Home/ News / India/  Delhi to Mumbai, list of cities with longest vs shortest US visa wait time

After much struggle, the US visa wait period has finally come down below one year in most consulates, except Chennai. 

Currently, wait times in Mumbai and Kolkata have dropped below a year, i.e. 332 days and 357 days respectively, but applicants opting for Chennai may still need to wait for almost two years, specifically 680 days, for their B1/B2 visa appointments.

The US Embassy at New Delhi has the shortest wait for tourist and business visa appointments, which is 247 days. 

US has taken several steps to reduce US visa wait time

The US has been making efforts to reduce visa wait times for Indians, such as moving workers from other departments around the world to visa offices in India. The key measures include ‘Applying from a third country’ and ‘Special interviews & remote processing’

Applying from a third country: For those who cannot afford the wait, third country national (TCN) visa processing comes to the rescue. A Third Country National visa is a visa application or a visa obtained from a US consulate in a country other than your home country.

Special interviews & remote processing: As part of the multi-pronged approach to cut the visa backlog, the US Embassy in Delhi and the consulates in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, and Hyderabad conducted "special Saturday interview days" on January 21, with more such interviews planned in the future.

A top priority for the US

India saw a significant increase in applications for US visas after the travel restrictions due to the pandemic were lifted. Julie Stufft, deputy assistant secretary for consular affairs, recently stated that reducing wait times is her top priority, and the department has been taking steps towards achieving this goal.

"It's the first thing I do when I wake up. It's a once in a lifetime situation. The visa operations in India are very different from any other country because of the range of visas and the massive demand."

Despite these efforts, Stufft acknowledged that the wait time is still "too high" in India. To address this issue, the department has waived interview requirements for regular travelers and opened other US embassies/consulates to take Indian applicants. This move is not ideal, but it is helping people who need to travel urgently.

In January 2023, the US Embassy in India processed over 1 lakh applications, which is the highest total in a single month and the highest in any month since July 2019. Furthermore, the US issued 125,000 student visas in 2022, which is more than any other year.



Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
More Less
Updated: 24 Mar 2023, 09:14 PM IST
Recommended For You
Get alerts on WhatsApp
Set Preferences My Reads Watchlist Feedback Redeem a Gift Card Logout