All people who wish to fly to the US for studies or jobs, here we have some good news for you! This Monday, the US Embassy in New Delhi revealed that more than 2.5 lakh interview slots for visa applicants nationwide were now being scheduled. The news actually brought a wave of happiness to all those who dreamed of it. But apparently, a technical glitch is showing slots unavailable for 2023 to many!
US Mission In New Delhi Opens 2.5 Lakh Visa Slots
— U.S. Embassy India (@USAndIndia) November 1, 2023
The US Embassy said on Wednesday that almost a quarter of a million appointments for nonimmigrant visas became available over the weekend. The announcement was made in a post on X (formerly Twitter).
Several applicants claimed that even though visa appointments were opened, these slots were not available for 2023.
@USAndIndia Nice to see more appointments being added. However the new website for scheduling is a royal mess and pain, to say the least. I have been stuck with an appointment issue for more than a month now, despite calling customer service every day.
— Himangshu Borah (@himangshunits) November 1, 2023
There were no open dates in Mumbai until June 2024 for certain visa applicants attempting to reschedule an appointment that was originally scheduled for May of the following year.
In the meantime, individuals looking for appointments in Delhi discovered that the earliest available date was February 22, 2024. The reason behind this is a technical glitch apparently. (As per News18)
What’s the point in opening additional appointments when your team is not able to fix technical glitches of those facing issues, there are so many applicants waiting to get their issues resolved for months.
— stanley furtado (@FurtStan) November 2, 2023
Wait Time Has Decreased
According to the US State Department’s most recent data, wait times for the B1 (business) and B2 (tourist) visa categories have significantly decreased. According to media sources, Delhi’s wait period is now only 37 days, down from 542 days as recently as last week.
Improved wait times have also been observed at a number of other consulates: Chennai at 341 days (previously 526), Mumbai at 322 days (previously 596), and Kolkata at 126 days (previously 539).
Only Hyderabad has seen a minor uptick, going from 506 to 511 days. Many applicants were upset when the US mission announced that 2.5 lakh places would be available; when they attempted to schedule appointments, they discovered that there were no dates available until 2023.
Effort To Resolve Prolonged Wait Times
The gang’s all here! Our consular team in New Delhi woke up early this weekend for a special “Super Saturday” dedicated to meeting the unprecedented demand for U.S. visitor visas. We are seeing extra visa applicants with the help of Ambassador Eric Garcetti, our special guest… pic.twitter.com/G65riU9ni6
— U.S. Embassy India (@USAndIndia) November 6, 2023
It should nevertheless be highlighted that the 500-day waiting period is a considerable reduction from the 1,000-day waiting period that existed earlier this year for a tourist visa.
Following the COVID-19 reopening last year, India’s visa appointment waiting list has grown to over three years. The US State Department’s wait period at the time was limited to 999 days.
Following that, the US embassy took a number of actions with the help of Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar in response to the concerns expressed by the Indian government.
An attempt has been made throughout the past year to resolve the prolonged wait times, which this past winter had reached for nearly three years. Indian citizens were given the option to apply for US visas at consulates outside of India, such as the one in Bangkok, where the wait period for a visa is noticeably shorter, in order to clear the backlog of visa applications and satisfy the growing demand. (As per News 18)
What are your views?
Cover Image Courtesy: Canva
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