New Delhi: The United States Embassy has launched ‘Super Saturday’ interviews for reaching out to more & more Indian visa applicants and processing their request at the earliest. Through the pan-India ‘special interview sessions’ on every Saturday now onwards, the Embassy hopes to not just clear the backlog of applications but also lay special focus on the first time visa applicants.
Super Saturday interviews, the first of its kind initiative was launched by US Embassy & its consulates on January 21, with an aim to reduce the wait-time for visa interviews. This Super Saturday drive will continue through February & March. Reports also suggest that US government will send more immigration officials at its Embassy & consulate offices in India to expedite the visa screening process.
Briefing about the ambitious drive, the US Embassy, via an Instagram post, said that the Embassy & consulate officials are organizing interviews on wide scale & working in close tandem with applicants for visa clearance. It said that more than 2.5 lakh interviews/appointments have taken place in last few days.
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The US Embassy said that it plans to cater to all those wanting to visit America and has therefore adopted a multi-pronged approach to not just reduce the wait time for interviews and also enhance their chances of getting US visa.
“Through sustained effort over the past year, we’ve brought wait times for all other categories down to pre-covid levels. Now the US Embassy & Consulates are working overtime to reduce the B1/B2 interview wait time,” the US embassy said in a statement.
In the Instagram post, it also thanked the people for turning up at Embassies in large numbers and making the ‘Super Saturday’ drive successful.
Reducing backlog & B1/B2 interview wait time
The US embassy is working overtime to address the backlog in student visas and rigorous screening also yielded results. In 2022, it handed over 82,000 visa to Indian students. Now, it is working hard to reduce the wait time in other categories including those for B1/B2 visa applicants.
As Indians account for highest immigration to US, just after China, the authorities expect number of visa scaling upto almost 1 lakh/month i.e. 12 lakh/annum by 2023.
What purpose do B1 & B2 Visa serve
Following the Covid-19 outbreak, the visa screening & immigration process got abruptly disrupted. Though, visa procedures are underway, the delay & long waiting period for B1/B2 applications have been a matter of concern for sometime. Till last October, the waiting period for these visas as about 3 years.
B1 Visa denotes business category while B2 visa denotes tourism class and are classified under non-immigrant visa. The Embassy has stepped up its focus on clearing non-immigrant visas including the coveted H-1B visas, B-1 (business visa), B-2 (tourism visa).
Under the H-1B visa, the US companies have flexibility to employ foreign workers in specific occupations requiring technical expertise. Indian nations comprise a large portion of H-1B visa holders.