Delays, few interview slots, student visa rush

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Indian traveler’s worst visa nightmare is coming true. Currently, four lakh US visa applicants are awaiting an interview window. A staggering 2.4 million Canadian visas are still pending in other countries. India is among the most affected countries, with nearly 700,000 claims.

The visa processing time is six weeks for the UK. However, a few Schengen countries, including France and Iceland, have no available appointment slots. VFS receives 25,000 applications for tourist visas daily and expects high demand for student visas in August.

The United States Embassy had recently declared the resumption of in-person visa appointments starting in September. But slots are full until April 2023 in cities like Delhi and Mumbai.

According US Official BackLog Reporteligible candidates still waiting for an interview date after the July 2022 appointment is 409,645. By comparison, in 2019, on average, 60,866 candidates postponed an interview each month.

The number of visa applicants whose documents are complete, submitted to the National Visa Center (NVC) and ready for interview as of June 30 is 433,819. The number of documentary applicants scheduled for July interview appointments 2022 is 24,174.

Last year, the United States issued visas to a record 62,000 Indian students. This year, the Embassy opened 100,000 appointments for student visas. However, delays are piling up and students are missing their college semesters.

Canada plans to inject US$65.16 million to reduce app inventory and hire more staff. The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) team will soon travel to India to try to resolve the delay issues.

Under normal circumstances, for non-settlement visa applications made outside the UK, 90% are successful within three weeks, 98% within six weeks and 100% within 12 weeks of the date of application. But in 2022, the waiting time has increased.

According to the UK Visa and Immigration website, at the time of visa application, if an applicant chooses priority service, they will decide within five working days of the appointment. Under Super Priority Visa you can pay £800 plus application fee and get a decision by the end of the next working day.

However, UK visa processing takes significantly longer in India due to high visa application volumes coupled with limited appointment availability and stretched visa processing. The current standard processing time for visit visa applications is six weeks. Work visas take longer than six weeks. Family establishment applications have a processing time of 24 weeks (previously 12 weeks).

“If your travel plans are interrupted due to a delay and you want to get the passport back, you will have to pay Rs 3,500 for the return of the passport,” said Anil Haribal of Travel Forte.

Read more: Ahmedabad: Police uncover Canadian visa scam worth 5cr and make arrests

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