In an effort to process more Indian visa applications, the US consulates in Bangkok and Frankfurt have reserved appointments for Indian B1/B2 visa applicants.
While Indians can apply for a US visa anywhere in the world, it is important to note that the two consulates in Thailand and Germany reserve a certain number of slots each day for Indian B1 and B2 visa applicants.
This move comes after the US Mission to India announced earlier this year that it aimed to process over a million visa applications in 2023.
Reserving Slots for Indian Applicants
According to Hugo Rodriguez, principal deputy assistant secretary of the US Bureau of Consular Affairs, the US consulates in Bangkok and Frankfurt reserve some slots daily for Indian B1/B2 visa applicants.
He added that if the wait time for a B1/B2 visa is outside an applicant’s parameters, they can go to Bangkok or Frankfurt, where these consular sections have opened new facilities that set a number of appointments aside every day for Indian applicants.
“If you want to get a B1/B2 visa and the wait time is outside your parameters, then you can go to Bangkok, where the consular section has opened a new facility that sets a number of appointments aside every day for Indian applicants.”
Rodriguez told media on Wednesday, May 10
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Visa Wait Times in Bangkok and Frankfurt
The data available on the US State Gov website reveals, that wait times for interview-required visa types, Bangkok has a shorter wait time than Frankfurt for students/exchange visitors, while Frankfurt has a shorter wait time for petition-based temporary workers.
In terms of interview-required visitors, Bangkok has a wait time of 15 calendar days, while Frankfurt has a wait time of 43 calendar days. However, for interview waiver visitors, both consulates provide same-day appointments.
|Nonimmigrant Visa Type||Bangkok||Frankfurt|
|Interview Required Students/Exchange Visitors (F, M, J)||7 Calendar Days||8 Calendar Days|
|Interview Required Petition-Based Temporary Workers (H, L, O, P, Q)||1 Calendar Day||9 Calendar Days|
|Interview Required Crew and Transit (C, D, C1/D)||45 Calendar Days||22 Calendar Days|
|Interview Required Visitors (B1/B2)||15 Calendar Days||43 Calendar Days|
|Interview Waiver Students/Exchange Visitors (F, M, J)||–||1 Calendar Day|
|Interview Waiver Petition-Based Temporary Workers (H, L, O, P, Q)||–||1 Calendar Day|
|Interview Waiver Crew and Transit (C, D, C1/D)||Same Day||1 Calendar Day|
|Interview Waiver Visitors (B1/B2)||Same Day||1 Calendar Day|
Indian Students Rank Second Among US International Cohorts
Over 150,000 student and exchange-visitor visas were issued by the US embassy and consulates in India in the past year, making Indian students and exchange visitors the second largest cohort of international students in the US, after the Chinese cohort.
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B1/B2 Visa Categories Among Most Popular
H1B (work) and B1/B2 are among the most popular categories of visa applications received by the American consulates in India. The B1 visa allows people to enter the US for business purposes, while the B2 visa is meant for those seeking to travel for leisure or to visit relatives.
Additional Efforts to Cut Delays in Visa Processing
To further cut delays in the visa process and wait times for applicants, the US consulate has been deploying temporary consular officers in Mumbai since March. The use of interview waivers has also been expanded to maximise the travel of B1/B2 visa holders.
In 2020, 1.2 million Indian citizens travelled to the US, and the American consulate in Mumbai is preparing to interview the highest number of students between June and August this year.
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