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By the summer of 2023, there will be a significant reduction in the time that applicants must wait before receiving a US visa, and there will be about 1.2 million applicants overall. India is America’s top priority for issuance of visas, a senior official of the US embassy said on November 10. By the middle of 2023, Washington hopes to return the situation to its pre-Covid-19 situation.

Every month, approximately one lakh visas are expected to be issued. Over 82,000 visas were awarded by the US in the last one year. One of the few nations where applications for US visas increased significantly after travel restrictions relating to the coronavirus were abolished was India.

"We are looking at 1.1 to 1.2 million visas to Indians by next summer," said the official.

Also Read: US to solve visa backlog for Indians in the next few months

The US is also launching a number of efforts, including adding more staff and expanding the "drop box" facilities, the official added, in light of the lengthy wait times for visa approval. For some categories, the wait time has already decreased from 450 days to about nine months.

In terms of the number of visas awarded by the US, India is anticipated to jump from third to second place. India is currently behind Mexico and China, said the official who added that priority was also being given to reducing the wait times for student visas, particularly for those seeking visa renewals.

Also Read: H-1B visa: US receives ‘sufficient’ applications needed to meet 2023 threshold

The H (H1B) and L category visas for Indians were formerly prioritised by the US, and recently, about one million slots became available for them, as per the official. Additionally, the approximately nine-month wait time for B1, B2 (business and tourist) visas is being reduced, the official added.

The drop box facility is the method utilised to renew a US visa without having to go through the interview. In general, those who have applied for a US visa within the last four years are eligible for the drop-box service.

(With PTI inputs)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sounak Mukhopadhyay

Sounak Mukhopadhyay, who also goes by the name Sounak Mukherjee, has been producing digital news since 2012. He's worked for the International Business Times, The Inquisitr, and Moneycontrol in the past. He's also contributed to Free Press Journal and TheRichest with feature articles. He covers news for a wide range of subjects including business, finance, economy, politics and social media. Before working with digital news publications, he worked as a freelance content writer.
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