NEW DELHI: Earlier this week, days after Secretary of State S. Jaishankar told Secretary of State Anthony Brinken about long visa wait times. The US Embassy in Delhi outlined steps to remedy the situation.
Consular affairs counselor Don Heflin at the U.S. The Indian embassy in New Delhi said on Thursday that it expects to have its consulate staffing levels returned to pre-corona levels within a year. However, he plans to hire more temporary workers. He would consider cutting the workforce.He plans to cut back on the size of the workforce. Boxes (no appointment required for those. Who already have a US visa that has expired within a certain period of time). Help reduce wait times in between. He also said bookings of Rs 10,000 for category H and L worker visas will begin “in the coming weeks”.
Staffing levels to reach 100% by September 2023: US EmbassyTheU.S. embassy inDelhiattributed the unrelentingly long wait times for visas to the impact of the coronavirus and said staffing should return to 100% of pre-coronavirus levels within a year. Earlier this week, Secretary of State S.Jaishankar raised the issue with his U.S.counter parts while also offering cooperation fromU.S.officials to reduce backlogs in India. “…The good news is that the Covid recovery and post-Covid staffing issues are well underway. It was only about 50%, now it’s about 70%. Just before that next year, our staff will be at about 100% …by then. We will be able to process about 100% of the [application] volume. We have received pre-Covid,” the minister told the consular department. DonHeflin, adviser to the US Embassy in New Delhi.
“Washington is sending us (staff) on a temporary basis. We’re also getting temporary (staff) from other big embassies. So by next summer, we’ll be able to handle a few more cases. It should look something like this,” he said Heflin.
According to the US State Department website, the current wait time for tourist visas in Mumbai and Delhi is 848 days and 833 days respectively, compared to just two days in Beijing and 18 days in Guangzhou.
Admitting that one of the longest waits was being a first-time applicant for the B1 (business) and B2 (visitor) classes, he said: There is still a waiting time, but I will continue to recover. “
Indians working in the US on H1 visas were also unable to return as their passports had to be stamped prior to their return. About her, Mr. Heflin said: We feel very sorry for them. We plan to open 100,000 bookings for visas in this category in the coming weeks. “
“Our immigration visa operations in Mumbai are steadily reducing the backlog. Mumbai was one of the most frequently convened major immigration visa posts in the world before Covid hit And we expect to return to pre-Corona waiting times sometime next year,” he said.