Expect further delays throughout the summer.
The US Department of State recently announced that US consular posts in India are experiencing unusually long wait times for nonimmigrant visa (NIV) interview appointments. Current wait times for H and L visas are between 75 and 100 days. Current wait times for nonimmigrant visa interview appointments (not including B, F, and J visas) are as follows:
These backlogs will likely increase throughout the summer, especially with the enormous increase in student applications that typically occurs in the summer months. The Department of State hopes to add consular positions to alleviate the increase in visa wait times. There are also plans to open a new US consulate in India in the foreseeable future.
Requests for expedited processing of visa applications will usually be granted only on a humanitarian basis involving the loss or threatened loss of life. Those required to travel abroad who must obtain a visa stamp in India should consider delaying travel to India until after the backlogs have subsided. Should an Indian national have reason to travel to another jurisdiction, applying outside of India as a Third Country National may be possible, however, Indian nationals are urged to check requirements at consular posts carefully since not every consulate accepts such applications.
If you have any questions or would like more information on the issues discussed in this Immigration Alert, please contact any of the following Morgan Lewis lawyers:
Eric S. Bord
Lisa Stephanian Burton