US Visa Processing Time to Reduce for Indian
US to reduce visa processing times for India as India is America’s top priority.
On Thursday, a senior US embassy official stated that the wait time for US visas will return to normal by half of 2023. The official added that there has been some progress with the changes in rules and 100,000 opening slots for H and L work visas. The priority is to reduce the wait time for non-immigrant work visas, such as the H and L categories. Moreover, around 82,000 student visas for India have been issued this year.
The US will strongly focus on applicants in these categories who use the drop box facility or those who already have a US visa and are exempt from interviews before taking up the first-time applicant cases. The official noted that the effort is to reduce the wait times as much as possible and move towards greater normalcy by July 2023.
According to the official, opening 100,000 additional slots for H and L visas reduces the wait time from more than a year to half. The wait time for those using the drop box for B-1 and B-2 visas continues to be several months, and there will be progress over the next few months.
India is now regarded as Washington's top priority. There are lots of applicants in all categories only in India. Experts were unprepared for the increased demand for visas following the easing of the pandemic.
India is one of the very few countries where applications for US visas saw a major advance after increasing pandemic-related travel restrictions. Considering the long wait time for visa grants, the US has launched a series of initiatives, including hiring more personnel and increasing drop box facilities.
The wait time for certain categories has already dropped from 450 days to around nine months. India is expected to reach the second place from its current third position regarding the number of visas issued by the US.
Furthermore, the official highlighted that the priority is to reduce the waiting time for the students’ visas, specifically for those looking for their visa renewal. The process for US visa renewal without the visa interview is known as the drop box facility in which applicants with a US visa within the last four years are allowed for the drop box facility. In addition, the US issued around 82,000 visas in the previous year. The official mentioned that they are looking at issuing 1.1 to 1.2 million visas to Indians by next summer, and India has been bringing up with the US the issue of lengthy visa wait times for the US.