The US embassy in India plans to begin with the student visa interviews in mid-November. The country will also open 100,000 slots over the next few weeks for H and L worker visas applicants, especially for dropbox cases. This would especially be for first-time applicants.
The embassy has also announced that it would be taking special measures in relation to B1/B2 visas to cut down wait times over the next few months. These visas are used by tourists and business people and have a current wait time of over 800 days.
In the case of students, the embassy plans to conduct interviews starting from mid-November till the end of December. The first half of the appointment slots are slated to be opened in mid-October and the rest are to be opened in mid-November. The slots for F, M, and J visas will be given a priority line, it was announced.
“We will be able to go back to 100% staffing by this time next year,” the Economic Times quoted Heflin as saying while he addressed the backlog, adding that the embassies will be able to process more visas than ever by 2023. After a two-year pause, the US has finally opened up visa interview slots for new applicants.
Travel plans of thousands of Indians were hit by backlogs. However, the silver lining for Indian students is that, with a valid F-1 student visa, travelling back to the US after visiting India will be easy and does not require any additional visa stamp or even an interview.
According to a tweet by the US Embassy in India, “Visa appointments are now open for all categories! But because of high demand, wait times remain significant.”
The waiting period for Indians applying for a visitor visa to the US has gone up to 800 days, as seen on the website of the US State Department. The waiting period for non-immigrant visas and student/exchange visitor visas is nearly 400 days.
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