After 75% Visa Wait Time Reduction, US Aims To Reduce It Further For First-Time Visitors

The US is aiming to cut the wait times even more

by Tejashee Kashyap
After 75% Visa Wait Time Reduction, US Aims To Reduce It Further For First-Time Visitors

The journey towards securing a U.S. visa is often fraught with uncertainties, chief among them being the wait times. The US cut the length of time it takes to obtain a visa by 75%, but is still trying to cut the wait time even further.

Visa Wait Time Reduced By 75%

H-1B visa
Image Credits: Canva Images

After a 75% drop in wait times for Indian visitor visas last year, the US is aiming to cut the wait times even more, according to Assistant Secretary Rena Bitter of the US Bureau of Consular Affairs as per an article published by MoneyControl. 1.4 million visas were processed by the Indian Embassy, an astounding surge in volume. There is a wait time for visas for travellers arriving in the United States for the first time. Over the past year, it has decreased by 75%.

Across India, the average wait time for appointments for visitor visas dropped from 1,000 days to a far more reasonable 250 days. This was the outcome of a calculated combination of more employees, creative tech fixes, and improved procedures.

Visa wait times have been slashed by 75% in the US, but additional reductions are being sought in one category of travel—tourists visiting the country for the first time.

Also Read: H-1B Visa: You Can Now Renew Your Visa Without Leaving US! Applications Accepted Till April 1

More Streamlined Process Awaited

H-1B visa
Image Credits: Canva Images

Regarding the future of the H1B visa, the current pilot program, which allows Indians residing in the US to renew their visa without having to travel outside, will come to an end in February. The pilot programme was introduced in January for the revalidation of 20,000 Indian skilled workers in the United States. The Indian embassy issued 34% more H1B visas in the previous year, which is also a record high for the post.

Non-immigrant visas such as the H-1B permit US employers to hire foreign nationals for specialized jobs requiring advanced technical or theoretical training. It is essential for the hiring of tens of thousands of workers annually by technology businesses from nations like China and India.

Additionally, it was estimated that, with over a quarter of the one million international students enrolled in US universities, Indian students currently make up the largest group of international graduate students in the country. There was a 35% increase in the number of Indians travelling to the US for higher education, reaching an all-time high of 2,68,923 students in the academic year 2022–2023.

Cover image credits: Canva