing agents. They emphasized the importance of presenting genuine documents and providing an honest account of their case.
Both officers encouraged applicants to trust their own situations and engage directly with the consular offices for a transparent and successful visa application process.
As the US Consulate General in India anticipates an influx of visa applications, their dedication to facilitating travel and accommodating Indian visa seekers remains steadfast.
With the implementation of various measures, including the interview waiver system and alternative visa appointment options, the consulate aims to streamline the process and ensure a smooth experience for all visa applicants.
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