First-time applicants for business (B-1) and tourist (B-2) visas, will have to wait almost three years to receive a decision on their application. This indicates that a first-time B1/B2 applicant can only be able to get an interview appointment by the end of 2025.
According to a statement by the US State Department, the global median wait time for an interview appointment for a tourist visa of this sort (B1/B2), is under two months as of November, VisaGuide.World reports.
The wait time for US visas has increased significantly ever since the country resumed application processing post-pandemic, and it has been only rising in recent months, with these delays being noticed worldwide, especially in India.
The US State Department reveals that the current waiting period for first-time applicants for B1/B2 tourist visas that are requiring an interview is the highest in Mumbai – 999 days, followed by Hyderabad (994 days), Delhi (961 days), Chennai (948) and Kolkata (904).
The waiting period is almost becoming three years for first-time visa applicants or others who don’t qualify for an interview waiver in India.
“They should keep applying. Once the line starts moving and wait time drops, they can advance their interview date without any fees,” a senior embassy said when asked what should the applicants that are dealing with 1,000 days of waiting time for an interview do.
On the other hand, the US State Department recently tweeted that waiting time is considerably shorter for those that are eligible for an interview.
“Emergency appointments are available within days for applicants who meet the criteria. We are committed to reducing wait times as quickly as possible,” the US State Department said in a tweet.
To address the increasing backlog, more applicants have been eligible for interview waivers, getting temporary staff as well as sending dropbox cases abroad for adjudication.
While students are a priority during the admission season, interview waiver applies to skilled workers, followed by repeat B1/B2 visa seekers, whose visas expired within four years of application, making them now eligible for interview waiver and crew. It can last some months before the wait time for an interview for B1/B2 starts decreasing.
On the other hand, the US embassy previously said that the processing time for issuing visas will decrease by the middle of 2023, with the number expected to reach 1.2 million.
India was one of the countries to experience a surge in the number of applications filed for American visas, especially after the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted.
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