According to state department officials, the Biden administration has reduced wait times worldwide for nonimmigrant visa interviews. Foreign nationals who wish to travel, conduct business, obtain medical treatment, or engage in temporary employment in the United States are granted nonimmigrant visas. Since visa applicants are often obliged to appear in person under U.S. law, local constraints from the Covid-19 pandemic era had limited the agency’s capacity to see visa applicants. Longer wait periods for U.S. visa interview appointments are the consequence of the applications that piled up over the previous two years mixed with normal seasonal demand.
However, Julie Stufft, Deputy Assistant Secretary for visa services at the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, revealed during a press briefing that the organization had doubled the number of U.S. foreign service employees hired to process visa applications and that the process was recovering more quickly than anticipated.
Meanwhile, David Bier, a libertarian Cato Institute Assistant Director of Immigration Policy who follows the topic attentively asserts that nonimmigrant visa processing has not been reinstated to its pre-pandemic levels. In August, visitors to the United States had to wait a long period of time to get their visas, whether they were coming here for business or schooling. According to State Department data, some overseas tourists had to wait six months to a year to schedule a visa interview. However, authorities are working hard to recover and resolve the visa backlog every day.