By: Mohnish Singh
The US Embassy in India has said that Indians who are travelling abroad can get a visa appointment at the US Embassy or consulate of their destination. It cited the example of Thailand, saying that the country has opened appointment capacity for B1 and B2 visas (business and travel) for Indians.
The US Embassy in India took to its Twitter handle to make the announcement. In a tweet on February 3, the US Embassy in India stated, “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.”
Meanwhile, the US Embassy in India in another tweet informed that they have processed more than 1 Lakh visa applications. It further said that their team will grow this spring.
The US Embassy in a tweet on February 4 stated, “This January, the U.S. Mission to India processed over 1 Lakh visa applications. That’s more than in any month since July 2019 and one of our highest monthly totals ever! And we aren’t done yet. Our capacity will continue to increase as our team grows this spring.”
Earlier on January 21, the US Mission in India launched the first in a series of special Saturday interview days to reduce wait times for first-time visa applicants. The US Embassy in New Delhi and Consulates in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad all opened consular operations on Saturday to accommodate applicants who require in-person visa interviews.
“On January 21, the U.S. Mission in India launched the first in a series of special Saturday interview days, as part of a larger effort to reduce wait times for first-time visa applicants,” the US Embassy in India announced in a statement.
The US Mission will continue to open additional slots for appointments to take place on select Saturdays, according to the statement released by US Embassy in India. These additional interview days is among the measures that have been taken to address the backlog in visa processing caused by COVID-19.
The US Department of State has implemented remote processing of interview waiver cases for applicants with previous US visas. According to the statement, dozens of temporary consular officers from Washington and other embassies will arrive in India to increase processing capacity between January-March.
The US Department of State is also increasing the number of consular officers permanently assigned to the Embassy and Consulates. The US Mission in India released more than 250,000 additional B1/B2 appointments, according to the statement released by US Embassy in India.
Consulate General Mumbai has also extended its weekday operating hours to make space for additional appointments. According to the statement, the US Mission in India will be at full staffing by this summer and they expect to be processing visas at levels from prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.