Visa Appointment Wait Times Reduce by Half in January ’23

With the new year comes some good news in regards to visitor visa appointment wait time at US Embassies and Consulates in India – most have been reduced by almost half! 

While the wait times are still much higher than they were in the first half of last year, they have reduced significantly in comparison to where they were in late last year. For some US Embassies and Consulates in India, the visitor visa appointment wait time was up to 999 days. Now, most wait times for the major Embassies and Consulates are around 490-550 days.

Visa Appointment Wait Times Reduce by Half in January '23

Looking at the National Visa Center’s December 2022 Immigrant Visa Backlog report, it does appear that more progress is being made and that the number of visa applicants pending a scheduled interview has decreased since November 2022.

NVC’s December 2022 Immigrant Visa Backlog Report

Number of IV applicants whose cases are documentarily complete at NVC and ready for interview as of October 31411,359
Number of documentarily complete IV applicants scheduled for November 2022 interview appointments33,406
Number of eligible IV applicants still pending the scheduling of an interview after November 2022 appointment scheduling was completed
377,953

Plan for Future US Travel Now

Even with the decrease in visa appointment wait times, you may want to start your planning now if you are looking to travel to the US. It is recommended to schedule the first available visa interview appointment now, and to continue checking back every day for a sooner appointment. You can move up your appointment if you find a sooner one up to three total times.

Interview Waiver Program

You may also want to check if you qualify for the Interview Waiver Program to bypass lengthy visa appointment wait times. This program gives you the ability to travel to the US for tourism or business for up to 90 days without a visa.The current wait times for the Interview Waiver Program are much shorter, so you can get in more quickly. However, you will want to make sure that you meet all the qualifications necessary. These include having a valid passport and authorization through the ESTA, or Electronic Systems for Travel Authorization, prior to boarding your flight. For more information regarding the Interview Waiver Program, visit the travel.state.gov website.

Check back next month for another update on visitor visa appointment wait times in India!

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