Despite efforts to reduce the backlog, the appointment waiting period for a US visa in most of India remains over 500 days. The US embassy in India today announced that Indians travelling overseas can acquire a visa appointment at the US embassy or Consulate of their destination. It stated, using Thailand as an example, that the country had appointment capacity for B1 and B2 visas (travel and business).
In-depth details about New Rules for Indians to Reduce Long Waiting Periods for US Visas
“Do you have upcoming international travel? If so, you may be able to get a visa appointment at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your destination. For example, @USEmbassyBKK has opened B1/B2 appointment capacity for Indians who will be in Thailand in the coming months,” The US Embassy in India tweeted.
Do you have any overseas travel plans? If this is the case, you may be able to obtain a visa appointment at the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. @USEmbassyBKK, for example, has opened B1/B2 appointment capacity for Indians visiting Thailand in the coming months. pic.twitter.com/tjunlBqeYu.
To reduce visa processing delays, the US recently implemented new initiatives such as arranging special interviews for first-time applicants and expanding consular employee strength. The US embassy in Delhi, as well as consulates in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, and Hyderabad, organised “special Saturday interview days” as part of a multifaceted strategy to reduce the visa backlog.
The US State Department has recently begun remote processing of interview waiver cases for applicants who have previously obtained a US visa.
Two weeks ago, the US mission in India published over 2,50,000 new B1/B2 appointments.
According to a senior US visa officer, the US is “putting every ounce of its energy” into eliminating the long visa wait time in India, including sending a cadre of consular officers to the country and opening up its other overseas embassies as far away as Germany and Thailand for Indian visa applicants.
After coronavirus-related travel restrictions were abolished, India was one of the few nations where applications for US visas increased significantly.
Concerns have grown in India over the lengthy wait times for first-time visa applicants, particularly those applying under the B1 (business) and B2 (tourist) categories. In October of last year, the waiting period for first-time B1/B2 visa applicants in India was nearly three years.