Friday, December 15, 2017

Don’t wait to apply for holiday visa


Mark Fraser


I want to visit the US for summer this year. When should I apply for my visa?


Visa Applicant


Dear Visa Applicant,

Thank you for your question. When applying for a business/tourist (B1/B2) visa – the sooner is always the better in terms of timing. 

Since the summer travel season is particularly busy at the US Embassy, we strongly urge visa applicants to make plans to come in as early as possible. 

Currently, the wait time for a business/tourist (B1/B2) visa appointment is only a day or two. By the time summer arrives, the wait time may take several weeks. 

As always, we recommend that applicants wait until their visas are granted prior to finalising airline tickets and other travel arrangements.

It is also worth knowing that not all business/tourist (B1/B2) or crew (C1/D) visa applicants need to be personally interviewed. 

With the Personal Appearance Waiver process (formerly known as the Drop Box), applicants under 14 years and 80 years old and over, who have never been previously refused a visa, do not need to come in for an interview. 

Please review the details of the Personal Appearance Waiver on our website below to find out if you qualify for this waiver. 

Also, if your current business/tourist visa expires this summer, you do not need to wait until then to apply for a visa renewal. 

Keep in mind that you may apply for a new visa at any time before or after a current visa expires. 

There is no stipulated time-frame by which you should apply. 

Additionally, we have dedicated afternoon appointments for visa renewals for the same visa classification. Please visit our website to see if you qualify for this process. 

Regardless of which visa and interview process you qualify for, the main message is that the visa section will start getting busier in the coming months. 

If you plan on travelling this summer to the United States, coming in to see us in the next few weeks will be the smart way to avoid long summer wait times.

More detailed information about the overall visa application process is available online at: or via the telephone service at: 868-224-3099. Telephone hours are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Friday.


The Consul