The US Embassy in India on Monday announced that it has added more slots for B1 and B2 visa interview waiver appointments in three major Indian cities: Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai.
B1/B2 Visitor visas are nonimmigrant visas that allow people to enter the United States temporarily for business (visa category B-1), tourism (visa category B-2), or a combination of the two (B-1/B-2).
It is worth noting here that in a bid to reduce the long visa wait times, the US Embassy has made more visa applicants eligible for interview waivers. Not just that the embassy for the first time also sent some of these “drop box” applications from India abroad for adjudication.
B1/B2 Interview Waiver Appointment Slots
Now, the US embassy in India confirmed that those who are eligible for the interview waiver for B1/B2 Visas get the newly open appointment slots which are available at its Delhi, Chennai and Mumbai centres.
“Looking for a B1/B2 interview waiver (dropbox) visa appointment? Good news! We’ve opened a number of B1/B2 interview waiver appointments for the coming month in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai. Book now in time for holiday travel,” said the US Embassy in a Tweet.
Looking for a B1/B2 interview waiver (dropbox) visa appointment? Good news! We’ve opened a number of B1/B2 interview waiver appointments for the coming month in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai. Book now in time for holiday travel.— U.S. Embassy India (@USAndIndia) November 28, 2022
Who is eligible for US Visa Interview Waiver?
The US Embassy in India recently announced that anyone who has previously obtained a US visa will be eligible for visa interview waivers for student, business, and tourist visas.
In addition, applicants with expired B1 and B2 visas within the last four years are also eligible for a visa waiver.
According to the Embassy, Students are given first priority for visa interview waivers, particularly during the admission session. Skilled workers are next on the expedited list, followed by repeat B1/B2 visa applicants (whose visas expired within four years of application, making them eligible for interview waiver) and crew.
US Visa Wait Times for Interview Waiver
According to the US Department of State, the current wait time for US Visa interview waiver appointments is 297 days in Mumbai, 233 days in Delhi and 171 days in Chennai for a visitor’s visa.
While the visa wait time for student/exchange visitors in Mumbai is only 78 days, it is 2 calendar days in Delhi and 3 calendar days in Chennai. Similarly, Petition-Based Temporary Workers who qualify for an interview waiver can get appointments in about 300 days.
|Location||Visitors (B1/B2)||Students/Exchange Visitors||Petition-Based Temporary Workers|
|Mumbai||297 Calendar Days||78 Calendar Days||296 Calendar Days|
|Delhi||233 Calendar Days||2 Calendar Days||296 Calendar Days|
|Chennai||171 Calendar Days||3 Calendar Days||302 Calendar Days|
However, the current wait times for those who are not eligible for an interview for a US visa have reached an all-time high of 999 calendar days in Mumbai, 961 days in Delhi, 994 days in Hyderabad, 948 days in Chennai, and 904 days in Kolkata.
|US Embassy/Consulate||Visa Wait Times|
|Mumbai||999 Calendar Days|
|Delhi||961 Calendar Days|
|Hyderabad||994 Calendar Days|
|Chennai||948 Calendar Days|
|Kolkata||904 Calendar Days|
Visa Wait Times to Reduce by Summer 2023
According to a senior US embassy official, the waiting period for the issuance of a US Visa is expected to be significantly reduced by the summer of 2023, with the number reaching around 1.2 million.
“The Department of State is successfully lowering visa interview wait times worldwide. We have doubled our hiring of US Foreign Service personnel to do this important work, visa processing is rebounding faster than projected, and in Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 we expect to reach pre-pandemic visa processing levels,” it said in a press note last week.