To all those who have been planning to travel to the US! Think again if you believed the line for a US visa couldn’t possibly grow any longer. Surprisingly, the wait time has increased to almost three years for first-time applicants for business (B-1) and tourist (B-2) visas to the US. The global median wait period for a tourist visa (B1/B2) interview appointment, according to the US State Department, is currently less than two months.
Notably, since the nation resumed application processing after the pandemic, the wait period for US visas in India has been extraordinarily long as well, and it has only gotten worse. According to the US State Department, the waiting times for B1/B2 applicants who need to be interviewed are currently 999 days in Mumbai, 994 days in Hyderabad, 961 days in Delhi, 948 days in Chennai, and 904 days in Kolkata.
For first-time visitor visa applicants or those who are not eligible for an Indian drop box application (interview waiver), the waiting period is rapidly approaching three years. Therefore, a first-time B1/B2 applicant might only be able to secure a late 2025 interview date. As per the media reports, a top embassy diplomat responded, when asked what candidates facing a nearly 1,000-day interview wait time in India could do, “They should keep applying. They are free to move up their interview date once the line starts moving and the wait time decreases.
While students receive first priority during the admissions season, skilled professionals, repeat B1/B2 visa applicants (whose visas expired within four years of application and now qualify for interview waiver), and crew are next on the list for expediting drop box cases. Before the interview wait time for B1/B2 starts decreasing, it can take a few months.
“For applicants who match the requirements, emergency appointments are available in a few of days.” The US State Department stated in a tweet that it was dedicated to cutting wait times as soon as possible. Moreover, it’s an important news for those planning to travel to the US. Notably, for the first time the waiting time on US tourist and business VISA is as long as three years!