Longer wait times for visas during holidays
I’m planning a trip to the United States for my Christmas vacation and just realised my visa will expire before then. What is the wait time for an appointment and how long does it take to process the actual visa?
Thank you for your question.
During busy travel
seasons, we frequently receive questions about our processing time. You are doing the right thing by checking the expiration dates in your passport now to make sure both your passport and visas do not expire before you plan to travel to the United States. To enter the United States, citizens of Trinidad and Tobago need a valid passport and a valid visa.
If the passport with your valid visa has expired, you may still travel with the valid visa and a new passport as long as none of the biographical information such as your name has changed. Your passport will need to be valid for the entire duration of your stay in the United States. You may enter the United States until the day your visa expires. Immigration officials at the port of entry will determine the allowed duration of your stay in the United States.
We work very hard to keep our wait time for non-immigrant visas as short as possible, usually less than one week. However, during busy travel seasons such as the summer holidays, as well as before the Christmas season, we do experience longer wait times, sometimes, as long as two weeks. If you plan on travelling this holiday season, you do not have to wait until your visa has expired before you apply for a new visa.
Children under 14 years old and seniors 80 years or older may send their passport applications by courier—instructions are on our website: http://trinidadandtobago.usvisa-info.com. This process usually takes two to three weeks, including delivery of your passports to the embassy, processing and return delivery.
If you are qualified for a visa, you can expect to have your passport returned by our free courier service in approximately one week. While this is our usual timeline, deliveries can sometimes be delayed. You can reduce the chances of delays by making sure there are no errors in the spelling of your name or passport number, and that you fully and accurately fill out your online application (DS-160).
We strongly urge travellers not to make firm travel plans or reserve tickets until you have a valid passport and visa in your possession.
The best way to ensure you make your flight is to plan ahead, apply for the visa well in advance of your proposed travel and be prepared.