For months, U.S. visa services were temporarily suspended worldwide due to the pandemic. As restrictions ease, many U.S. embassies and consulates have resumed processing immigrant and nonimmigrant visa applications, but if you’re an Indian citizen seeking to travel to the United States, you may be facing longer delays than normal.
Interviews for Some Visas Won’t Be Until 2024
After the pandemic halted almost all visa processing worldwide in March 2020, U.S. visa services have been working to both clear a backlog and accommodate increased demand due to resumption of international travel. For Indian citizens, who make up a big percentage of the H-1B and other work visas granted to skilled foreign workers, it’s an extremely problematic situation.
According to the U.S. Department of State, nonimmigrant visa backlogs at consular offices in India are currently as follows.
975 calendar days for visitor visas (B1/B2) where an interview is required, and 353 calendar days for interview waiver visitor visas. For petition-based temporary workers, the wait time is 340 calendar days while those who don’t require an interview will have to wait 303 calendar days. Students and exchange visitors have to wait 92 or 42 calendar days, depending on whether a visa is required.
Visitors have to wait 291 or 925 calendar days, depending on whether an interview waiver applies. For petition-based temporary workers, the anticipated wait period is 305 to 317 calendar days while students and exchange visitors can expect to wait 43 calendar days for their visas to be processed.
Wait time for visitors who require an interview is 787 calendar days. If an interview waiver applies, the wait time is 206 calendar days. Petition-based temporary workers must wait 326 to 350 calendar days, depending on whether an interview is necessary. Students and exchange visitors can expect to wait 14 to 92 calendar days.
In Kolkata, B1 and B2 visitor visas are taking 177 to 812 calendar days, depending on whether an interview waiver applies. With petition-based temporary workers, the wait time is 304 to 310 calendar days while students can expect to wait 10 to 50 calendar days.
Those seeking a visitor visa will have to wait 120 to 912 calendar days for processing. Petition-based temporary workers face a wait of 305 to 378 days while students and exchange visitors can expect to wait 10 to 42 days to receive their visas.
Questions About U.S. Visas for Indian Nationals?
According to Forbes, this year the State Department has doubled consular hiring by training new employees for overseas consular adjudicator positions, and expanding the hiring of family members to fill consular positions across the country and abroad. Nonetheless, U.S. companies seeking to hire foreign talent still face delays.
At Pollak, PLLC, we help U.S. businesses seeking overseas talent navigate the often-complicated visa process. If you want to expand your workforce with skilled workers from India, we can work on your behalf to obtain the talent you need as soon as possible. For more information, contact our office to schedule a complimentary consultation.