According to sources, consular officers are now temporarily authorized to forgo in-person interviews for individual petition-based non-immigrant work visas and their qualifying derivatives in numerous categories until December 31, 2022.
Given the high demand for employment-based visas and the families of Indian citizens working in the United States, the US Mission in India has announced over 1 million appointments for H-1B and L-1 visas. Because of the thousands of applicants who have previously scheduled appointments, the embassy stated that wait times for both interview waiver and first-time appointments had been cut in half across Mission India.
The issue of visa delays was raised by External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar during a meeting with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken earlier in September. As part of the US mission in India, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken provided EAM Jaishankar with many promises, including the release of appointments. “In response to increased demand for employment-based visas, the US Mission to India recently released
over 100,000 appointments for H&L workers and their families,” according to the US Embassy. “Hundreds of thousands of candidates have already scheduled appointments, and the wait time for both interview waiver and first-time appointments has been slashed in half across Mission India.” This bulk appointment opening demonstrates our continuous dedication to H and L workers. The US Mission in India has already processed over 160,000 work visas in the first nine months of 2022. “As resources allow, we will continue to prioritize H and L employees for visa appointments,” the embassy noted.
L-1 and H-1B are two of the most common non-immigrant work visas in the United States. While L-1 visas are preferred for people working for multinational corporations, H-1B visas are preferred for those seeking to work for US firms and want more job flexibility.