The US Department of State has reiterated its commitment to facilitating legitimate travel to the US after reports of US visa appointment wait time was over 500 days, or one and a half years, for some those applying to travel to the country.
According to the official website of the US embassy in India, the average wait time for visa appointments at the US consulate in New Delhi is 522 days for visitor visas and 471 days for student visas.
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The average wait time for a US visa appointment in Mumbai is 517 days for visitor visa and ten days for student visa. The waiting time for all other non-immigrant visas is 198 days in Delhi, 72 days in Mumbai. In Chennai, the waiting time is 557 days for visitor visa and 185 days for non-immigrant visas.
However, according to information on the US Embassy website, the estimate time to receive an appointment at a US Embassy or Consulate can change per week depending on the workload and staffing. “These are estimates only and do not guarantee the availability of an appointment,” the website revealed.
“The Department of State is committed to facilitating legitimate travel to the US for both immigrant and non-immigrant travelers,” the US Embassy said in response to reports of long waiting time.
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Those planning to apply for a US visa now are likely to get an appointment slot for March-April 2024.
“The US government is taking steps to reduce wait times and backlogs by actively addressing consular staffing gaps created by the pandemic, including by onboarding and training new employees. The Department of State has doubled consular hiring of US officers this fiscal year over last year, and newly trained employees are making their way to overseas consular adjudicator positions, including in India,” an embassy spokesperson said in a statement.
The US Embassy revealed that visa proceedings are rebounding after a complete shutdown and freezing of resources due to the COVID pandemic. The US government is thus, as part of recovery, prioritizing only national interest and repeat travel. “This means that some travelers applying for their first visitor visa may have to wait for a longer time,” revealed a statement by the embassy.
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According to the US Embassy in India, the consular sections abroad may be able to expedite an applicant’s interview date in case of an urgent, unforeseen situation like a funeral, medical emergency or school start date.