Visa Delay: Average Wait Time for US Visa Is Now Close to 3 Years

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As you may be aware, Indians are currently facing visa delays in most countries, particularly the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the majority of Schengen countries.

These nations continue taking a variety of steps to reduce the length of time it takes to get a visa, including interview waivers, and hiring more staff at embassies and consulates, among other things.

Despite this, the visa wait time for the United States business (B-1) and tourist (B-2) visas has reached a new high of 999 days, with no visa appointments available for nearly three years.

Even as wait times in India continue to rise, the US State Department stated earlier this week, “the global median wait time for a tourist visa (B1/B2) interview appointment is under two months as of this month.”

It is important to note that the wait time for US visas has been extremely long ever since the nation started processing applications again after the pandemic.

US Visa Wait Times in India

The current waiting period for B1/B2 applicants requiring an interview is 999 Calendar days in Mumbai, 961 days in Delhi, 994 days in Hyderabad, 948 days in Chennai, and 904 days in Kolkata, according to the US State Department.

US Embassy/ConsulateVisa Wait Times
Mumbai999 Calendar Days
Delhi961 Calendar Days
Hyderabad994 Calendar Days
Chennai948 Calendar Days
Kolkata904 Calendar Days

The waiting period for first-time visitor visa applicants or others who do not qualify for a drop box application or interview waiver in India is quickly approaching three years.

As a result, a first-time B1/B2 applicant may only be able to secure an interview date in late 2025. Commenting on this a senior embassy official recently stated…

“They should keep applying. Once the line starts moving and waits time drops, they can advance their interview date without any fees.”

Furthermore, the US State Department in a social media post said, “Emergency appointments are available within days for applicants who meet the criteria. We are committed to reducing wait times as quickly as possible.”

Interview Waiver

In an effort to reduce the growing backlog, the US has increased the number of applicants eligible for interview waivers, sent dropbox cases abroad for adjudication, and hired temporary staff to process visa applications.

While students receive top priority during the admissions season, skilled workers, repeat B1/B2 visa applicants (whose visas expired within four years of application and now qualify for interview waiver), and crew are next on the list for expediting drop box cases.

Before the interview wait time for B1/B2 starts decreasing, it might take a few months.

Wait Times to Reduce by Next Summer

A senior US embassy official recently stated that the waiting period for the issuance of a US Visa is expected to be significantly reduced by the summer of 2023, with the number expected to reach around 1.2 million.

“The Department of State is successfully lowering visa interview wait times worldwide. We have doubled our hiring of US Foreign Service personnel to do this important work, visa processing is rebounding faster than projected, and in Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 we expect to reach pre-pandemic visa processing levels,” it said in a press note last week.

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