Travelling to US? Now, use third-country route for quick visa appointment

With an aim to cut delays in visa processing, the US embassy in India today said that Indians who are planning to travel abroad can now get a visa appointment at consulates in those countries.

Giving example of Thailand, the embassy said that the island nation has opened B1/B2 appointment capacity for Indians who will be in the country in the coming months. The wait period in Bangkok for B1/B2 interview is just 14 days.

“Do you have upcoming international travel? If so, you may be able to get a visa appointment at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your destination. For example, @USEmbassyBKK has opened B1/B2 appointment capacity for Indians who will be in Thailand in the coming months,” US embassy said in a tweet.

Last month, the embassy launched a slew of new initiatives, including scheduling special interviews for first time applicants and increasing strength of consular staff, to reduce visa processing delays. The mission has also started conducting interviews on select Saturdays.

Not only this, the US State Department has also implemented remote processing of interview waiver cases for applicants with previous US visas.

There have been growing concerns over the long waiting period for first time visa applicants. The waiting period of first time B1/B2 visa applicants in India was close to three years in October last year.

While the wait time for a student visa (F-1) has stabilised to about 90 days, business and tourist visas (B-1, B-2) wait times remain high, reaching almost two years in most consulates around the country.