Those seeking an appointment for US B1 and B2 visa (travel and business) urgently and wanting to avoid long waiting periods in India can now travel to other countries to the US embassy or consulate. The US mission in New Delhi on Friday announced that this new facility has been opened in Thailand and will soon be made accessible in other countries.
“Do you have upcoming international travel? If so, you may be able to get a visa appointment at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your destination. For example, @USEmbassyBKK has opened B1/B2 appointment capacity for Indians who will be in Thailand in the coming months,” US embassy, India, tweeted.
On average, the waiting period in India’s northeastern Kolkata state is 589 days, and 638 days in Mumbai, as opposed to just 14 days in Bangkok.
The US has been accelerating work to reduce the longer waiting hours to process visas for Indians.
From arranging special interviews for first-time applicants and expanding the strength of consular workers, to holding “special Saturday interview days” on January 21, the US embassy has been implementing a multi-pronged approach to reduce the delays.
For applicants with prior US visas, the US State Department has also instituted remote processing of interview waiver instances.
More than 250,000 additional B1/B2 appointments were made public two weeks ago by the US mission in India.
A senior US visa officer told PTI news agency recently that the US is “putting every ounce of its energy” into reducing the lengthy visa wait time in India.
This includes sending a team of consular officers to the nation and making its other overseas embassies, including those in Germany and Thailand, open to Indian citizens seeking visas.
India has been one of the few countries where applications for US visas saw a major upswing after Covid-related travel restrictions were lifted.
India’s foreign minister S Jaishankar had raised this issue in September with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
(With inputs from agencies)
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