A good understanding of a US Visa Appointment Wait Time will help reduce your anxiety about whether your visa application is attended to or not.
Remember that a US Visa application is not a minute wait and take. This means that it has a process it undergoes before an appointment for an interview is given to you. So before you make an appointment for the interview, you will have to wait patiently.
Therefore, US Visa Appointment Wait Times is also a due process in getting your visa for traveling to the United States of America.
Moreover, the processing time for a US visa application depends so much on the type of visa you are trying to get. While the temporary nonimmigrant visas might take up to a few weeks or months at most, the immigrant visas can take years to get approved. So within this time, you will have to wait.
Therefore, this article will examine the US Visa Appointment Wait Times, how long you can wait for a particular visa, and different visas with their likely duration of wait times.
Meaning of US Visa Appointment Wait Times
US Visa Appointment Wait Time is the time a US Visa applicant waits for a Visa Interview. The US embassy officers examine people’s visa applications during this waiting period. When your visa becomes current, it will appear on the US visa bulletin, where you will know when to come for an interview.
Therefore the estimated wait time to receive an interview appointment at a US Embassy or Consulate is regarded as US Visa Appointment Wait Time. This time can change weekly based on the actual incoming workload and staffing.
US Visa Processing Times for Different Visa Types
The chart below shows different types of US visas, their processing time, and their description. This would help you estimate the US visa appointment wait time based on the visa you applied for. See the table below.
Visa Type Processing Time Description
E-1 visa 2 to 4 weeks The E-1 visa processing time depends on the caseload of the US Embassy or USCIS if you applied from within the US. After the processing period, you will be notified about whether you have been given the visa or were denied.
E-2 visa 4 to 6 weeks If you are an employee, it takes around two weeks.
The processing time varies, however, with the workload of the US Embassy. So if you do not receive an answer within those time frames, it does not mean that your visa application was denied.
E-3 visa two months The processing time might take longer as the Embassy might have a bigger workload.
F-1 visa immediately after the interview The F-1 visa processing time is much shorter than other visas. The processing of this type of visa happens before your interview. The interview is the last step for the US Embassy to assess whether they should give you an F-1 visa or not.
In most cases, you will get a response on this visa immediately after the interview. For example, at the end of the visa interview, the interviewer might congratulate you on getting the visa. Or will provide you with a document letting you know the reason for denial. However, there are cases where the response and processing of the F-1 visa takes a few days. So you should be patient if that happens.
F-2 visa Few days to 2 weeks After your F-2 interview, you might get a response immediately from your interviewer on whether you got the visa or were denied. However, it is more common to wait a few days or weeks.
This is because the US Embassy will take time to review your documents and responses. They will mainly focus on you and the F-1 visa holder’s financial situation to determine whether you can cover your expenses while in the US.
J-1 visa 1 to 4 months The Waiver Review Division will review your case and make a recommendation. They will send the recommendation to USCIS, which will then make the final decision on whether you will be allowed to stay or not.
Q-1 visa 15 days to 3 months After processing, they will contact you to inform you whether you have been approved for the visa or not.
M-1 visa At least four weeks The processing time for the M-1 visa is relatively short. The processing happens before your visa interview. However, there are cases when you get a response immediately after your visa interview ends, with the interviewer either congratulating you or stating the reasons for rejecting your visa application.
B-1 visa A couple of weeks to 2 months The processing times for the B-1 visas are not exact. This depends on the US Embassy’s workload and other factors they take into consideration.
B-2 visa A couple of weeks to 2 months Processing times for B-2 tourist and US visitor visas differ from country to country.
H-1B visa 3 to 6 months. However, US Embassies in different countries/cities have various processing times, so it is best to contact them for details or visit the US State Department or USCIS for approximate processing times.
H-1B1 visa 4 to 6 months The time also depends on seasonal fluctuations, so you should contact the US Embassy where you applied for more accurate information.
H-2A visa Varies Processing times vary for H-2A visas since it is seasonal, and sometimes it might take longer. However, it is recommended for US employers to file USCIS petitions at least 60 days but no more than 120 days before they need the foreign workers. The US government prioritizes H-2A visas, so they expedite the process since seasonal agricultural work is seasonal.
H-3 visa 4 to 6 weeks You must make sure that the institution petitions on your behalf at least six months before the training program starts. After that, you will have to gather your documents and proceed with the application. Depending on the demand at your local US Embassy, it might take one to three months for them to get back to you with a final decision on whether you will get the H-3 visa or not.
H-4 visa Varies Since your H-4 status is dependent on the status of the H-type visa holder, your spouse or parent might take as long as it takes to process their visa. If, for example, your spouse is applying for an H-2A visa and you apply together, your visa will take the same time to process as your spouse’s. If you are applying separately, though, the time it takes to process the H-4 visa will be up to the US Embassy and their workload.
L-1 visa 3 to 4 months Blanket petitions are processed faster than individual ones. In addition, employers can obtain premium processing for the additional fees, which will speed up the L-1A processing time, and you will get a response within 1 to 3 weeks.
L-2 visa 15 days to 1 month Depending on the embassy’s workload and other factors, it might take longer.
R-1 visa 8 to 9 months It takes some time to get the R-1 visa approved. After the employer sends in the petition, it takes around six months for USCIS to respond because they might have to visit the organization’s premises. If USCIS has visited the organization and approved them, then premium processing is available for an extra $1,225 fee. With premium processing, you will get a response on your visa in about two weeks. If you do not have premium processing, after USCIS approves the petition, it might take another 2 to 3 months for the visa to process.
P-1 visa takes 3 to 6 months It is a long wait, but the US institutions offer the opportunity to pay for premium processing. If you choose to have premium processing of your visa, you must pay an additional $1,225, and you will get the response for your visa within 15 days. If the US institutions do not notify you of your visa status within 15 days, your money is reimbursed.
- I visa takes ten days.
- O visa takes 2 to 3 months: If you do not want to wait this long to get your response, then there is a way to speed up the process. For an additional $1,225, premium processing is available for the O visas. Premium processing means that your visa will be processed within 15 days, and you will know the answer much sooner.
- C visa takes five working days Since the transit visa is for a short duration, its processing time is generally faster than other visas.
- T visa Varies The processing time for the T visa varies. USCIS does not give an estimate or a time for applicants to wait for their visa to be processed after applying. This means that the processing time varies from person to person and is made based on the evidence they give.
- U visa 12 to 18 months The U visa takes quite some time to process. The processing times may vary widely, though, since, for example, if you are required to send additional evidence to USCIS, processing times may become longer.
How long do I have to wait for a US visa appointment?
On average, waiting times for an appointment are around two to three weeks – under normal conditions.
How can I get a faster US visa appointment?
First, you have to apply for an Expedited Appointment. Next, pay the visa application fee. Then, complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form. If the embassy approves your request, then you will receive an email alerting you to schedule your expedited appointment online.
How Long Does it Take to Get a US Visa?
The US visa processing time depends on the type of visa that you are applying for. It takes 3 to 5 weeks for a US visa application to be processed. After the processing, the applicant can get a positive reply on their application, and the consulate will deliver the document. The delivery of the visa can take up to two other workdays.
Applications refused under Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), pending additional processing, can take around 60 days from the date of the visa interview to be processed. In some cases, the processing might take more than six months.
Applicants who are required to apply for a waiver of ineligibility to get the visa should keep in mind that they will have to wait for 6 to 8 months from their interview date to get a reply.
Countries under the visa waiver program applying through Electronic Travel Authorization System for short-term visits can get a reply to their ESTA application within 72 hours.
How do I get my Passport Back?
The applicant’s passport will remain at the US embassy/consulate they have applied at during the whole visa processing period. This is because the applicant cannot collect their passport in person. Instead, it will be delivered by the courier service.
The applicant receives an email with a tracking number as soon as the application is completed. In addition, the applicant can track their passport by signing into their account.
Remember that the State Department grants expedited interview appointments and processing if you have an emergency. However, you must contact your country’s US Embassy or Consulate if you have an emergency.
How many times can US visa appointments be scheduled?
You can reschedule your appointment (for a future date only) up to a maximum of two times. If you are late or have missed your appointment on the scheduled day, the system will not allow you to reschedule or cancel, and you will be required to book a new appointment after 24 hours.
How long does it take to get an interview after waiver approval?
In addition, DOS estimates that it will schedule the applicant for an immigrant visa interview within 2 to 3 months after approval of the provisional unlawful presence waiver. Then, finally, the applicant submits the required immigrant visa processing documents to DOS.
How do I check visa slot availability?
After paying the visa fee, you will get an HDFC bank receipt with a barcode number. The barcode number will be activated after two working days of payment being made. Now go to the VFS website, vfs-USA.co. and click on “Click here for an estimate of current availability of visa interview appointments”.
Can I go to the US embassy without an appointment?
Appointments are required for most routine American Citizens Services and are available Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. We are closed on American and Indian holidays. Appointments are never required for emergencies.
Which is the best time to book a visa appointment?
We strongly recommend that applicants begin the application process approximately three months before the scheduled travel date, as appointments are usually filled 1-2 months in advance. Besides, visa applications are now subject to a higher degree of scrutiny than in the past.
Having known that a good understanding of US visa appointment wait time will help you reduce your anxiety about whether your visa application is attended to or not. So you now patiently wait until you have done everything necessary for your visa application. Moreover, do contact us at workstudyvisa.com for more information.
You may wish to know the reasons your US visa may be rejected.