US to issue record number of business and tourism visas to Indians in 2023

US to issue record number of business and tourism visas to Indians in 2023

The wait time for H1B visas and L1 work visas, has already been reduced down from 18 months to two months.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Saturday, January 28, 2023, 04:45 PM IST
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Indians hoping to visit the US are having to wait for anything between a few months to as much as three years for visa appointments. While B1 visas are offered for business trips to the US, tourists are required to secure B2 visas, and a backlog has hit processing for both. With measures to cut down the record high waiting time, the US claims that it will process the highest ever visa applications by Indians this year.

Opening up more slots, hiring more staff

According to John Ballard, the chief at the US Consulate in Mumbai, they had abjudicated 8 lakh visas in 2022, and are close to hitting pre-pandemic levels. He also went on to claim that this year, pre-pandemic levels will also be surpassed to set a new record for Indians getting US visas. After entrepreneurs, job aspirants and students were left in the lurch due to increased waiting time for interviews, the US opened up 2.5 lakh appointments earlier this week.

Focus on business and tourism visas

Additional staff has been called in from embassies from across the globe, to speed up abjudication for first time applicants. The 2.5 lakh slots are all aimed at speeding up B1 and B2 as well as business travel visas. The applications for renewal of visas can also be sent online via email, and US embassies around the world will help abjudicate them to clear the backlog.

Professionals already getting quick access

As for work visas, the wait time for H1B visas focused on IT professionals and L1 visas, has already gone down from 18 months to two months. Special interviews are also being scheduled for first time applicants in US Consulates of Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata, along with the embassy in Delhi.

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