The wait time for first-time applicants for B1 and B2 visas stood at 884 days in Delhi and 872 in Mumbai as on October 14.
The United States Embassy in India has released one lakh appointments for applicants of H&L work visas to address the high demand for work visas. The first-time applicants will be given priority slots.
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Announcing the update on Twitter on Friday, the US Embassy said thousands of applicants have already booked their appointments and the US mission to India had cut the wait time for both interview waiver and first-time appointments in half.
Whopping 500 plus day wait for US visa appointment for Indians, similar delays for UK & other Schengen countries
“This bulk appointment opening reflects our ongoing commitment to H&L workers," the US Embassy India said in the tweet.
UPDATE: In response to high demand for employment-based visas, the U.S. Mission to India recently released over 100,000 appointments for H&L workers and their families.— U.S. Embassy India (@USAndIndia) October 14, 2022
The tweet thread further said that in the first nine months of this year, the US Mission to India had processed more than 1,60,000 H&L visas. The mission will continue to prioritise H&L workers for visa appointments as resources allow, it said.
Till Friday, the wait time for first-time applicants for B1 and B2 visas stood at 884 days in Delhi and 872 in Mumbai, Hindustan Times reported.
Among non-immigrant work visas in the US, the L-1 and H-1B are the most popular ones. Those working for multinational corporations mostly opt for L-1 visas, while those intending to work for US businesses and want more job flexibility opt for H-1B visas.
Last month, Indian external affairs minister S Jaishankar raised the issue of visa delays with US secretary of state Antony Blinken.
The move comes after US Embassy counsellor Don Heflin on September 30 acknowledged that there were people in the US on H&L visas who had not been able to visit their families and homes since the beginning of the pandemic.
Heflin had said the embassy would open 1,00,000 appointments in the year 2023 for this category of visas in the next few weeks.
(Edited by : Sudarsanan Mani)