US launches new initiative to chop visa wait time

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NEW DELHI: With an intention to chop delays in visa processing in India, the US has launched new initiatives, together with scheduling particular interviews for first time candidates and rising energy of consular employees.
As a part of the multi-pronged strategy to chop the visa backlog, the US embassy in Delhi and the consulates in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad performed “particular Saturday interview days” on January 21.
“On January 21, the US mission in India launched the primary in a collection of particular Saturday interview days, as half of a bigger effort to scale back wait occasions for first-time visa candidates,” the US embassy mentioned on Sunday.
“America Embassy in New Delhi and Consulates in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad all opened consular operations on Saturday to accommodate candidates who require in-person visa interviews,” it mentioned in a press release.
The mission will proceed to open “further slots” for appointments to happen on choose Saturdays within the coming months.
“These further interview days are only one element of a multi-pronged initiative to deal with the backlog in visa processing brought on by Covid-19,” it mentioned.
It mentioned the US State Department has applied distant processing of interview waiver instances for candidates with earlier US visas.
Between January and March 2023, dozens of non permanent consular officers from Washington and different embassies will arrive in India to extend visa processing capability, it mentioned.
The US mission in India launched greater than 2,50,000 further B1/B2 appointments. Whereas B1 is a enterprise visa, B-2 is tourism visa.
The mission mentioned the Consulate Normal in Mumbai additionally prolonged its weekday working hours to create space for extra appointments.
“By this summer time, the US mission in India will likely be at full staffing, and we count on to be processing visas at ranges from previous to the Covid-19 pandemic,” the embassy mentioned.
The assertion mentioned as journey restrictions have been lifted, the mission to India has made it a precedence to facilitate authentic journey and adjudicated over 8,00,000 nonimmigrant visas in 2022, together with report numbers of each scholar and employment visas.
“In each different visa class, interview wait occasions in India are at pre-pandemic ranges or decrease,” it mentioned.
Consulate Normal Mumbai at the moment adjudicates probably the most visa functions in India and is without doubt one of the largest visa operations on this planet, the embassy mentioned.
“Our consular groups throughout India are placing within the additional hours to satisfy the wants of worldwide travellers and produce down wait occasions,” mentioned Mumbai Consular Chief John Ballard.
“That is a part of a Mission broad effort to search out revolutionary options to facilitate journey to the US,” the official mentioned.

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