US visa interview to take quite some time, waiting period close to 3 years

Are you planning to visit the US for business or leisure? Think again because you may have to wait a while. The waiting time for an interview for Indian visa applicants is close to 1,000 days or 3 years.

According to a search on the US State Department website, the waiting period for B1 (business) and B2 (tourist) visa applicants who need an interview is 999 days (as of November 23) in Mumbai.

The waiting time for Delhi residents is 961 days and for Hyderabad residents it is 994 days. Residents of Chennai have to wait 948 days to get an appointment, whereas in Kerala the waiting period is 904 days.

Astronomical wait times mean first-time B1/B2 applicants can get interview dates in 2025.

Earlier this month, a senior U.S. embassy official said the waiting period for B1/B2 visas is being reduced from about nine months. However, due to the huge volume of applications and existing backlog, it can take several months before the waiting time is reduced.

“As of November 2022, the global average wait time for a tourist visa (B1/B2) interview appointment is approximately two months, and applicants with urgent travel needs who meet certain criteria can apply for an expedited appointment, usually within a few days. .” The State Department said in a press release.

Officials said PTI is taking a number of steps to expedite processing of applications, from hiring more staff to increasing “drop boxes,” or interview waiver facilities.

The official said the US had already identified H (H1B) and L category visas as a priority for Indians, and nearly 1,00,000 slots were recently released for those seeking visa renewals.

Wait times for certain categories have been reduced from already 450 days to about 9 months. The official said it plans to issue about 1 million visas every month.

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