No Interview Is Required For An US Visa
We are all aware of the lengthy visa lines that have developed in US embassies and consulates. The move to waive interviews for US visas is wonderful news.
They are trying to reduce visa waiting time at any cost. For this reason, The United States has announced a significant liberalization of the visa process for the Citizens of India. The waiver for VISA interviews is being expanded into many categories. The categories include business and tourist visas, skilled worker visas, and student visas.
HOW THE NO INTERVIEW FOR US VISA WORK?
The introduction of the “dropbox” facility by the US is very helpful. This is used to renew a US visa without the applicant not necessarily making an in-person appearance for an interview. This initiative is being expanded into many visa categories.
If a person has obtained a visa in a certain category at any time previously, she now becomes eligible for an interview waiver and can use the dropbox facility. The interview waiver will be applicable to B1 and B2 visas that may have expired in the last four years.
THE DROP BOX RELEVANCE: NO INTERVIEW FOR US VISA
Since getting an in-person interview appointment with a US Embassy visa official may be time-consuming, an interview waiver will significantly bring down waiting time for US visas in days to come.
For instance, the estimated wait time for a non-immigrant visa interview appointment at the US Embassy in New Delhi is currently 925 days, whereas the wait time for interview waiver cases in the same category is 291 days.
However, the dropbox facility is subject to the fulfillment of certain terms.
Applicants for student visas, who have in the past traveled to the US on tourist visas, can also seek an interview waiver, even though they may be called for biometrics in case that wasn’t done earlier.
KNOW “DROPBOX” IN US INTERVIEW WAIVER
Literally, dropbox is not a mere box. However, it is a booking strategy for the submission of the visa application as given by the Embassy. Essentially, it is doing away of the interview stage.
HOW TO THE PROBLEM ARISE, AND WHAT OTHER STEPS HAS THE US TAKEN?
COVID brought about travel restrictions. This created a huge backlog of VISA applications to the US. Staffing also became a problem at the various US embassies. In this regard, the United States has taken steps to resolve this impasse. The dispatch of dropbox and the addition of staff at the embassies are steps that have been taken.
According to embassy officials, the wait time has already decreased from 15 months to about nine months.
Before the pandemic, the average wait time, depending on the category of visa, varied between a few weeks to a few months in cases of B1 or B2 visas in peak season.
US Embassy officials say that by the summer of 2023, they expect visa processing to be back at the pre-pandemic level of around 1.2 million per year.