The US government is aware of the long delays in visa appointments for India and is working to respond to the demand for these services, the White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said. Jean-Pierre was responding to a question on the extremely long visa appointment period at the US missions in India. US visa wait time for Indians currently runs into more than 1,000 days.
The White House Spokesperson said, “That is something that we will continue to do. We are successfully lowering visa interview wait times, that’s around the world, and we’ve doubled our hiring of US Foreign Service personnel to do this important work. Visa processing is recovering faster than projected, and this year we expect to reach pre-pandemic levels.”
She also accepted that staffing challenges and pandemic-related closures have impacted the pace of visa processing. Led by Indian American community leader Ajay Jain Bhaturia, the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders made several recommendations to the Biden administration to reduce ridiculously long visa wait times in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and other countries.
The commission recommended the State Department take necessary steps to ramp up visa processing and reduce wait times to 2-4 weeks in countries with excruciatingly long wait times such as India. It added that the State Department should allow virtual interviews where applicable and staff from embassies globally should be allowed to conduct virtual interviews to reduce backlogs.
The issue of extremely long wait times for visas for Indians has also been raised on Twitter time and again. Comedian Paul Graham wrote, “Inefficiency of this magnitude makes America look incompetent. Because it is incompetent; this is banana republic-level performance.”
Non-immigrant visa, visitor visa (B1/B2), student visa (F1/F2), and temporary worker visa (H, L, O, P, Q) appointments with US embassies in countries like India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, other Asian nations and Pacific Islands have painfully long backlogs. The excruciatingly long wait time has led to hardships for Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) families inside the US and outside and major problems for students, businesses, and visitors.
Also read: 'Tremendous efforts underway': US looks to solve problem of long wait time in visa issuance in India
Also read: US visa: Interview wait time goes up to almost 1,000 days for B1, B2 applicants in India; embassy cites staff shortage
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