Though the effect of covid has subdued, its long-term effects look like they won’t settle in any near time. One of the effects is the wait for US visas, including US visit visas. On record, for the first time, first-time non-immigrant visiting visa applicants from India currently have to wait more than two years for an appointment. The statistics give a sickening glimpse when we look at the US State Department website, which says the waiting period is currently 758 and 752 days, respectively, in Delhi and Mumbai.
The scenario is also not that good for other noted southern cities such as Bangalore and Hyderabad. Despite all these, the US visit visa consultancy in Hyderabad say that due to the high priority of Indians in the eyes of the US government, the seriousness can come down to some extent.
When we dig deep into the statistics, the situation indicates that a first-time applicant hoping to obtain a visiting visa will receive an appointment in these two places (Delhi & Mumbai) around October 2024. The waiting times in Delhi and Mumbai were 581 and 517 days, respectively, less than a month ago, demonstrating how the long-standing demand for travel is quickly causing the lines to become longer.
Things could get better after next summer when the US Embassy in India intends to restore 100% of pre-Covid staffing. “The US mission in India is working tirelessly to cut down on wait times for all visa classes as soon as practicable worldwide. After a near-total suspension and resource freeze during the Covid-19 outbreak, visa processing is resuming now. The US government is prioritizing repeat travel and national interest as part of this recovery. For instance, the US Embassy in India issued a record-breaking 82,000 student visas this summer, according to a US Embassy spokeswoman who talked to TOI. You can apply for a US study visa through US study visa consultancy in Hyderabad.
The processing of B1/B2 business and tourist visas is also accelerating. The official stated that the US embassy in India would be substantially closer to 100% staffing by next summer, which should drastically shorten the time it takes to get a visa.
Travel agents are now advising people applying for their first non-immigrant visiting visa to do so in cities with short waiting times. “The short-term visa bottleneck is not causing travel to slow down because all planes heading west are full in September, which used to be a very slow travel month. The current cost of a round-trip economy ticket to North America is about Rs 2 lakh. The main cause is that many one-stop flights are packed with students travelling to Canada, where student visas are still being issued. Anil Kalsi, joint secretary of the Travel Agents Federation of India, stated that airfares might presumably revert to more reasonable levels once the student rush subsides later this month. Thus the wait is not for repeat visas for the US. The problem is one that first-time visa applicants are dealing with. They cannot arrange trips to the US, Kalsi continued.
According to informed diplomats following the situation, the delay is mostly the result of a staffing shortage at missions abroad. Foreign missions moved a sizable portion of their workforce, which included a sizable number of contractual employees, back home when Covid struck in early 2020, and travel came to a grinding standstill. These workers are either unwilling to work overseas now that they have alternative occupations, strong government backing in the form of money in banks, or both. Due to these factors, many nations are now finding it difficult to revert to pre-Covid levels of consular personnel, which is causing delays in visa processing for several nations like the US, Canada, and the Schengen States globally, according to a source in the know who wished to remain anonymous. Despite all these, you can now apply for a US visitor visa to stop the further delay through any US visit visa consultants in Hyderabad.