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U.S. Consulates in India Report Visa Appointment Backlogs, Delays

14 Jun

The U.S. Department of State has confirmed that U.S. Consulates in India are reporting lengthy wait times for obtaining visa appointments. Posts currently report the following wait times for nonimmigrant visa appointments:

PostVisitor (B) or Student (F-1) Visa Wait Time (in days)Other Appointment (H-1B, L-1) Wait Time (in days)
Chennai3575
Hyderabad25101
Kolkata3484
Mumbai2374
New Delhi2265

The lengthy backlogs and wait times for visa appointments have been blamed on the overall increase in volume of visa applications at U.S. posts in India, which has increased 80% in the last five years.

Because the wait times are so long, applicants who are living in the United States and planning to travel back to India for a visit this summer should try to book their visa appointment at the earliest possible time. If a timely appointment is not available, applicants wanting to avoid lengthy delays in returning to the United States may wish to delay their travel to India until just before their appointments or even wait until after the peak summer travel season.

If a trip cannot be postponed, visa applicants should secure the earliest available appointment, and revisit the appointment scheduling site frequently to check for new appointment slots that may open in the event of cancellations. In some cases it may be possible to secure an expedited appointment for urgent personal or business travel, though the standards applied in determining the urgency of the travel need may be quite high.

In order to avoid delays in visa issuance, applicants should make sure they have all required documents in hand on the day of their visa appointment. Assuming the visa is approved for issuance, it generally takes only 1-3 business days for return of the passport.

Applicants who have had a criminal issue, including being charged with a DUI, are strongly encouraged to speak with their Foster attorney before departing the U.S.

Foster will continue to monitor visa appointment availability for extreme backlogs and will provide further updates as appropriate in future Foster Immigration Updates© and on our firm’s website at www.fosterglobal.com.