US Embassy & Consulate Open For In-Person Visa Interviews On Saturdays

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In an effort to reduce the wait time for US visas, especially for the B1/B2 categories, the US embassy and consulates in India have taken steps including starting special Saturday interviews and processing interview waiver cases remotely.

It is important to note here that Indians applying for work visas have a wait time of 60-280 days, while those applying for visitor visas have to wait approximately 1.5 years.

In contrast, the wait time for individuals from European cities is only 20 days and 30-35 days for those from Beijing and Colombo.

Special Saturday Interview Days

The US embassy recently announced the implementation of “special Saturday interview days” to reduce visa wait times. The embassy in New Delhi and consulates in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, and Hyderabad are now open for in-person visa interviews on Saturdays.

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The US embassy has stated that it will continue to open additional appointment slots for interviews on select Saturdays as part of a multi-pronged initiative to reduce wait times. The embassy notes that the “Saturday interview” is just one aspect of this initiative.

Also Read: Visa Wait Times: How Long to Expect for US, UK, Canada, and Schengen Visas

Other measures to reduce visa wait times

Other measures that the US embassy is implementing to reduce visa wait times include:

  • Remote processing of interview waiver cases for individuals who have previously held a U.S. visa
  • Deployment of temporary consular officers from Washington and other embassies to India between January and March 2023 to increase processing capacity
  • Increase in the number of consular officers permanently assigned to the Embassy and Consulates
  • Release of over 250,000 additional B1/B2 appointments
  • Extension of weekday operating hours at the Consulate General in Mumbai to accommodate more appointments.

The US mission in India has stated that its services have been negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, resulting in a significant backlog. This has affected many Indian businesses and individuals who rely on US visas for work and residence.

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The Consulate General in Mumbai, which processes the most visa applications in India and is one of the largest visa operations globally, is working to reduce wait times by utilizing innovative solutions.

Consular teams across India are putting in extra hours to meet the needs of international travellers, according to Mumbai Consular Chief John Ballard.


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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Travelobiz.com, he's passionate about writing.

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