The US embassy in India on Thursday announced that interviews for the student visa will open from mid-November and will go on till the end of December. Don Heflin, Minister Counsellor for Consular Affairs, US Embassy, announced the same while discussing the visa wait times and visa processing in consular sections across India during a live chat on Facebook (which was also streamed on Instagram).
The United States will also open 100,000 slots over the next few weeks for applicants of H and L worker visas, especially for drop box cases.
While taking the question regarding student visas for the United States, Heflin announced that the embassy will be conducting interviews starting from mid-November till the end of December. The first half of the appointment slots will open in mid-October and the rest around mid-November.
On September 8, the embassy authorities had said the US Mission in India has issued a record-breaking 82,000 student visas in 2022 to date, adding that Indian students received more US student visas than those from any other country.
However, many across the country are concerned over the delay in the processing of US visa applications from India. They said that the delay was “hurting” working professionals and students.
Addressing the same, the US Embassy in India on its website has put up a note earlier this month saying, “Due to reduced staffing and numerous pandemic-related disruptions to our operations since March 2020, appointment demand is high across all visa categories and wait times may be lengthy for most routine non-immigrant visa appointments at the U.S. Embassy New Delhi and the consulates in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai.”
The Department of State has authorised consular officers to waive the in-person interview requirement for certain categories of visa applicants through 31 December 2022, it said.
Meanwhile, in Washington, Jaishankar had raised the issue of the huge backlog of US visa applications from India with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to which the top American diplomat said he was sensitive to the matter and had a plan to address it.
He said, “To the people who are concerned about the visa issues, I would like to give the message that I understand their anxiety and the urgency and which is precisely the reason why I took up the matter.”