There have been some recent significant developments within the United States Department of State (“DOS”) in relation to overseas visa processing times, which appear to be promising for both current and future visa applicants. The Department of State has been implementing strategies and adopting advanced technology to process visas more efficiently than ever before. A key aspect of these improvements revolves around reducing the duration of “administrative processing,” which includes additional steps that must be completed by a consular officer before a visa application can be finalized. In many cases, these steps can involve additional national security vetting.
The DOS indicated it has been working diligently to enhance coordination and improve the visa application process, reducing the number of applications that require lengthy administrative processing. Leveraging new technology and better coordination with federal government partners, especially through the National Vetting Center, it has dramatically decreased the number of visa applicants who need to wait for this extended administrative processing. Since October 2022, a significant portion of cases that would have previously required additional administrative processing have been resolved immediately.