US visa processing time likely to fall by mid-2023: Official


New Delhi: The wait for US visas is expected to drop significantly by the summer of 2023 and the number is expected to reach around 1.2 million, a senior US embassy official said on Thursday. “India is the first priority for Washington (to issue visas). It is our goal […]

Updated – 09:59, Friday – 11 November 22

US visa processing time likely to decrease by mid-2023: official

New Delhi: The wait for American visas is expected to drop significantly in the summer of 2023 to around 1.2 million, a senior US embassy official said on Thursday.

“India is the first priority for Washington (to issue visas). Our goal is to bring the situation to pre-Covid-19 levels by the middle of next year,” the official said.

India has been one of the few countries to see a sharp rise in US visa applications after the lifting of coronavirus-related travel restrictions.

Given the long wait times for visas, the US is rolling out a number of initiatives, including hiring more workers and expanding “food box” facilities, the official said. The plan is to issue one lakh visas every month.

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

The waiting period for certain categories has already come down to around nine months from 450 days earlier.
The official said that the waiting time for B1, B2 (business and tourism) visas is also decreasing from about nine months.

The official also said that India is expected to move from the current number three to number two in terms of the number of visas being issued by the US. Today, Mexico and China are ahead of India.

The official said that priority is also being given to reducing the waiting time for student visas, especially for those who want to renew their visas.

The process used to apply for a US visa renewal visa without an interview is known as a drop box facility. Generally, applicants who have held a US visa for the past four years are eligible for drop box facilities. The US issued about 82,000 visas last year.

“We are looking at 1.1 to 1.2 million visas for Indians by next summer,” the official said. India is taking up with the US the issue of long waiting times for US visas.

Leave a Comment