US sets September date for tourist visas | Kolkata News

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KOLKATA: The United States is finally set to open visas for tourists in September, ending the anxiety of thousands of families waiting endlessly to visit relatives and friends who reside there.
Germany has also not issued Schengen visas or short-term travel visas (up to 90 days) while the waiting time for Canadian visas is currently 6 to 11 months. The United Kingdom and Switzerland have succeeded in streamlining processing and reducing the waiting time.
Although the United States has been quick to obtain study and work visas, those intending to travel to the United States on tourist visas have been frustrated due to the inability to obtain a see you anytime this year or even next year.
Travel agents said that with slots available only after February 2024, hundreds of families who intended to travel to the United States had abandoned plans.
Saurav Mallick, who was hoping to travel to the country after Pujas with his wife and son, is now looking to travel elsewhere after being held up by the travel agent. “Getting a date in the United States seems almost impossible,” he said.
When he traveled to the United States for work in 2019, the visa was processed in just a fortnight. He then traveled to the United States in January 2020 and returned just days before the global pandemic was declared and countries locked down.
Travel agent Joydeep Mukherjee said he had dozens of customers waiting for US visas. “Only if there is an urgent travel requirement is there a possibility, but the applicant must convince the visa authorities of the requirement. Otherwise there is a strange window opening up at odd hours,” he said.
The US Embassy said the situation is expected to change from September after the student rush ends. “We are resuming routine in-person tourist visa appointments in September 2022. Previously scheduled reserved space appointments have now been cancelled. Applicants whose reserved space appointments have been canceled can now re-enter the system for planning to make regular appointments,” read an official statement from the embassy on the issue.
It may take much longer for Germany to regularize visa appointments for Schengen and business visas. At present, the Embassy in Delhi does not process either. “The number of Schengen visa applications has risen sharply since travel became possible again in the post-pandemic world. At the same time, the central visa office in Mumbai is in the process of recruiting additional staff to reach full capacity. “, said a German. the official said.
Obtaining a Canadian visa also proves difficult, with the country processing documents at the Case Processing Center in Ottawa, not New Delhi. All documents must be submitted online. Once approved, the passport should be sent to New Delhi for the visa sticker.
Two other countries – the UK and Switzerland – which were experiencing a visa rush and consequent delays were able to solve the problem. Visas for the UK which used to take four to eight weeks are now processed in three to five weeks, while the Schengen visa issued by Switzerland which took three weeks earlier now takes 10 working days.
“We hope that countries will be able to reduce visa wait times so that life and the return to normal and international travel activities that have been one of the most affected by the pandemic can resume,” said the president of the Federation of Indian Travel Agents. (east) Anil Punjabi.

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