The waiting list for those applying for a visitor visa - B1 (business) and B2 (tourist) - to the United States is close to 1,000 days.
A search on the US State Department website shows that the waiting period for B1/B2 visa interview is 961 days as of today. The State Department had said earlier this month that it is committed to facilitating legitimate travel to the United States while safeguarding national security.
For those living in Mumbai, the waiting time is 999 days and for Hyderabad, it's 994 days. Chennai residents will have to wait for 948 days to get an appointment, while in Kerala, the waiting period is 904 days, according to the State Department website.
"The estimated wait time to receive an interview appointment at a US Embassy or Consulate can change weekly and is based on actual incoming workload and staffing. These are estimates only and do not guarantee the availability of an appointment," according to the State Department website.
Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar, who visited the US in September, had raised the issue of visa applications backlog with the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The top US diplomat said he's "extremely sensitive" to the issue and that they are facing a similar situation around the world, a challenge arising due to Covid.
Last week, the State Department said that US visa processing is rebounding faster than projected and is expected to reach pre-pandemic levels in Fiscal Year 2023.
Giving the reason behind delays, it said many applicants for US visas are required by the country's law to appear in person. However, local pandemic-era restrictions on public places like our overseas consular sections curbed their ability to see visa applicants.