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Long Wait Times for Visa Appointments at U.S. Consulates in India

The U.S. Department of State is currently experiencing exceptionally long wait times, in excess of two or three months, for appointments to obtain a visa stamp at the five U.S. consular posts in India. As of August 2, 2016, the waiting periods for appointments for employment-based visas (such as H-1B and L-1, as well as H-4 and L-2 dependent visas) reported by the specific consulates in India are as follows:

  • New Delhi: 142 calendar days
  • Chennai: 101 calendar days
  • Hyderabad: 109 calendar days
  • Kolkata: 106 calendar days
  • Mumbai: 81 calendar days

Book your visa appointment early! If you are planning to travel to India in the coming months or over the holidays, and will need a new visa in order to return to the U.S., you should be sure to schedule your visa appointment soon and take these processing times into account when planning your international travel. If you have already applied for and obtained an H-1B visa at a U.S. Consulate in India, you may be eligible for the Visa Interview Waiver “Drop Box” Program. You can check on your eligibility for the visa waiver “drop box” program at the following link:

Applying for Visa in Mexico and Canada. If you are planning any international travel this summer or fall and will need a new visa in order to return to the U.S., you may be able to schedule a visa appointment at a U.S. Consulate in Canada or Mexico. U.S. consulates in Canada generally have very limited availability of visa appointments during the summer months for people who are not citizens or residents of Canada. Therefore, if you are considering applying for a visa in Canada, you should plan well in advance. The U.S. consulates in Mexico will accept appointments for people who are not residents or citizens of Mexico only if you are applying to renew a visa in the same category (e.g. H-1B) in which you have previously been issued a visa elsewhere. The consulates in Mexico will not accept appointments for individuals (other than citizens or residents of Mexico) who will be applying for H-1B visas for the first time.

Please note that if your visa application is subject to administrative processing, you would need to stay in Canada and wait for your application to be approved, which can take several weeks or months. Also, if you require a tourist visa to enter Canada, the processing of these visas can take around one month. If you have a currently valid U.S. visa, you may not be required to obtain a separate visa to enter Mexico as a tourist.

If you have any questions regarding international travel plans, visa processing, and the documentation you will need in order to reenter the U.S., please contact us with questions.


Amy Royalty, Marsha Mavunkel, Joel Paget and Janet Cheetham are attorneys in Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC’s Immigration Group.

Amy can be reached at 206-654-2260 or Marsha can be reached at 206.654.2253 or Joel can be reached at 206.654.2215 or Janet can be reached at 206.654.2235 or

This message has been released by the Immigration Group at Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC to advise of recent developments in the law. Because each situation is different, this information is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice on any specific facts and circumstances. Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC is a full-service law firm located in Seattle, Washington.


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