Recently a US Embassy official said that by the next summer, the waiting time for US visa applicants will be significantly reduced, and there will be approximately 1.2 million applicants overall.
According to a senior US embassy official, India is America’s top priority for visa issuance. Washington hopes to return the situation to pre-Covid-19 levels by the middle of 2023.
According to the US Embassy in India, approximately one lakh visas are expected to be issued each month.
In the last year, the United States granted over 82,000 visas. India was one of the few countries where applications for US visas increased significantly after travel restrictions related to the coronavirus were lifted.
“We are looking at 1.1 to 1.2 million visas to Indians by next summer,” said the official.
In light of the lengthy wait times for visa approval, the US is also launching a number of initiatives, including adding more staff and expanding “drop box” facilities, according to the official.
The wait time for some categories has already been reduced from 450 days to around nine months.
In terms of visas granted by the US, India is expected to move from third to second place.
According to the official, India is currently trailing Mexico and China, and priority is being given to reducing wait times for student visas, particularly for those seeking visa renewals.
According to the official, the H (H1B) and L category visas for Indians were previously prioritised by the US, and approximately one million slots became available for them recently.
The official also stated that the approximately nine-month wait time for B1 and B2 (business and tourist) visas is being reduced.
The drop box facility is used to renew a US visa without having to go through the interview process. Those who applied for a US visa within the last four years are generally eligible for the drop-box service.