us visa: Want visa system of a country to be simple, swift: MEA on 1,000-day US visa wait

Amid reports that people in India seeking a tourist or business visa for the US may have to wait for three years to get one, the Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said it has not raised the matter with the country, but expects the visa system of a country to be predictable and less time taking.

For first-time applicants for the US’ business (B-1) and tourist (B-2) visas, the wait now goes up to almost three years.

The waiting period is fast approaching three years for first time for visitor visa applicants or others who do not qualify for a drop box application (interview waiver) in India.

According to the US State Department, the current waiting period for B1/B2 applicants requiring an interview stands at 999 days in Mumbai; 994 days in Hyderabad; 961 days in Delhi; 948 in Chennai and 904 in Kolkata.
The US State Department on Tuesday said the “the global median wait time for a tourist visa (B1/B2) interview appointment is under two months as of this month.”

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Asked if the matter had been taken up with the US, MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “We want that when people want to go somewhere, the visa system should be simple. This is our expectation.”

He said it had not been taken up formally because “we would not want someone commenting on our system.”

“But we would want the system to be predictable, simple and does not take much time. We have seen the (US) embassy here has said that they are taking steps to ensure that not much time is not taken. We hope the waiting time is reduced,” Bagchi said.

ET Online

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