US Visa Delay: Onboarding and training new employees, says embassy

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US is giving more H-2B visas to temporary employees to cope labour shortages

Responding to reports of delay in the US visa appointment dates, the US embassy said that the Department of State is taking steps and is committed to facilitate travel to the US for both non-immigrant as well as immigrant travelers.

“The US government is taking steps to reduce wait times and backlogs by actively addressing consular staffing gaps created by the pandemic, including by onboarding and training new employees. The Department of State has doubled consular hiring of US officers this fiscal year over last year, and newly trained employees are making their way to overseas consular adjudicator positions, including in India,” the US Embassy said in a statement, according to a report by NDTV.

The Department also informed that the consulars may be able to accelerate the applicant’s interview date “if there is an urgent, unforeseen situation such as a funeral, medical emergency, or school start date”.

The bad news for US visa aspirants came in as the visa appointment dates showed a delay of more than 1 and half years which meant that their appointment date may only come next year or even later in 2024.

The main reason behind such delays seemed to be the backlog of visa files that had accumulated in US embassies and consulates all around the world due to an extended processing closure at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

US consulates in different cities have separate waiting times as per the appointment availability. This means the students can dodge the wait time by applying to an embassy with a lesser wait time.

While the New Delhi US consulate showed a wait time of 471 days for the appointment of student visas, Mumbai US consulate showed a wait time of only 10 days. In Hyderabad the wait time is of 479 days and for Kolkata, the wait time is only 2 days. Lastly, for Chennai, the wait time shown is of 8 days for the same.

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