US Visa Appointments Are Now Open: But Wait Time Is High Due To Surge In Demand
There has been a huge rush in the number of visa requests, and therefore, travelers cannot be accommodated before their planned dates of travel, as per the US Embassy and Consulates in India.
This decision is final, no matter the urgency of the travel.
Travelers Cant be Accommodated Before Planned Travel Dates
Since there is a significant demand for non-immigrant visas to enter the United States as a temporary guest, the embassy advised anyone considering applying to check the wait time for an interview using a tool on the website.
The embassy has stated, “Due to reduced staffing and numerous pandemic-related operations disruptions since March 2020, appointment demand for visas is high across all categories, and wait times for most routine non-immigrant visa appointments at the embassy in New Delhi and the consulates in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai may be longer.”
Beginning this month, the embassy was once again processing standard in-person B1 and B2 visa appointments. These appointments are not stand-ins.
Certain Types Of Visa Applicants Exempted From In-Person Interview
The embassy noted that until December 31, 2022, certain types of visa applicants are exempt from having to do an in-person interview thanks to a Department of State authorization.
This new authorization is valid for travellers who were previously granted any sort of visa, are applying for a visa from their place of nationality or residency, and are seeking F, H-1, H-3, H-4, non-blanket L, M, O, P, Q, or academic J visas.
The candidates who have a prior rejection that was not subsequently waived are not eligible for this authorization. If extra information from applicants is needed, adjudicating consular authorities may ask for a face-to-face interview.
Additionally, candidates who renew any visa within 48 months of its expiration are still qualified for an interview waiver.
However, according to the US Department of State/Travel.State.Govt website, embassies and consulates may have a unique procedure for visa cases where the in-person interview requirement is waived.
Although it is said that those circumstances typically have shorter wait periods, candidates should check the websites of each embassy or consulate to see if their situation qualifies for a waiver of the in-person interview.
Many visa applicants, according to the US Embassy, have already paid the processing cost but are still awaiting appointment times. As a result, it is making every effort to resume normal visa processing as soon as feasible.