Think again if you thought the line for your US visa couldn’t get any longer. The time for first-time applicants for US business (B-1) and tourist (B-2) visas is almost a three-year wait.
“The global median wait time for a tourist visa (B1/B2) interview appointment is under 2 months as of this month,” the US State Department stated on Tuesday.
Since the country resumed application processing following the pandemic. The wait time for US visas has also been extremely high in India, and it has only continued to rise.
As per US State Department, the existing waiting period for B1/B2 applicants needing an interview stands in Mumbai is 999 days; In Hyderabad, 994 days; 961 days in Delhi; 904 in Kolkata, and 948 in Chennai.
For first-time visitor visa candidates or others who do not qualify for an interview waiver or drop box application in India, the waiting period is approaching three years.
Therefore, a first-time B1/B2 candidate might not be able to schedule an interview until late 2025.
Three-year wait for your visa
A senior embassy official recently responded to the question of what applicants in India who face interview wait times of nearly 1,000 days should do: They should continue to apply or they can move their interview date without incurring fees once the line moves and wait time decreases.
“For candidates who meet the criteria, are available within days. The United States State Department stated in a tweet that. “We are committed to reducing wait times as fast as possible.”
The United States has sent dropbox cases abroad for evaluation, hiring temporary staff. And made more candidates eligible for interview waivers in response to the growing backlog.
In addition to students, dropbox cases for skilled workers, and repeat B1/B2 visa applicants. (Those whose visas expired within four years of application, making them eligible for an interview waiver). And crew gets priority during admissions season. The interview wait times for B1/B2 may not begin to decrease for several months.
However, the United States expects that processing times will return to pre-pandemic levels in the fiscal year 2023, faster than anticipated.
“Globally, the Department of State is successfully reducing wait times for visa interviews. “We expect to reach pre-pandemic visa processing levels in Fiscal Year (FY) 2023″. It stated in a note to the media last week. “We have doubled our hiring of US Foreign Service personnel to do this important work, and visa processing is rebounding faster than projected.”