US embassy advises Indian travellers to apply early for visa

New Delhi: The U.S. Embassy in New Delhi has recommended travelers across India to apply early for U.S. visas due to heavy demand.

The embassy said that applicants should be aware that the summer is a peak travel season and there will be delays in getting visa appointments.

“Travelers should apply early to avoid potential delays,” the embassy said in a release, adding that “the U.S. Embassy and its four Consulates are constantly working to improve service and meet demand”.

It said that presently the applicants across India may have to wait for 30 days or more for a visa interview appointment.

It is expected that this wait time will continue for at least the next few months, the U.S. Embassy said.

It added that Mission India’s nonimmigrant visa workload is one of the largest in the world, processing over a million visas a year.

“In the last five years, the demand for visas to travel to the United States has increased by over 60 percent.”

The U.S. Embassy also warned the applicants to beware of scams and fraud and said, “The only way to get a U.S. visa is through official channels. Someone can either apply and have an interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, or if they have had a visa before and meet certain criteria, they may qualify to have their visa renewed. Anyone claiming they can guarantee a visa in exchange for a fee is attempting to defraud you. Applicants should be smart and apply the right way.”

It said that Consular sections in Mission India are currently only able to expedite visa appointments for cases involving genuine emergencies.