Foreigners wanting to apply for a visa stamp in India this season must expect wait times from anywhere between 75 to 100 days to get a visa appointment for most of the general non-immigrant visa categories.
The current estimated wait times for all non-immigrant visas categories, besides B for visitors, F for students and J for exchange visitors are 75 days for Chennai, 93 days for Hyderabad, 96 days for Kolkata, 88 days for Mumbai and 100 days for New Delhi.
The US DOS (Department of State), which is conscious of the backlog, is working with the Indian government to possibly add more consular positions. According to the DOS, the US non-immigrant visa applications surged by 80% in the last five years.
Even as hastened visa appointments are available, first priority is accorded to compassionate issues, such as medical emergencies and sick relatives in the US. Getting expedited appointments for mercantile emergencies are rare and are under extra scrutiny.
Individuals needing a visa stamp may try to schedule an appointment in a country other than India, in case they are eligible to enter into that country.
Finally, employers should keep their foreign employees informed of these extended visas wait times in India’s consular positions and recommend them to defer any unnecessary travel if they need a new visa stamp.