Recent developments for international student visa holders include length of time spent at the consulate while waiting to learn if you have been approved or denied for a visa. Some people call this wait “Visa Screening”, but it is not always clear what that means exactly.
There are two main types of visa screening: 1) For F-1 students looking to stay in the country longer than 90 days after entering with no travel outside of the US planned, a second interview is only needed if they want to remain in the United States past their current program end date; 2) For non-F-1 students who will be traveling out of the country during their visit, an additional interview is required to confirm they have appropriate documentation and proof of return. This can happen at either the airport when departing or back home when returning.
These extra interviews usually last less than half an hour and take place within the next week.
Recent reports of long wait times at CBP VISA offices are causing quite a stir. Some even claim that there is an incentive for applicants to come in during off-hours, when there may be less people around.
This isn’t true though!
Applicants have always had to wait outside or in a private area while their documents are reviewed. It is just more common now because of the growth of online visa applications.
It takes CBP only about 20 minutes to review and process most visa types, so it is not as if they are spending a lot longer than before. The real reason these lines form outside of CBP facilities is due to media coverage.
Many people are concerned about how long it takes for immigration officials to process a visa at the United States border. Some even assume that if you have a plane to catch, then there must be something wrong with the system because it is taking too long.
This assumption isn’t fair. It doesn’t take into account all of the additional steps that are taken by ICE before visas are processed.
To give you an idea of the length of time it actually takes to process a visa, we will look at some average numbers along with some hard facts.
We will also talk about what can affect the wait time in case anyone is worried they may run out of time while waiting for their visa to arrive.
Visas can take several days to process due to many factors, such as the volume of visas being processed or the complexity of the case. In fact, more than half (53%) of all new non-immigrant visa cases are filed within the first 30 days after submission.
There is some variability in how long it takes for different offices at the Embassy or Consulate to respond to an application, depending on their workload and whether they need to consult with colleagues back home about the case.
It’s important to remember that these time estimates only apply to applications that have been received by the embassy or consulate. They do not include the time it takes for your documents to reach them nor does it account for delays at that stage, such as when there is a lack of transport or staff to handle the material.
Once again, because this information applies to newly submitted cases, we don’t have data to provide you with accurate timelines for existing visa holders who may already have left the country.
Visas can take some time to process because there is a lot that goes into it. Beyond gathering all of your documents, making sure they're in order, and verifying them, every country has their own deadline to receive visas so they may ask you to wait or send someone to get yours before they will accept you as a visitor.
Some points that affect how long it takes include if you have proof of health insurance, what kind of activity you plan to do while here, and whether you will live with family members who can help look after you while you’re in the country.
Most major international airports are connected to an immigration facility, but not all countries have computers at that facility, so it might take longer to find out if you need to leave or not!
Getting a visa isn't always easy either, even within the same country. For example, Australia requires very little documentation from non-Australian citizens, but applications can be tricky to navigate due to language barriers.
Having to wait for your documents to be processed can feel very frustrating, especially if you’re already late for an appointment or have plans after work.
If there is no new information that comes up during this process, then waiting won’t matter much. But if there are some questions about your qualifications or your employment history, it could mean losing your chance to live and work in Australia!
Screening times vary from country to country and even within one department in a specific country. This means it can sometimes take longer than expected to get through the initial checks.
There are ways to reduce the amount of time it takes to process your paperwork so don’t worry too much about that! This article will talk you through some helpful tips on how to manage your screen processing time.
First, you can start to worry when your application is longer than expected. This could be because something was mistakenly put in the wrong field or because of an extended question that you were asked.
If there’s no way to fix it before you submit, just keep editing and re-submitting until everything has been checked and corrected!
That is, of course, unless you feel like your heart is already skipping beats and you’ve run out of time. In which case, go ahead and submit and hope for the best.
But still, even after submitting our very long comment, we have not heard back from US consulates yet. So hopefully one day soon they will get in touch with us confirming that all their systems received it and processed it.
The next thing you can try is to visit your local US embassy or consulate in person, instead of online. This way, they can check your information directly, rather than having it sent from another location.
You will need this info: proof of sufficient funds to re-enter the country (to pay for any traveling while here), medical documentation, and proof of residence in India (for a business trip or vacation).
Many people start looking into visas at this stage as it is quite difficult to access the VISA WEBSITE. By doing so during off hours or early morning, you may be able to get some help!
Getting an e-visa means that you will not have to go through the long process of applying in person at the embassy or consulate. However, it cannot be used for entry into the United States. You will also still need to apply for a normal tourist visa in advance.
The way the VISA system works is not everyone has to see every document you send over, nor are they obligated to make a decision about your visa within a set amount of time.
In fact, some countries take much longer than one week to process all documents! In comparison, most major country’s VISA systems work at a pace that is almost impossible to wait for.
At times, even two weeks can pass before someone gets back in touch with you about your application! This is why it is important to have enough time to follow up after submitting your paperwork, speaking with officials, and waiting for their response.
If possible, stay informed by checking back in every few days. If you get no confirmation, call or email them right away so they know you want an answer.