As per the US Embassy's announcement last week, appointments for US tourist and visitor visas B1 and B2 are set to resume in India. September onwards, routine in-person visa appointments for these visa categories will be resumed as the rush for US study visas has decreased.
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The official statement was announced on the embassy's social media platforms. The statement also mentioned the cancellation of previously scheduled placeholder appointments.
As per the US department of commerce data, India emerged in 2021 as the fifth largest country with international visitors travelling to the US. In 2020, interviews for the B1-B2 visas were stopped by the US mission in India. Due to the pandemic, all visa appointments were put on hold.
The applicants whose appointments were cancelled can book regular appointments by re-entering the scheduling system. Placeholders were interview slots given to first-time applicants for the B1-B2 visitor visa. Since there were no interviews being done, these placeholders weren't actual slots and thus were cancelled.
Applicants can book these through USCIS (the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) scheduling system. Applicants with placeholder slots have been given the option to raise emergency or expedited appointment requests. However, a valid reason is required to request these appointments.
The US Embassy's announcement regarding the tourist visa resumption comes as a great relief for Indian travellers who had put their travel plans on hold.