The Average Wait Time Before 2023
No promises are being made, but the outlook for reduced waits in 2023 is hopeful. There are various reasons why USCIS is offering this ray of hope to those waiting for visas, and they’re all valid.
In the past, the wait time for a fully processed visa application was months at a minimum. Depending on the application's complexity and the processing center's workload, it could even take years.
For instance, the wait time for a visa appointment at an Embassy or Consulate in India was close to 999 days. That’s a long time to sit and wonder about what your next steps in life are going to be and wait to start any long-term projects because of the possibility that you’d be leaving the country soon.
Reduced Wait Times Could Be Around the Corner
There are various reasons for these extended wait times. The most important consideration is that USCIS must screen every candidate thoroughly for security reasons before they can enter the US.
The visa program is designed to allow foreigners into the country for valid reasons. However, many people attempt to get around the system and head to the US for illegal purposes. The extensive screening allows USCIS to ensure the applicant, their sponsor, and the job offer or education on the petition are all legitimate.
Another reason for the delay is the inefficiency of processes at the USCIS centers. These aren’t due to worker issues, although worker shortages do come into play. Rather, the inefficient processes are because of budget constraints, out-of-date technology, and other monetary concerns.
USCIS has requested a change in regulation that increases visa fees and should correct many of these problems at the source, resulting in faster application reviews.
Finally, the backlog of cases that had been postponed due to COVID is almost caught up. Almost all embassies and consulates have re-opened, increasing the release of interview slots. Even with the current wait times, finishing the delayed visa applicants gives workers a chance to focus on those who have applied since COVID.
It seems like a winning situation all around provided the legislation goes through and USCIS is granted its long-awaited fee increase.
The reduced wait time is exciting, but even with streamlined processes, petitioning for a visa can be a lengthy journey. Each step has deadlines, wait periods, and delays, especially if you miss filling out a piece of the application or don’t understand what is expected of you.
To ensure you’re heading to the US on your schedule, contact Visa2US today. We’ll help you come up with a plan for your career as you reach out to potential sponsors and complete the applications to reduce the risk of timely mistakes.
At Visa2US, our experts are available all day, every day. Take the first step toward your H-1B visa and your new career in the US, and call us now.