US Embassy in India releases over 1 lakh appointments for H, L visas

New Delhi: The US embassy in India has released over one lakh appointments for H and L work visa categories and for their family members.

“In response to the high demand for employment-based visas, the US Mission to India recently released over 100,000 appointments for H&L workers and their families,” the US embassy in India tweeted.

This was among the key assurances that the US mission has given after Foreign Minister S Jaishankar had raised the visa delay issue with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken last month.

“Thousands of applicants have already booked their appointments and the wait time for both interview waiver and first-time appointments has been cut in half throughout Mission India. This bulk appointment opening reflects our ongoing commitment to H&L workers,” the embassy added in a tweet.

The US embassy further said in the first nine months of 2022, the US Mission had already processed over 160,000 H and L visas and it will continue to prioritize H and L workers for visa appointments as resources allow.

Consular officers are now temporarily authorized, through December 31, 2022, to waive in-person interviews for certain individual petition-based non-immigrant work visas and their qualifying derivatives in the following categories: Persons in Specialty Occupations (H-1B visas), Trainee or Special Education Visitors (H-3 visas), Intracompany Transferees (L visas), Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement (O visas), Athletes, Artists, and Entertainers (P visas), and Participants in International Cultural Exchange Programs (Q visas), added a US State Department release.

Additionally, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has extended consular officers’ current ability to waive the in-person interview, through December 31, 2022, for the following other categories of non-immigrant visas: Temporary Agricultural and Non-agricultural Workers (H-2 visas), Students (F and M visas), and Student Exchange Visitors (Academic J visas).

“We recognize the many contributions of international visitors to our communities and campuses. Lastly, the authorization to waive the in-person interview for applicants renewing a visa in the same visa class within 48 months of the prior visa’s expiration has been extended indefinitely,” added to the release.

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