New Delhi: India is expected to surpass China in getting the number of US visas by 2023 and will be ranked two in the issuance of visas after Mexico, a Senior US Embassy official said.

"We expect that India will surpass China in getting the number of US visas by next year's summer. After Mexico, India is expected to rank number 2 in the issuance of US Visas," a Senior US Embassy official said in New Delhi.

The senior US Embassy Official in New Delhi announced that they are opening slots in mid-November.

"For various kinds of visas, we would not have much wait time. Each separate category has some wait time," a senior US Embassy official added.

The U.S has opened up 100,000 slots for applicants of H and L worker visas. This has already happened which will cut down the wait times.

"India is a number one priority for Washington right now. We have big categories in students, high-tech workers, tourists, and business," the official added.

Earlier, in October, the US embassy in India released over one lakh appointments for H and L work visa categories and for their family members.

"In response to the high demand for employment-based visas, the US Mission to India recently released over 100,000 appointments for H&L workers and their families," the US embassy in India tweeted.

This was among the key assurances that the US mission has given after Foreign Minister S Jaishankar had raised the visa delay issue with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken last month.

The US embassy further said in the first nine months of 2022, the US Mission had already processed over 160,000 H and L visas and it will continue to prioritize H and L workers for visa appointments as resources allow.

Consular officers are now temporarily authorized, through December 31, 2022, to waive in-person interviews for certain individual petition-based non-immigrant work visas and their qualifying derivatives in the following categories: Persons in Specialty Occupations (H-1B visas), Trainee or Special Education Visitors (H-3 visas), Intracompany Transferees (L visas), Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement (O visas), Athletes, Artists, and Entertainers (P visas), and Participants in International Cultural Exchange Programs (Q visas), added a US State Department release.

Additionally, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has extended consular officers' current ability to waive the in-person interview, through December 31, 2022, for the following other categories of non-immigrant visas: Temporary Agricultural and Non-agricultural Workers (H-2 visas), Students (F and M visas), and Student Exchange Visitors (Academic J visas).

"We recognize the many contributions of international visitors to our communities and campuses. Lastly, the authorization to waive the in-person interview for applicants renewing a visa in the same visa class within 48 months of the prior visa's expiration has been extended indefinitely," added to the release.