As you may be aware, obtaining a US visitor visa currently takes a lot of time, and according to US government officials, this situation will probably persist through the following summer.
A senior official of the US embassy said on Thursday, that the waiting period for issuance of a US Visa is expected to be reduced significantly by the summer of 2023, with the number projected to reach around 1.2 million.
When it comes to visas, India is now the US State Department’s top priority, and an additional 100,000 application slots have been opened in the H category, which is used by IT workers. As a result, the situation in this category has improved from “virtually impossible to get slots” to a 12-month wait.
More application slots for students are also being sought – a seasonal issue. Summer is in high demand because most students travel to the United States in the autumn.
However, there is currently a high demand for visas as students apply for semesters beginning in January as well as summer programmes in March and April.
Preparations are underway in all of these cases, with 10% more slots available than in previous years. 82,000 student visas have already been issued in 2022. This year, no other country issued as many student visas as the United States.
Also Read: US Visa Delays: Online Petition Launched to Reduce Visa Wait Times
The Visa situation will be back to normal by the summer of 2023
By the next summer, the visa situation will be back to where it was before the COVID issue, but there will still be backlogs. Every year, the US Embassy and consulates issued 100,000 visas of various types. Officials say they are working hard to get there by the summer.
There are also serious efforts underway to reduce the wait time for tourist visas, particularly those applied for in the United States. Those seeking immigrant visas will benefit as well.
Officials stated that no one anticipated such a high demand for visas after the COVID pandemic subsided and vaccines became available.
Efforts to ease the visa situation
The US State Department is sending additional visa officers from the United States or relocating them from other countries in an effort to improve the visa situation by shortening the application process.
In addition, there will be a large number of temporary visa officers in India. Furthermore, more creative methods are being considered for those who can use the “drop box” service. This means they will not be questioned. Nowadays, more people are eligible to apply for “dropbox” visas.
According to officials, the situation is already improving. Hopefully, by the summer, things will have improved significantly.
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