U.S. officials said this week that the U.S. embassy and consulates in India are scheduling appointments for all visa categories but that wait times remain significantly delayed.
In a press conference with Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the State Department is “surging resources” to address a visa backlog that developed because of COVID-related staffing and funding issues.
“We have a plan when it comes to India to address the backlog of visas that’s built up,” Blinken said, according to a State Department transcript. “I think you’ll see that play out in the coming months, but it’s something that we’re very focused on.”
Background: Delays have plagued U.S. embassies and consulates around the world. State Department officials have said that visa processing times are improving but that progress varies from post to post.
BAL Analysis: In his remarks this week, Secretary Blinken said he is “extremely sensitive” to visa issues and said officials would remain “very focused” on reducing the backlog. For now, appointment and processing delays should be expected at embassies and consulates in India. Service levels and processing times at posts around the world vary. BAL will continue to monitor efforts to address the delays and will provide information as it becomes available. Employers and employees should continue to consult their BAL professional before planning international travel.
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