US Embassy said that applicants for US visas can now submit their applications via Dropbox. In response to enquiries regarding whether such applications can be considered by email, the embassy provided clarification.
According to John Ballard, the consular chief of the US Consulate General in Mumbai, the US embassy and consulates in India are prepared to issue a record number of visas to Indian students in 2023.
The number of applicants was the highest we’ve ever received here in India, and he predicted that by 2023, even more, Indian students will be coming to seek visas. This follows the US embassy’s decision-making of more than 1,25,000 student visas in 2022.
In the meantime, the United States last month announced additional programmes for Indians seeking visas, including special interviews for first-time applicants and increased visa staffing nationwide to shorten wait times.
In order to serve applicants who want in-person visa interviews, the United States opened consulate offices across the nation as part of this strategy.
“On January 21, the U.S. Mission in India launched the first in a series of special Saturday interview days, as part of a larger effort to reduce wait times for first-time visa applicants. The United States Embassy in New Delhi and Consulates in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, and Hyderabad all opened consular operations on Saturday to accommodate applicants who require in-person visa interviews,” the statement from the US embassy read.
The statement said, “In the coming months, the Mission will continue to open additional slots for appointments to take place on select Saturdays.”
According to the embassy, remote processing of interview waiver cases for applicants with prior U.S. visas has been established by the US government. The statement claimed that “Between January and March 2023, dozens of temporary consular officers from Washington and other embassies will arrive in India to increase processing capacity.”
Additionally, it stated that the US State Department is expanding the number of consular employees who are firmly placed in charge of the Embassy and Consulates.
“The U.S. Mission in India released more than 250,000 additional B1/B2 appointments. Consulate General Mumbai also extended its weekday operating hours to make space for additional appointments,” the statement included.
The US announced new steps last month, including the scheduling of special interviews for first applicants and boosting the number of consular staff members.
The US embassy in Delhi and the consulates in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, and Hyderabad held “special Saturday interview days” on January 21 as part of a multi-pronged effort to reduce the visa backlog.
In the upcoming months, the mission will keep making “additional slots” available for appointments to take place on particular Saturdays. More than 2,50,000 extra B1/B2 appointments were made available by the US mission in India. B-2 is a tourist visa, whereas B1 is a business visa.
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