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US visa appointment wait times near 1000 days

US visa appointment wait times at consulates located in Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, and Mumbai are near 1000 calendar days for first time visitor visas. Earlier in a media release, the US State Department said, “As of November 2022; the median worldwide wait time for a tourist visa (B1/B2) interview appointment is about two months. Applicants with urgent travel needs who meet certain criteria can apply for an emergency appointment, usually available within days. However, the wait times at consulates in India are so high that persons who book slots now can expect appointments in 2025. At the Hyderabad consulate, the wait time for visitor visas is 994 calendar days whereas, at Mumbai, it is 999 calendar days.

 The wait times at Chennai and Kolkata for visitor visas are 948 and 904 calendar days respectively.

Steps being taken to reduce visa appointment wait times. Though the visa appointment wait times have gone up enormously, attempts are being made to bring them down. To reduce the wait times, authorities are making more applicants eligible for interview waivers. Apart from it, dropbox cases are being sent abroad for adjudication. Despite taking these steps the US visa appointment wait times are coming down due to the fact that the US consulates in India are facing staff shortages. While the number of visa applications has reached to pre-pandemic level, the staff at the US Consulates in India has not reached that level. It is expected that the pre-pandemic level of staff will be reached by next Summer.

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