For a US visa, New Delhi has a two-year wait while Beijing has a two-day wait

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hAFUBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALwGsYoAAaRlbhAAAAAASUVORK5CYII= For a US visa, New Delhi has a two-year wait while Beijing has a two-day wait

As the wait period for visa appointments in India exceeds two years, a social media debate erupted comparing the length of time to appointments for visas in China. According to the US State Department website, the wait for an interview for visitor visas is 833 days for Delhi applicants and 848 days for Mumbai applicants. In contrast, the wait period for Beijing is merely two days and for Islamabad it is 450 days.

The wait for student visas in Delhi and Mumbai is 430 days. Unexpectedly, Beijing only has two days while Islamabad only has one. According to US embassy spokesperson Chris Elms, the US Mission to India was open throughout the most of the pandemic, but the number of applications that could be accepted each day was limited by regional restrictions including lockdowns and social distance limits.

Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar, who is now in the US, spoke with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken yesterday about the backlog in visa applications. An important US diplomat said he is “extremely sensitive” to the problem and the fact that Covid-related challenges are being faced globally in a similar fashion.

According to insiders, the delay is a result of fewer employees being assigned to the visa procedure because fewer applications were made during the pandemic. They said that the backlog resulted from an increase in visa requests for both tourists and students after Covid, which they blamed on a lack of manpower.

“Consular Team India is also making use of new authorities that increase processing efficiency, including expanded interview waiver authority for previously issued applicants. In practice, this means tens of thousands of appointments are yet to be opened between now and the “next available” date currently showing in the system,” said Elms.

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