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Waiting time for US visa interview soars to 999 days in Delhi and Mumbai, Kolkata marginally better

According to a TOI report, Indians wishing to travel to the US on a tourist or business visa this winter may save it till the summer of 2025. Reason: the wait time for a US visa interview appointment — B1 for business and B2 for tourist — has climbed to 999 days in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad.

Kolkata is marginally better at 949 days, as per the American state department website on Tuesday. The bad news is it could possibly be several months before the wait time for B1/B2 starts dropping.

US authorities have taken a slew of steps to speed up things in India over the past two months in their push to clear a backlog after Washington halted almost all visa processing worldwide in March 2020. A US embassy official in Delhi said steps taken to expedite visa processing in India include making more applicants eligible for interview waiver, sending drop box cases abroad for adjudication and getting temporary staffers.

While applications are almost back to preCovid level, staffing at US missions in India is likely to regain its 2019 strength only in about nine months or by late next summer.
So, what should applicants do? The official said, “They should keep applying. Once the line starts moving and wait time drops, they can advance their interview date without any fees. ”

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