For Indian citizens who are looking to travel to the United States, the visa process can be a long and complicated one.
With the average waiting time for a US visa appointment in India still hovering above 500 days, the US embassy in India has advised Indians who are travelling overseas to make an appointment at the US embassy or consulate of their final destination.
New Rules to Reduce Long Visa Wait Times
US Visas Appointments At Foreign Missions
The US embassy in India has tweeted that Indians who have upcoming international travel, may be able to get a visa appointment at the US embassy or consulate in their destination.
For example, the US Embassy in Bangkok has opened B1 and B2 appointment capacities for Indians who will be in Thailand in the coming months.
“Do you have upcoming international travel? If so, you may be able to get a visa appointment at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your destination. For example, @USEmbassyBKK has opened B1/B2 appointment capacity for Indians who will be in Thailand in the coming months,” US Embassy Twitted.
Special Saturday Interview to Reduce Delays
The US has introduced several additional steps to help reduce delays in the visa process, including arranging special interviews for first-time applicants, expanding the strength of consular workers, and holding “special Saturday interview days” at the US embassy in Delhi and the consulates in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, and Hyderabad.
Remote Processing of Interview Waiver Instances
For applicants with prior US visas, the US State Department has instituted remote processing of interview waiver instances.
More B1/B2 Appointments Available
The US mission in India has recently published over 250,000 new B1 and B2 appointments.
Reducing Wait Times for Indian Citizens
A senior US visa officer recently spoke with the news agency PTI and stated that the US is “putting every ounce of its energy” into reducing the lengthy visa wait times in India.
This includes sending a team of consular officers to India and making other overseas embassies, including those in Germany and Thailand, open to Indian citizens seeking visas.
Increased Demand for US Visas in India
After coronavirus-related travel restrictions were lifted, India was one of the few nations where applications for US visas significantly increased.
However, concerns have grown in India over the long wait times for first-time visa applicants, particularly those applying under the B1 (business) and B2 (tourist) categories, which had a waiting period of nearly three years in October of last year.