india shutterstock_244809391According to a June 13, 2016 practice alert from AILA, appointment wait times for nonimmigrant visa interviews in India have soared.  This dramatic increase is likely the result of a reported increase in visa demand of over 80 percent in the past 5 years.  Unfortunately the AILA DOS Liaison Committee has indicated that they anticipate wait times will continue and potentially worsen throughout the summer months.

In light of this, Indian nationals should consider traveling for visa stamping only if necessary and monitoring consular wait times.  It is also important to plan well in advance of travel in order to secure an appointment time.  If Indian nationals will be traveling to other countries, they may also consider processing as third country Nationals (TCN) at consular posts outside of India.  It is important to note that consular posts have different rules regarding the acceptance of TCNs, so an individual may wish to confirm an Indian National will be accepted based upon his/her specific situation.  Factors to consider include the Indian national’s reason for travel to the jurisdiction, visa classification, and whether the visa is an initial application or extension.

Finally, in limited cases there may be an opportunity to request an expedited appointment through the Mission India visa appointment system.  These appointments are primarily reserved for humanization issues, leaving urgent business emergencies as second priority.  Success in obtaining an expedited appointment for business reasons will hinge on ability to explain advance travel was not possible, and the adverse impact to the company if an expedited appointment is not obtained.

Reported wait times are as follows:

  • Chennai – 75 days
  • Hyderabad – 93 days
  • Kolkata – 96 days
  • Mumbai – 88 days
  • New Delhi – 100 days