White House says it is working on lowering visa waiting period for Indians
Currently, Indians need to wait for over 900 days for an appointment for a B1 (Business) or a B2 (Tourist) category visa.
The White House said on Thursday that it is working on resolving the significant visa wait time period in India and other countries. Last month, the appointment wait time for Indians seeking a visitor or a tourist visa for the United States reached over 900 days.
“We are successfully lowering visa interview wait times – that’s around the world,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in response to a question about the waiting time for Indian citizens. “And we’ve doubled our hiring of US foreign service personnel to do this important work.”
The visa processing is recovering faster than projected and it is expected to reach pre-pandemic processing levels, said the White House.
The waiting period of over 900 days is for those Indians seeking a B1 (Business) or a B2 (Tourist) category visa to visit the United States. Those seeking the visa appointment at the US Embassy in New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Chennai are expected to wait 999 days, according to the US State Department website.
The advisory commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, also recommended that United States President Joe Biden should consider issuing a memo to the State Department to reduce the visa appointment wait time to a maximum of two to four weeks for countries like India with significant backlogs, reported PTI.
During its meeting this week, the President’s Advisory Commission recommended reducing the growing delay in visa appointment times in US embassies globally especially in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and other countries.
Last month, the US Department of State had said that many applicants for visas are required to appear in person under the country’s law, which was not possible during local pandemic-era restrictions on public places. This created a backlog of visa applications, thus increasing the waiting period, it said.