The demand for U.S. visas from Indian citizens has increased by 80 percent in the past five years, according to officials from the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi. Although there have been systematic improvements made in order to increase efficiency and address the high demand, the consulates are still facing a staff shortage in relation to the number of visa applications.
Therefore, visa candidates are advised to apply well ahead of their travelling date to make sure they will have their documents ready in good time. For instance, the U.S. Consulate in Chennai, India, now processes between 1,000 and 1,500 visas each day. As a consequence, the average time for scheduling a visa appointment has gone from a week and a half maximum to about four weeks. During the summer, when demand is even higher than usual, that timespan can be exceeded.
Last year, 1.1 million Indian citizens were issued a U.S. visa. Out of that total, 280,000 were processed in Chennai.
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