U.S. Immigrant Visa Wait Times

Are you getting a visa to the United States? How long does it take? Let’s break down the processing times for different types of tickets in simple terms.

  1. Nonimmigrant vs. Immigrant Visas:
  • Nonimmigrant visas: Think short-term visits. It might take a few weeks or, in some cases, a couple of months.
  • Immigrant visas are for those planning to stay longer-term, and patience is vital – we’re talking years for approval.
  1. Case-by-Case Basis:
  • Each case is unique, and there’s no one-size-fits-all answer.
  • Applications are reviewed in the order they’re received, so your neighbour might hear back sooner or later for the same type of visa.

How Long Does It Take for a US Visa?

  1. Processing Time:
  • Generally, a US visa application takes 3 to 5 weeks to be processed.
  • After approval, your visa will be delivered within two more workdays.
  1. Refusals and Additional Processing (Section 221(g)):
  • Denials may take around 60 days from the interview date.
  • Some cases extend beyond six months, so patience is crucial.
  1. Waiver of Ineligibility:
  • Those needing a release should expect a 6 to 8-month wait after the interview.
  1. Visa Waiver Program (ESTA):
  • ESTA applicants can get a response within 72 hours.

US Visa Processing Times by Type

Here’s a quick look at processing times for different visa types:

  1. E-1, E-2, E-3 Visas: 2 weeks to 2 months, varying with workload.
  2. F-1 Visa: Immediate after the interview, but sometimes a few days to weeks.
  3. J-1 Visa: 1 to 4 months.
  4. B-1, B-2 Visas: A couple of weeks to 2 months.
  5. H-1B, H-1B1, H-2A, H-3 Visas: 3 weeks to 6 months, depending on location.
  6. L-1, L-2 Visas: 1.5 weeks to 4 months.
  7. K-1 Visa (Fiancé(e)): A few months.
  8. R-1 Visa: 8 to 9 months.
  9. P-1 Visa: 3 to 6 months.
  10. O Visa: 2 to 3 months.
  11. C Visa (Transit): 5 working days.
  12. T Visa: Varies.
  13. U Visa: 12 to 18 months.

Passport Return:

  • Passports remain at the US embassy/consulate during processing.
  • Applicants receive an email with a tracking number and can track their passports online.
  • Expedited appointments are available for emergencies – contact the embassy/consulate.
You May Also Like