U.S. Mission to India launches Saturday interview days to reduce visitor visa wait times

25 Jan 23

UNITED STATES

The U.S. Mission in India recently launched a series of special Saturday interview days to reduce wait times for first-time visa applicants.

Key Points:

  • The U.S. Embassy in New Delhi and Consulates in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai opened consular operations on Saturday for applicants who require in-person visa interviews.
  • The U.S. Mission in India will continue to open additional slots for appointments to take place on select Saturdays in the coming months.
  • By summer 2023, the Mission expects to be at full staffing and processing visas at levels similar to before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additional Information: To further address the backlog, the U.S. State Department released more than 250,000 B-1/B-2 extra appointments and is increasing the number of temporary and permanent consular officers assigned to the embassy and consulates. The Consulate General in Mumbai also extended its weekday operating hours to offer additional appointments. Individuals can find more information regarding the visa process or schedule a visa appointment on this website.

BAL Analysis: The U.S. Mission in India has prioritized the facilitation of legitimate travel and adjudicated more than 800,000 nonimmigrant visas in 2022. While the U.S. Mission in India is taking steps to reduce its backlog, applicants should continue to expect nonimmigrant visa processing and appointment delays at the U.S. Embassy and Consulates. For example, the wait time for a B-1/B-2 visa appointment for applicants who require an in-person interview is 575 days in New Delhi, 596 days in Kolkata, 598 days in Chennai, 599 days in Hyderabad and 623 days in Mumbai. A list of average wait times for nonimmigrant visa interviews is available here.

BAL will continue to monitor efforts to address processing delays and will provide more information as it becomes available. Employers and employees should continue to consult their BAL professional before planning international travel.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice Group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

Copyright © 2023 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries, please contact copyright@bal.com.