Over 1 lakh H&L work visa appointments released for US

The US Mission to India has made more than one million appointments for H&L visas for employees and their families because of the strong demand for employment-based visas and the number of people who haven’t been able to return home and visit their families since the pandemic began.

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The US Mission to India has made more than one million appointments for H&L visas for employees and their families because of the strong demand for employment-based visas and the number of people who haven’t been able to return home and visit their families since the pandemic began.

“In response to high demand for employment-based visas, the US Mission to India recently released over 100,000 appointments for H&L workers and their families. Thousands of applicants have already booked their appointments and the wait time for both interview waivers and first-time appointments has been cut in half throughout Mission India. This bulk appointment opening reflects our ongoing commitment to H&L workers,” the US Embassy in India tweeted on Friday

The tweet thread further read,

 

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“In fact, 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 prioritise H&L workers for visa appointments as resources allow.”

This was one of the most important assurances provided by the US delegation after External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar took up the problem of visa delays with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken last month.

US Embassy Counsellor Don Heflin admitted on September 30 that there are Americans with H and L visas who haven’t been able to visit their families since the pandemic began.

 

He said “We sympathize with them a lot. We are going to, sometime in the next few weeks, open 100,000 appointments in the year 2023 for this category of visas. And for those of you who are interested in this and want a slot, just check our website every two or three days, every two or 3 hours during October.”

Counselor Heflin further cautioned the applicants not to check the website more frequently than advised. He added, “Don’t check it any more than that because it will lock you out. You’re locked out for 72 hours.”

For first-time applicants for B1 (business) and B2 (visitor) visas, the wait periods as of Friday were 884 days in Delhi and 872 days in Mumbai, getting closer to 2.5 years.

 

L-1 and H-1B are two of the most often used non-immigrant work visas in the US. While H-1B is better suitable for people who want to work for US companies and need more job flexibility, L-1 is more suited for people who work for MNCS.