#WhatTheFAQ: Wait time of 500+ days for US student visa appointment? Here's how long the wait is for other countries

Fresh applicants including students and tourists who wish to visit the United States have been hit with a waiting time of a whopping 500 days. What are the wait times for other major cities abroad?
Find out the visa delay time for major cities abroad | Pic: EdexLive
Find out the visa delay time for major cities abroad | Pic: EdexLive

Data from the United States State Department website shows that the average wait time for a visa appointment at the US Consulate in New Delhi is 471 days for student visas and 582 days for visitor visas. Similar delays have plagued countries like Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom as well.

But why are visas taking so long to process? What efforts are governments making to address these issues?

What is the delay time that can be expected from each country?

United States 

According to data from the US State Department, the average wait time in Mumbai is 517 days for a visitor visa for the US but 10 days for a student visa. The average wait time in Hyderabad is 518 days for a visitor visa and 479 days for a student visa. In Kolkata, the average wait time for a visitor visa is 587 days, but two days for a student visa. Lastly, Chennai’s average wait time is 513 days for a visitor visa and eight days for a student visa.


Reports have pointed out that the country has a backlog of over 20 lakh applicants who are waiting for their visa. Currently, the visa processing time for study permit applications globally is 12 weeks and a waiting time of 158 days for visitor visas.

United Kingdom

The visa processing time has now risen to four to ten weeks. However, they will soon resume the Priority Visa (PV) and Super Priority Visa (SPV) services for new applications under the sponsored work routes and student visas, according to an official announcement made by the British High Commission in India on Twitter. 


Germany, on the other hand, has stopped processing permanent stay visas.

However, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in June 2022, had a discussion with Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, New Zealand, Poland, UK and US about streamlining student visas to Indian nationals.

Why the delay?

Reports have pointed out that there has been a surge in travel demand after the Omicron wave globally and as a result, visa applications from India have hit a never-ending high. Additionally, post-COVID, many countries have tightened their border restrictions which now involve additional checks and steps for tourists wanting to go abroad. Alex Ellis, UK High Commissioner to India, apologised for the delays in a video message posted on Twitter and said that apart from COVID, the delays were also attributed to global events, including the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

How are students from India getting affected?

As Indian students form a major part of the international student community in countries like the US and UK, prolonged visa delays have put their future into question. Many of them wondered if they would be able to join their respective universities abroad by the time the new academic session begins next month. Some of them have also taken to Twitter to say that they secured admission to their dream universities only to be hit by visa delays. In addition to delays, some visa applicants have also gotten rejected.

What are different governments doing to help the situation?

The Canadian High Commission in Delhi on Thursday, August 18 has advised students to get in touch with their respective universities to discuss options in case they won’t be able to make it in time for the new academic session. The UK, on the other hand, has advised visitors to apply for visas as soon as possible as students can now apply for Priority and Super Priority visas. Additionally, they said that they are putting “more resources” and “training more people” to help with the situation, said the UK High Commissioner to India on Twitter. Meanwhile, students have also been advised to not commit air tickets until their visas are finalised. 

How many of India’s students prefer going abroad?

The number of Indian students going abroad has seen an uptick in the last few years. A report by The New Indian Express mentioned that a total of 2,61,406 students from India went abroad in 2020 and 71,769 left in 2021. States such as Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh and Kerala have seen thousands of its students pursuing their education dream abroad. The report stated that around 30,948 students left for countries like the US, the UK, Australia, China, Germany and Poland from Kerala in 2019.

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