US Visa Delays in India - Online Petition by FIIDS to Reduce US B1/ B2 Visa Delays

dummy
MOEC

08 November 2022

1132

Overview

It generally has not been a practical option to obtain a visa in India across various categories, according to attorneys and employers. According to a recent National Foundation for American Policy analysis, wait times to receive a visa interview appointment can exceed a year or more. As a result, professionals, families and companies have been left with few acceptable choices.

Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies launched a change.org petition urging the State Department, Secretary of State Mr Anthony Bliken and the US embassies in India to eliminate wait times for visa appointments in India. In the petition, the US-based diaspora body highlighted the contrast in wait times at the US consulates in China for visa appointments. The online petition has received over 1,100 signatures at the time of writing this.

India raised the issues of hurdles and visa delays with the United States in September. The US promised to consider and act upon it within a few months. This is a crucial issue related to education, technology, family reunions, and businesses. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he was susceptible to this issue and called the problem challenging for the US.

The ability to issue visas dropped dramatically during Covid. This is a self-financing part of the State Department. When Covid hit, demand for visas fell.

What is FIIDS?

FIIDS is a US-based non-profit organisation which stands for Foundation of India and Indian Diaspora Studies. The organisation’s objective is to engage the South Asian diaspora in the United States to strengthen further collaboration in education, science and technology, geopolitical and economic policy, terrorism mitigation, and people engagement.

The organisation celebrates the dynamic and deep relations between people of both the USA and India to encourage everyone else to embrace their shared values of democracy, equal opportunities, pluralism and freedom. It is committed to pursuing efforts towards

What is the Petition About?

A US-based diaspora FIIDS body launched an online campaign urging Antony Blinken, Secretary of State, to lessen the waiting time for various types of American visas issued from India. Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies, or FIIDS, started a petition campaign on change.org, a worldwide non-profit petition website. The key highlight of the petition was the strong contrast in wait times at the US consulates in China for visa appointments. As per Reuters news on 27th Sept, the Secretary of State blamed the lack of resources and funding due to lost revenues from fees on this program". The petition also mentioned the effects of longer period of wait times on international students applying for a US student visa.

The petition requested the concerned authorities to take all necessary steps and to seek emergency funds to resolve this backlog. The petition added that they are willing to assist in any way. It further said they could forge a coalition to help mitigate this issue.

The Situation of Visa Delays

Getting a visa approved can be a task. It is no hidden fact that visa delays are widespread. After the two-year COVID era, there is a pause in visa appointments at US embassies in India. The appointments take 300-900 waiting days, depending upon the type of visa. A 2022 report shows an average of over 900 days of wait time for visitor visas B1 and B2. It also reveals an average of 400 days of wait time for students of F, M, and J visa types and 300 days wait time for H, L, O, P and Q all across the USA consulates in India (Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chennai and New Delhi). Compared to this, the US consulates in China only have an average of 3 days of wait time.

Visa Interview Appointments Wait Time at U.S. Consulate in Chennai

Given below is a table showing the minimum wait time for visa interview appointments at the US consulate in Chennai.

Visa Interview Appointments Wait Time at U.S. Consulate in Chennai

Visitor Visa

780 calendar days

Student Visa

29 calendar days

Other Non-immigrant Visas

415 calendar days

How Does the Visa Delay Affect Indian Americans?

The over 900-day delay robs Indian Americans and immigrants of Indian origin in the US of visiting their families and loved ones, whether at the time of need or celebrations or difficulties, affecting their quality of life.

Effect of Visa Delays on the Students

The 400+ day wait time impacts students going to study in US universities. This affects students' futures and negatively impacts US universities. This also loses the students' rights to work, access education and receive benefits while they wait for a new visa. This also creates stress amongst the students and their families while worrying about getting visa clearance.

Impact of Visa Delays on the Productivity and Economy?

The petition reported that the long period of over 300 days of wait time also impacts the productivity and success of various businesses and industries due to the lack of skilled workers.

According to an article published on the website of Skift, the impact on the economy from visa wait times is a bad sign for a recovering travel industry, and the blame is growing against a State Department that shows no signs of resolving the unprecedented delays.

The wait times are hampering the U.S.’s competitiveness. 66% of Indian tourists said they would probably choose another country due to the extended wait times. 44 per cent of Indians said the visa wait time is one reason they didn’t choose the U.S. as one of their top destinations. All these nuisances translate into a loss of billions in spending for the U.S. travel industry. USTA projects the loss of tourists from Brazil, India, and Mexico equate to $5 billion in 2023.

Visa Delays Could Cost the U.S. an Estimated 6.6 Million Visitors in 2023 and $12 Billion.

Moreover, students who wish to know about US visa appointments may contact our expert counsellors at any branch of Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC). Our expert education counsellors will give you the best guidance and support for the US visa process. You can also take free online counselling from our counsellors through our website. For more information or queries, please mail us at application02@meridean.org or 1800-1230-00011.

Post Comment

Book Your Video Counselling Session