As you may be aware, the visa wait time for a US visa is currently at an all-time high, and despite all efforts, the visa wait time is not decreasing.
Commenting on the situation, Elizabeth Jones US Charge d’Affaires Ambassador for India on Friday said that the country is undertaking “tremendous efforts” to solve the problem of long wait times in the issuance of visas in India.
Visa Delays Amid High Demand
Jones also acknowledges that the visa situation in India is particularly “bad” due to high demand.
Jones stated that the dire situation arose as a result of increased demand. She also stated that it was a top priority for Washington to reduce visa wait times, which included the recruitment and training of visa counsellors.
Jones clarified that the visa delay was caused by the post-covid-19 pandemic situation, in which the two-year lockdown created several backlogs from all over the world.
“They are particularly bad in India because the demand for visas is so high. That’s one of the big elements; it’s one of the big differences.”
Efforts to Reduce Wait Time
“Our mission in India is going to get quite a number of them… By the summer, we will be fully staffed here in Delhi and in our consulates to issue visas and do these interviews,” she said.
In India, the waiting period for B1/B2 visa applicants who require an interview is nearly three years (999 Calander Days in Mumbai) for the first time. However, 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.
“We know this has been very difficult. We have asked for your patience… I can guarantee you that this is a very serious issue that is on the top of the mind in Washington and there is a tremendous effort to solve the problem here in India,” Jones added.
US Issued 82000 Student Visas
Elizabeth Jones also noted that the US issued 82,000 visas to Indian students this year. “We are extremely pleased to have really done a juggernaut effort to issue 82,000 student visas,” she said.
Jones said that efforts are underway to “reduce and eliminate” the time for issuance of H1B visas.
Indians make up a sizable proportion of those granted H-1B and other work visas to skilled foreign workers, many of whom work in the technology industry.
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US businesses to hire foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical knowledge.
(Source & Inputs From PTI)