It has been projected that there will be around 1.2 million applicants in total by the summer of 2023, reported Livemint citing a senior official of the US embassy. According to the official, India is a top priority for the United states and there will be a dramatic decrease in the period that candidates must wait before acquiring a US visa. Washington wants to put the situation back to how it was before Covid-19 by the middle of 2023, said the official while talking to Livemint.
It is expected that every month approximately one lakh visas will be issues. In the last one year, over 82,000 visas were awarded by the US. India is among the few nations where applications for US visas have increased significantly after travel restrictions relating to Covid were abolished.
The official noted that in view of the prolonged wait for visa processing period, the US is also initiating a variety of initiatives, including increasing staff and extending the “drop box” facilities. The “drop box” facilitt is the method utilised to renew a US visa without having to go through the interview. Those who have applied for a US visa within the last four years are eligible for the drop-box service.
The wait time has been dropped for several categories, going from 450 days to around nine months, according to the official.
India is predicted to move up to second place in terms of the number of visas the US grants. The official said to Livemint that focus was also being given to decreasing the wait times for student visas, particularly for those seeking visa renewals, adding that India now lags behind Mexico and China.
According to the official, the US formerly gave Indians priority for the H (H1B) and L category visas, and recently, one million slots became available for them. The official also stated that the B1, B2 (business and tourist) visa wait time, which is typically nine months, is being shortened.