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US Visa Appointment Wait Times – Skip the delays

A good understanding of a US Visa Appointment Wait Time will help reduce your anxiety about whether your visa application is attended to. 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 are 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 temporary nonimmigrant visas might take up to a few weeks or months at most, 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 when 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 for 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.

Interview wait time

The time it takes to schedule an interview for a nonimmigrant visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate will depend on the workload and staffing, which may change weekly. The availability of an appointment is not guaranteed by the information given, which is only an estimate.

Waiting Period for Interview Waiver

Wait periods for candidates who qualify for Interview Waiver are only relevant in countries where candidates make appointments to provide their passports and any other necessary documents to a U.S. embassy or consulate. The estimated wait time needs to consider the time required for a consular officer to review the application or the time it takes to mail passports or other documents.

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 takes 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 processing, you will be notified whether you have been given the visa or were denied.
  • E-2 visa takes 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 takes two months, and the processing time might take longer as the Embassy might have an immense 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.

 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.

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 in the US.

  • J-1 visa for 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 takes 15 days to 3 months; after processing, they will contact you to inform you whether you have been approved for the visa.
  • 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 consider.
  • 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 takes 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 takes 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 they are seasonal and sometimes 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 ensure that the institution petitions on your behalf at least six months before the training program starts. After that, you must 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.
  • H-4 visa Varies Since your H-4 status depends 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 its 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.
  • An R-1 visa takes 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, 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.
  • A 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.

Other Forms of Visa Processing Time;

  • 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, 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 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 short, 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.
  • A U visa takes 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. A US visa application takes 3 to 5 weeks 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 remember 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. Once the application is completed, the applicant receives an email with a tracking number. In addition, the applicant can track their passport by signing into their account.

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. Now go to the VFS website, and click “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 more scrutinized than in the past.


Knowing that a good understanding of US visa appointment wait time will help you reduce your anxiety about whether your visa application is attended to. So you now patiently wait until you have done everything necessary for your visa application.

Moreover, do contact us at for more information. And if you wish to know why your US visa may be rejected, read up more on our guide.

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