Processing and Delays
For current visa processing times, please click here.
There are a number of reasons for delays in the visa processing process. These include:
Visa applications are now subject to a greater degree of scrutiny than in the past.
A personal appearance interview is required as a standard part of visa processing. Additionally, applicants affected by these procedures are informed of the need for additional screening at the time they submit their applications and are being advised to expect delays. The time needed for adjudication of individual cases will continue to be difficult to predict. For travelers, the need for an interview will mean additional coordination with the embassy or consulate is needed to schedule an interview appointment. We recommend that individuals build in ample time before their planned travel date when seeking to obtain a visa.
We recognize that these delays are having an impact on visa applicants, and we have already had success streamlining the process, consistent with our security and legal responsibilities. The State Department is working hard with other government agencies to rationalize clearance procedures in ways that continue to protect U.S. borders, our first priority, while facilitating legitimate travel.
We trust that affected applicants will understand that this waiting period is necessary as we strive to make every effort to ensure the safety and security of the United States for all who are here, including foreign visitors.
There may be added delays due to name check and/or security clearance.
Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the visa applicant’s interview by a Consular Officer. Applicants are advised of this requirement when they apply. Most administrative processing is resolved within 60 days of the visa interview. When administrative processing is required, the timing will vary based on individual circumstances of each case. Visa applicants are reminded to apply early for their visa, well in advance of the anticipated travel date.
Passports Returned by Courier
Approved visas will be delivered to the Loomis/DHL office selected by the applicant during the appointment process. Visas may be picked up at the selected office, generally within 5-7 business days of the interview. Applicants can check their visa's availability status on either the appointment website or at Loomis/DHL website. Please note that a waybill number is required in order to check.
Your visa application could be denied.
Each case is different, and only the interviewing officer can make the decision to issue or refuse a visa. It is impossible to guarantee in advance that an application will be approved and a visa will be issued.
Legal rights and protections for certain employment or education-based nonimmigrants.
All applicants for H, J, and B1 (for domestic and personal servants and live-in caregivers only) visas must read this pamphlet (253KB PDF) prior to their interview.
The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (WWTVPRA) of 2008 makes several changes to nonimmigrant visa classification criteria, visa processing requirements, and the grounds for inadmissibility under INA section 212(a)(2)(H).
The changes under this provision of this law, relate to the legal rights of certain employment or education-based nonimmigrants under Federal immigration, labor, and employment laws. Additionally, this law outlines the information to be provided to certain nonimmigrants about their rights, protections and available resources when working or studying in the United States temporarily. We want to ensure each nonimmigrant is aware of his/her rights, as well as protections and resources available. For more information, please review the Nonimmigrant Rights, Protections and Resources pamphlet (253KB PDF).
Important Information for U.S. Residents
Due to increasingly heavy demand by Canada-based visa applicants, U.S. visa processing posts in Canada are unfortunately extremely limited in the ability to accept visa applications from U.S. residents during the peak demand period of June through August. Appointments for visa renewals for U.S. residents who are currently studying or working in the U.S. will be more readily available during non-peak periods in October and November, and January through May.
For information on options for extending or renewing authorization to continue studies or employment while in the U.S., contact U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Many travelers to Canada and Mexico are eligible for automatic revalidation at a Port of Entry without a new visa.
U.S.-based applicants who need a visa are encouraged to schedule an appointment in their home country. Information on worldwide appointment availability is found on the State Department's website, www.Travel.State.gov.
All downloadable documents on this page are provided in PDF format. To view PDFs you must have a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader. You may download a free version by clicking the link above.