USA Deploys Officials from ‘All Around the World’ to Assist with India Visa Operations


Aarushi Jain
Updated on Mar 02, 2023 01:52 PM IST

US deputies and embassy staff to address Mumbai visa bottleneck. Consular personnel from different parts of the world have abandoned their usual duties for this reason, according to a tweet from the US Consulate in Mumbai.

USA Deploys Officials from ‘All Around the World’ to Help with Visa Operations in India

The US has sent temporary visa officers to Mumbai to assist with visa procedures and cut wait times. Consular personnel worldwide have abandoned their usual duties for this reason, according to a tweet from the US Consulate in Mumbai.

Recently, the United States has taken many initiatives to reduce visa wait times in India, which nearly reached 1,000 days last year for visiting visas, B1 (business), and B2 (tourist) interview cases. Making more candidates eligible for interview waivers, transferring drop-box cases abroad for adjudication, and hiring temporary workers were among them.

Also Read: Students Can Now Apply for USA Student Visa a Year Before Their Course Begins

On Tuesday, the US embassy in Mumbai tweeted that all hands are on deck to shorten visa wait times! The country's extraordinary team of consular officials has temporarily left their usual responsibilities all over the world, from the State Department in Washington DC to the consulate general in Okinawa, Japan, to assist with visa operations and process in Mumba, India.

The tweet included a video of the four officers, who were picked from the US consulate offices in Washington, DC, Okinawa, Japan, and Hong Kong. They have been entrusted with lowering visa interview wait times, enabling travel to the US, expanding India-US commercial potential, and assisting family reunification.

The current wait time in Mumbai for a non-immigrant B1/B2 visa interview appointment is 694 days, down from 999 in November but still well under two years. The current wait time in Delhi is 614 days (down from 961 last November 2022).

During that time, when the wait time was approaching 1,000 days, Don Heflin, minister counsellor for consular affairs at the US Embassy in India, stated that the mission in India will be at 100% (in terms of consular staffing) by the summer of 2023.

The steps taken have reduced the waiting period in India from less than three years to less than two years, but there is still a long wait for B1/B2 interview cases that are either first-time applicants or those whose previous visitor visas expired more than four years before the date of the new application.

Also Read: New Change in US Immigration Policy to Benefit Indians Stuck in Green Card Queues

Furthermore, the US National Travel and Tourism Agency predicts that overall international visitation to the country would climb to 6.3 crores this year, up from 5.2 crores in 2022. It expects international visitors to exceed 7.9 million in 2025, exceeding the pre-pandemic 2019 figure of 7.9 million. Indians who are travelling widely around the world will account for a sizable portion of these anticipated numbers.

Source: The NDTV News

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