Us embassy and its consulates in india have launched several new initiatives to cut wait time and increase visa processing across the country. the us mission, which includes the us embassy in delhi and consulates in mumbai, chennai, kolkata and hyderabad, have taken action to reduce wait times for indian visitors to the us. this was due to the covid-19 pandemic, which created a large backlog and affected several indian businesses and thousands of indians who rely on the visa to live and work in the us.
Initiatives to reduce wait time and increase visa processing started in 2022. the us mission has extended its operating hours on weekdays and opened its offices on saturdays to accommodate applicants who require in-person visa interviews. the consulate general in mumbai has also increased the number of consular officers permanently assigned to offices in india. by march, it will also incorporate dozens of temporary consular officers from washington and other embassies to increase its processing capacity.
Us mission has made it a priority to facilitate legitimate travel and has released 250,000 additional b1/b2 visa appointments in 2022. this is in contrast to those from european cities where the wait time is around 20 days and asian cities such as beijing and colombo, where it is approximately 30-35 days. the us mission said its services in india had been hit by the covid-19 pandemic, creating a large backlog and thus the need for the new initiatives.