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At Least 500 Days Waiting Period for a US Tourist Visa

US Tourist Visa Wait Times Still High: Over 500 Days for Indian Applicants

Despite ongoing efforts to address the surge in visa processing delays, the United States continues to grapple with prolonged wait times, now exceeding 500 days for B1/B2 visa applicants from India. The latest data from the US Department of State- Bureau of Consular Affairs reveals the following wait times:

New Delhi: 542 Calendar Days
Kolkata: 539 Calendar Days
Mumbai: 596 Calendar Days
Chennai: 531 Calendar Days
Hyderabad: 511 Calendar Days

These wait times specifically apply to applicants ineligible for interview waivers. The wait time estimation considers workload, and staffing, and can vary on a weekly basis.

The B1 visa is for business purposes, while the B2 visa caters to tourists, those visiting friends and family, and individuals seeking medical treatment or participating in social events without payment. Typically issued together as a B1/B2 visa, it allows engagement in both business and leisure activities during the US stay. Exceptions are made for applicants under 14 or over 80 years old, who may submit visa applications through the Interview Waiver.

Travelers with “clearance received” or “department authorization” on previous visas can now utilize the interview waiver process for new visa applications. Those renewing visas in the same category within 48 months of expiration are also eligible for an interview waiver.

To address the backlog and rising demand, Indians can apply for visas at US consulates outside India, such as in Bangkok. Despite measures taken over the past year to reduce wait times, the situation peaked at nearly three years last winter. An embassy official mentioned that non-immigrant visa categories, excluding first-time visitor visa applicants, have wait times close to pre-pandemic levels. Over 3.3 lakh petition-based temporary employment visas have been issued by the US Mission India since the fiscal year began.

Earlier this year, US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti noted a more than 50% reduction in wait times for first-time tourist visa interviews, setting a goal to process at least one million visas in 2023.”

Source: MSN