US Visa Processing Time For India To Be Shortened By Summer 2023

THE waiting period for allowance of American visas is likely to become shorter by the summer of 2023 and the number is expected to touch the 1.2 million mark, a senior official of the US embassy said on Thursday.

“India is the number one priority for Washington (for issuance of visas). Our aim is to bring the situation to the pre-Covid-19 level by the middle of next year.” the official said.

India is among the few countries where applications for US visas saw a massive boost after the travel restrictions imposed due to COVID-19 were lifted.

According to the official, keeping in view the long wait time for the grant of visas, the United States is also planning to take a series of initiatives including the hiring of more personnel and increasing the “dropbox” facilities.

Reportedly, the plan is to issue around one lakh visas every month.

As per the official, the US has already identified H (H1B) and L category visas for Indians as its priority, and nearly 1,00,000 slots were released recently for those wanting to renew the visas. Additionally, the wait time for certain categories has already been brought down to nearly 9 months from earlier 450 days.

The official said that the wait time for B1, and B2 (business and tourism) visas are also being brought down from around nine months.

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

Meanwhile, India is also expected to surpass China in getting the number of US visas by 2023 and will be ranked two in the issuance of visas after Mexico.

“We expect that India will surpass China in getting the number of US visas by next year’s summer. After Mexico, India is expected to rank number 2 in the issuance of US Visas,” said the official in Delhi.

Earlier, in October, the US embassy in India released more than 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.

(With inputs from ANI)

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