The US Embassy in India has confirmed it is making over 100,000 visa appointments available for certain temporary and intracompany transferee workers. The appointments are specifically for H and L workers and their families, in response to the high-demand for these employment-based visas.
The development comes as one of a number of assurances the US mission in India gave after Union minister for external affairs S Jaishankar raised the issue of visa delays with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in September.
According to the Embassy, thousands of H&L applicants already have appointments booked, with waiting times for both interview waiver and first-time appointments halved throughout India.
In a series of tweets earlier today, the Embassy stated that “In the first nine months of 2022, the U.S. Mission to India had already processed over 160,000 H&L visas and we will continue to prioritize H&L workers for visa appointments as resources allow.”
Efforts to improve processing are in addition to existing measures designed to facilitate contributions of international visitors and workers to the US. In December 2021, the US Department of State announced it was authorizing a temporary waiver of in-person interviews for certain individual petition-based nonimmigrant work visas and their qualifying derivatives in the following categories: Persons in Specialty Occupations (H-1B visas), Trainee or Special Education Visitors (H-3 visas), Intracompany Transferees (L visas), Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement (O visas), Athletes, Artists, and Entertainers (P visas), and Participants in International Cultural Exchange Programs (Q visas). The waiver is valid until December 31, 2022.
Additionally, the Secretary of State also extended consular officers’ current ability to waive the in-person interview, through December 31, 2022, for the following other categories of nonimmigrant visas: Temporary Agricultural and Non-agricultural Workers (H-2 visas), Students (F and M visas), and Student Exchange Visitors (Academic J visas).