|July 8, 2014|
Previously published on June 27, 2014
Applicants for Indian visas in the United States continue to see processing delays and other filing difficulties since India changed to a new visa processing vendor in May.
Visa applicants are reporting problems in scheduling submission appointments using the new vendor’s online application tracking and appointment scheduling system. Some applicants are finding the system provides incorrect tracking data - for example, the system sometimes indicates that a visa has been issued when the application is still being processed.
In some cases, the transfer of applicants’ passports from the vendor to an Indian consular post for endorsement can be delayed for two to three weeks. The return of passports to applicants has also been delayed for some applicants.
Applicants should be aware that India’s U.S. processing vendor does not respond to case- specific inquiries, though it will address general questions.
What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals
Individuals in the United States who intend to apply for a visa for travel to India should expect continuing delays in the coming months. Employers should begin the visa application process at least two months before an employee’s proposed start date in India to account for the delays. Employers and applicants should also be prepared for the possibility of unanticipated changes in filing procedures and requirements.