Are you planning to visit the United States? the good news is that after a two-year hiatus, the United States has opened up interview slots for new visa applicants.
But the bad news is that you may have to wait over two years and two months to get a visa interview slot.
Visa appointments are now open for all categories! But due to high demand, waiting times remain long. Join us on Thursday, September 29 at 3 p.m. IST on the U.S. Embassy India Facebook and Instagram pages for a candid conversation with our Minister Counselor for Consular Affairs, Don Heflin. pic.twitter.com/EgBW3g5CFo
— United States Embassy in India (@USAndIndia) September 27, 2022
800 days for visitors / 400 for student visa
According to the US State Department website, the waiting period for Indians for a visitor visa to the United States has increased to 800 days. The waiting period is nearly 400 days for student/exchange visitor visas and other non-immigrant visas.
US balms COVID backlog
The unusually long wait period is blamed on the backlog of applications pending since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Indians make up a large portion of recipients of H-1B visas and other work visas given to skilled foreign workers, many of them in the tech industry.
The H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows U.S. businesses to employ foreign workers in specialized occupations requiring academic or technical expertise.
Jaishankar raises visa delay with Blinken
Minister of Foreign Affairs S Jaishankar during his meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken raised the issue of India’s visa application backlog.
“There have been challenges lately, and I have reported this to Secretary Blinken and his team, and I am confident that they will look at some of these issues seriously and positively,” Jaishankar said.
“Be indulgent with us. It will play out over the next few months, but we are very focused on it,” Blinken said in response to a question about the historic delays in visa appointments which are now 800 days long.
“On the visa issue, I’m extremely sensitive to that,” Blinken said.
Blinken blamed the COVID-19 pandemic for a backlog of visa applications from Indian nationals.
“If it’s any consolation, I can tell you that this is a challenge we face around the world and it’s largely a product of the COVID pandemic. Our ability to issue visas has dropped by dramatically during COVID,” he said, explaining the self-funded part of visa issuance.
Indians got maximum student visas
Recently, the US Mission to India said the US issued a record 82,000 student visas in 2022 to Indians, more than any other country.
According to the US mission, the 82,000 Indian students who obtained visas this year represent almost 20% of all international students studying in the United States.
He said the US Embassy in New Delhi and four consulates in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai have prioritized processing student visa applications from May to August to ensure as many as possible qualified students reach their degree programs on time. for the scheduled start dates.
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