US resumes visa processing, waiting time spikes due to high demand

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The US Embassy in India recently declared that due to the high volume of visa application requests, they could not accommodate all travellers prior to their planned dates, even if the purpose of travel is time sensitive.

The embassy announced that if you plan to apply for a non-immigrant visa to the United States as a temporary visitor, you will be required to review the current waiting time for an interview since the demand is very high.

Disruptions in Operations due to covid-10 guidelines and less staff, appointment demand for visas soared high across all categories and processing time got longer for most routine non-immigrant visa appointments at the US embassy in New Delhi and the consulates in Chennai, Hyderabad, and Mumbai.

Visa processing has resumed in-person, B1 and B2 visa appointments from this month. These are not placeholder appointments.

The embassy highlighted that the Department of State has authorized consular officers to relinquish the in-person interview requirement for specific categories of visa applicants until December 31 this year.

This applies to the following travellers:

  • Those applying for F1, H-1, H-3, H-4, non-blanket L, M, O, P, Q, and academic J visas
  • Those who were previously issued any type of visa

*This does not apply to those applicants who have a previous visa refusal. 

Many visa applicants have paid the visa application processing fee and are still waiting to schedule a visa appointment as per the US Embassy. Hence, the embassy is working tirelessly to restore all routine visa operations as rapidly and safely as possible.

The embassy said consular sections across India are accepting a limited number of Visa renewal applications for H, L, C1/D, O, I, F, M, and J visas. Applicants must visit the embassy’s official website to find out whether they are eligible for dropbox processing and schedule an appointment for document drop-off..

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