NEW DELHI: Here’s a good news for Indians waiting to fly to the US. The US Consulate General in Mumbai has said that the applicants can now schedule their appointments for immigrant visa interviews within the standard time frame as visa backlog caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has been eliminated.
Following the Covid pandemic, the appointment wait times for immigrant visa applicants had increased to over two years. However, now applicants, whose immigrant petitions are current — that is the visas are available and applicants are ready to book an appointment — can schedule their appointments for immigrant visa interviews within the standard time frame.
The move will facilitate faster reunification of families in the United States, the Consulate General said in a press release.
The significant demand in India for visas to travel to the United States and the increase of People-to-people ties reflect the strength and vitality of US-India relations, said the release.
It further read that over 9 lakh NIV applications are being processed at present and will soon surpass one million visas.
Earlier, United States Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti had set a goal of processing at least one million visas in 2023. He had said that the wait time for first-time tourist visa interviews has been reduced by more than 50 per cent.
The US Ambassador had also said that they will continue to invest in expanding the visa operations and broadening the team. “We’ll find innovative solutions to streamline the visa process, such as reducing the need for in-person interviews, which allows consular teams around the world to assist in processing visas for the growing number of Indian travellers,” the envoy had said.
India and the US are making every bit of effort to make the visa process smooth. During his recent visit to the US, PM Modi, in his interaction with the Indian community in the US, had announced that Indian professionals can renew their work visas without travelling abroad.
“America’s new consulates will be opened in Bengaluru and Ahmedabad. It has now been decided that the H1B visa renewal can be done in the US itself,” PM Modi had said while addressing the Indian diaspora at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington DC.