Heading into 2022, Indians Seeking Visa Renewals are Still in Limbo

Though the State Department has reduced its backlog this year from a peak of 531,976 in July to 461,125 in November, for many, the progress hasn’t been fast enough.

iStock-474633626 U.S. Visa
U.S. Visa (Getty)

Helen Li


December 10, 2021


4 min

As families in the United States prepared to gather this holiday season, some Indians working or studying in the U.S. have felt stuck. They face being trapped in their home countries if they travel home.

“I’m among thousands of Indians unable to see their families because U.S. consulates in India haven’t fully functioned through the pandemic,” Rahul Fernandes tweeted earlier this month. “If I leave the U.S. to see my parents, I won’t be able to return unless I get a consular appointment.”

Fernandes’s tweets sparked commiseration from thousands of people from around the globe facing similar visa-related challenges while working or studying in the U.S. “I am in 18 WhatsApp and Telegram groups about visa appointments,” one Twitter user responded.

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