Wait for US visitor visa now stretches beyond 2 years


SAN FRANCISCO: The wait for a visitor visa to the US has now stretched beyond two years, with the Covid-time pent up demand for travel quickly leading to the queues getting longer.
Less than a month back, the waiting period in Delhi and Mumbai was 581 and 517 days, respectively. Now, that has gone up to 758 and 752 days, respectively, according to the US state department website. This means, first-time visitor visa applicants will get appointment only around October 2024 in the two cities.

The situation may improve from next summer by when the US embassy in India hopes to get back to 100% of pre-Covid staffing.
A spokesperson of the embassy told TOI that the US mission was making every effort to reduce wait times in all visa categories as quickly as possible.
“We are also ramping up processing of B1/B2 business and tourism visas,” the spokesperson added.
Travel agents are now telling the visa hopefuls to apply in cities that have relatively lesser waiting periods. “The visa crunch in the short term is not leading to travel slackening as all West-bound flights are full in September,” said Anil Kalsi, Travel Agents Federation of India joint secretary. He attributed this to the rush of students, mostly Canada-bound.

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