Last Updated: November 02, 2023, 11:27 IST
The US mission in New Delhi this week announced the opening of over 2.5 lakh interview appointments for visa applicants in the country. In a post on X, the US embassy on Wednesday said that more than a quarter-million nonimmigrant visa appointments opened during the weekend.
“It was a busy weekend for our consular team! Over the weekend we opened over a quarter million nonimmigrant visa appointments,” the US mission said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. Though visa appointments were opened, several applicants said these slots were unavailable for 2023.
From 542 days to 37 days
The latest data from the US State Department indicates a substantial reduction in wait times for B1 (business) and B2 (tourist) visa categories. Media reports said Delhi’s wait time has fallen to 37 days, compared to 542 days just last week. Several other consulates have also seen improved wait times, with Kolkata at 126 days (previously 539), Mumbai at 322 days (formerly 596), and Chennai at 341 days (previously 526). Hyderabad is the only location with a slight increase, rising from 506 to 511 days.
No available dates for 2023?
US mission’s announcement of 2.5 lakh slots was met with frustration from many applicants, who found that there were no available dates for 2023 when they tried to book appointments. Some visa applicants trying to reschedule an existing appointment initially set for May next year encountered a lack of available dates in Mumbai until June 2024. Meanwhile, those seeking appointments in Delhi found the earliest availability to be on February 22, 2024.
“No appointments, portal issues restrict applicants to schedule any appointments.. There is no submit option when i try to schedule appointment.. email sent.. awaiting swift action,” said one of the users on X in response to the US embassy’s post. Another visa applicant said, “Nice to see more appointments being added. However, the new website for scheduling is a royal mess and pain, to say the least. I have been stuck with an appointment issue for more than a month now, despite calling customer service every day.”