The United States (US) State Department’s website should that the appointment wait time for visitor visa from Delhi is 833 days and from Mumbai is 848 days. Contrarily, the wait time for visitor visa is just two days for Beijing and 450 days for Islamabad. The table given below shows appointment wait-time for visitor visa for different US Embassies and Consulates.
|US Embassy / Consulate||Visitor Visa (days)||Student/ Exchange visitor Visa (days)||All other non-immigrant visas (days)|
Foreign Minister S Jaishankar who is in the US, has raised the issue of visa applications backlog with his US counterpart, Antony Blinken. “On mobility, specifically visas, this is particularly crucial given its centrality to education, business, technology, and family reunions. Flagged it to secretary Blinken and his team and I have every confidence that they will look at some of these problems seriously and positively”, said S Jaishankar.
COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically affected the US’ ability to process immigrant visa applications. Although the particular constraints vary based on local conditions and restrictions, but local and national lockdowns, travel restrictions, quarantine regulations, and measures taken by the State to contain the spread of COVID-19 have caused a backlog, said the ‘Immigrant Visa Backlog Report 2022’.
Where Does India Stand?
According to a quarterly report issued by a London-based immigration consultancy, Henley Partners, India ranks 87th on the list of world’s most powerful passports in the second quarter of 2022 from being 90th in 2021. With this, Indians have visa-free access to 60 countries around the globe. Pakistan ranks 109 on the list with visa-free access to 32 destinations. Contrarily, Pakistan citizens have lesser wait time for visa appointments than India.
Countries with highest rank in the passport index, allow its citizens to travel without a visa or with visa-on-arrival. Singapore is ranked second on the list and this allows its citizens to travel to 192 destinations without a visa or visa-on-arrival. However, for US, Singapore citizens will have to wait for 51 days to get a tourist visa appointment. Contrarily, Chinese passports hold 72nd ranking among the global passports. The visitor visa appointment wait-time for Chinese is days.
The US State Department has made aggressive plans to staff up all Mission India posts to their highest levels.”By prioritizing students this summer to ensure they arrived at school on time, we were able to issue a record of over 82000 student visas. As a result, more Indian students are headed to the US this year than from any other country”, said Chris Elms, US Embassy spokesperson.