Apply Early for Visas, U.S. Embassy Tells Indian Travelers

Applicants across India may currently have to wait for a period of 30 days or more for a visa interview appointment to become available, the U.S. embassy said.


Indian travelers planning to visit the United States this summer should apply early for U.S. visa, the U.S. embassy in New Delhi said on April 17, citing heavy demand for visas currently.

Applicants across India may now have to wait for 30 days or more for a visa interview appointment to become available. The embassy said that it expected the wait time to continue to be long for the next few months.

“The Indian mission’s non immigrant visa workload is one of the largest in the world, processing over a million visas a year. In the last five years, the demand for visas to travel to the United States has increased by over 60 percent,” the embassy said in the statement.

The U.S. embassy and its consulates in Indian cities like Hyderabad, Chennai, and Mumbai are constantly working to improve service and meet demand, it added, saying that applicants should be aware of the fact that summer is a peak travel season and there will be delays in getting visa appointments. It advised travelers to apply early to avoid potential delays.

“Applicants are also reminded to beware of scams and fraud.  The only way to get a visa is through official channels.  Someone can either apply and have an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate, or if they have had a visa before and meet certain criteria, they may qualify to have their visa renewed,” the statement said.

Anyone claiming to guarantee a visa in exchange for a fee is attempting to defraud an applicant, it warned, asking applicants to apply in the right manner. Currently, the consular sections in India are only able to expedite visa appointments for emergencies.

The U.S. embassy also took to the social media to ask Indian travelers not to wait for the last minute to apply for visas.

In November last year, Indian tourists were ranked sixth when it came to spending time and money in the United States. Indian tourists spent more time during their stay in America as compared to U.S. citizens visiting India.

“India ranks 11th in the United States in terms of number of visitors but in terms of tourism export market, it ranks 6th because there is a trend of Indian visitors staying much longer duration there,” Jonathan Ward, Principal Commercial Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Kolkata, said at the 6th edition of Travel East conference organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on Nov. 23, 2017. “So, an average Indian tourist tends to spend more during his or her trip to the United States,” Ward added.

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