“Very last year, we adjudicated about 8,00,000 full visa adjudications and we are nearly up to our pre-pandemic levels, which we count on to surpass in 2023,” Mumbai Consular main John Ballard explained to PTI.
The announcement comes just days right after US introduced new initiatives to lower delays in visa processing in India.
Previous calendar year, the wait time for a US visa job interview had strike record highs due to the Covid-19 pandemic, leaving many of Indian college students and work-seekers in a state of quandary.
Though the wait around time for operate category has long gone down, those people making use of for business/journey visas are however staring at extended delays.
The exterior affairs ministry has regularly elevated the problem of visa delays with US authorities as perfectly as matters related to even further relieve issuing of visas for all types of Indian travellers.
Ballard mentioned the only group in which the embassy is looking to decrease the backlog is for initially-time B1 and B2 tourist and enterprise travel visas.
“We lately opened up 2.5 lakh of B1/B2 visa appointments in the course of India and we have dozens of officers, who have arrive from embassies all around the world and Washington DC, especially to help us to perform interviews for very first-time B1/B2 candidates,” the Mumbai consular main explained.
In addition, for visa renewals, applicants can now deliver their software by e-mail, and the embassy has arranged for embassies about the world to adjudicate those people conditions, allowing for them to aim on conducting interviews for initial-time applicants, he explained.
Ballard reported that “adjudications are just aspect of the lots of initiatives that we are now undertaking to assistance reduce the backlog for visa wait around situations.”
“Each publish in the mission, all of our consulates were not too long ago open on a Saturday and we will do it once more in February and in March, and we will also be absolutely staffed by the finish of the summer time. So we would glance to do even a lot more initiatives, moving forward to obtain approaches to cut down the backlog for wait situations. We hope to procedure file variety of visa this yr with these initiatives,” he claimed.
There have been increasing considerations in India in excess of the very long waiting period for 1st-time visa candidates, particularly for those people making use of underneath B1 (business) and B2 (tourist) types.
The waiting around period for initial-time B1/B2 visa applicants in India was near to 3 several years in Oct past year.
In the meantime, the wait around time for an job interview for work visas – these types of as H-1B and L1 visas – has gone down from 18 months to about 60 days.
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US providers to hire overseas personnel in speciality occupations that demand theoretical or technological knowledge.
Attempts to slice wait around time
Previously, the US experienced launched new initiatives these as scheduling specific interviews for to start with time applicants and rising toughness of consular staff to slash delays in visa processing in India.
As portion of the multi-pronged solution to cut the visa backlog, the US embassy in Delhi and the consulates in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad carried out “distinctive Saturday job interview times” on January 21.
The mission is expeccted to open “extra slots” for appointments to consider location on pick Saturdays in the coming months.
“These more interview times are just one particular component of a multi-pronged initiative to handle the backlog in visa processing prompted by Covid-19,” the US embassy stated.
In between January and March 2023, dozens of short term consular officers from Washington and other embassies will arrive in India to increase visa processing capacity, it stated.
(With inputs from PTI)