us visa appointment: United States visa appointment slots are finally open. Here’s everything you need to know

After a two year pause, the United States has finally opened up interview slots for new visa applicants.

“Visa appointments are now open for all categories! But because of high demand, wait times remain significant,” the US Embassy India tweeted.

The waiting period for Indians looking to secure a visitor visa to the US has gone up to 800 days, according to the website of the US State Department. The waiting period is nearly 400 days for student/exchange visitor visas and other non-immigrant visas.

The U.S. Mission to India also resumed processing of routine in-person B1/B2 visas appointments starting in September 2022.

Here is everything you need to know before planning your travel to the United States.

Already paid the fee but still don’t have a slot?

The U.S. Mission will extend the validity of payment (known as the MRV fee) until September 30, 2023 to allow all applicants who were unable to schedule a visa appointment as a result of the suspension of routine consular operations an opportunity to schedule and/or attend a visa appointment with the already paid fee.

“The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in India understand that many visa applicants have paid the visa application processing fee and are still waiting to schedule a visa appointment. We are working diligently to restore all routine visa operations as quickly and safely as possible,” the embassy said.

ET Online

In-person interview waivers

The Department of State has authorized consular officers to waive the in-person interview requirement for certain categories of visa applicants through 31 December 2022.

This new authorization applies to travelers applying for F, H-1, H-3, H-4, non-blanket L, M, O, P, Q, and academic J visas who were previously issued any type of visa, if they are applying for a visa in their country of nationality or residence.

This authorization does not apply to applicants who have a previous refusal that was not subsequently waived or overcome. Adjudicating consular officers may request an in-person interview if additional information is required from applicants.

Applicants renewing any visa within 48 months of expiration also continue to be eligible for interview waiver.

Drop box applications

Consular sections across India are now accepting a limited number of drop box applications for renewals of H, L, C1/D, O, I, F, M, and J visas at Visa Application Centers.

How to Request an Expedited Appointment

Applicants can request an expedited appointment through the embassy’s
online appointment system. You must already have a confirmed interview appointment date in order to request an expedited appointment. If your expedited appointment request is approved, you will be notified with instructions via email.

You should not cancel your existing appointment unless you receive a confirmation that your request for an expedited appointment has been approved. If you have not yet received an approval or denial, your request is still under consideration.

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