U.s. Visa Processing Times

By Tiara

The term visa processing time refers to the amount of time it takes for an agency, such as American Express or VISA, to review and process your documents before you are granted entry into the United States.

Visas must be confirmed with each other and within the US government in order to verify that you do not pose a security risk to America.

It is very important to know what visa processing times mean for your travel plans since delayed visas can prevent you from entering the country!

If you need to enter the U.S., we suggest staying up-to-date on current visa processing times so that you don’t waste any time waiting for things to happen.

Why are visa processing times so long?

u.s. visa processing times

The reason why it can take so long is due to the many steps that must be done in order for an immigrant or non-immigrant entry into America.

There’s no simple way to explain this, but here we go!

Step one: An applicant needs to fill out their I-129 form (for immigrants) or DS-156 form (non-immigrants). This document contains personal information, proof of employment, health insurance, etc., as well as biometric data like fingerprints and photos.

This form has to be submitted to both USCIS headquarters AND THE DEPOT WHERE APPLICATIONS ARE FILED.

At the depot level, there are currently over 100 offices nationwide where applications are filed. Applicants have to make sure they use the right office location with the correct forms.

Step two: After submitting the I-129 form at the national level, applicants wait around three weeks before receiving a confirmation email stating that their application was received.

From there, another week will pass until they receive either a notification from the local filing office saying that their application was accepted or a rejection letter telling them to reapply when possible. If they get a rejection letter, they need to resubmit within six months!

Why does this matter? Because during these waiting periods, people cannot work legally nor can they travel outside of the country. They have to preserve the status quo while their documents and records are being verified.

The U.S. government is not always able to process visas in the expected time

u.s. visa processing times

Recent reports indicate that it can take days, if not weeks, for American visa offices to receive and review applications before issuing or denying them. This has left travelers with no way to confirm their trip plans until well after they have spent money planning and buying tickets.

Some experts believe that this situation will only get worse as Congress continues to fight over funding for the federal government. Since most countries require a visa pre-approval letter from America, many foreigners are being forced to wait even longer than otherwise possible.

It’s important to note that while some people may feel personally targeted because of national origin, there is usually very little you can do about this beyond simply waiting it out.

The quality of the visa application

u.s. visa processing times

When it comes to applying for a U.S. visa, there are two main things you will be asked about: your name, and where you’re going to live in America once you arrive here.

The first part is easy enough – you just need to tell them your full legal name, which can get a bit tricky at times. For example, if you were born with the same last name as someone else, then you probably wouldn’t say that out loud!

But don’t worry too much about getting this wrong because immigration lawyers usually help people fix it. They make sure everything fits properly, and that your family connections are correct, but they never do anything related to money or health.

So, beyond your legal name, what other documents you have proof of like passports, work permits, etc., none of which you would lose, we’ll also ask if you have any debts (like credit cards) or loans (for school or house payments).

That way, we know whether you could afford to come to America without helping pay bills back home, or if you’ve already done so. We also look at whether anyone close to you has been convicted of a crime, or suffers from serious medical conditions.

Language difficulties

u.s. visa processing times

A lot of employers look at job applicants’ social media profiles, educational records, and credit reports before offering them employment.

In fact, over half (53%) of companies routinely do one or more of these things to assess potential employees.1 Employers use this information to determine if someone is trustworthy, if they have past performance issues, if they are likely to work well in an organization, and/or if they meet their expectations.

It is important to note that visa applications include some personal questions as well as financial documents. Therefore, even if you don’t speak English, there may be ways to prove your qualifications beyond just what you wrote in your application.

For example, many universities offer both online and face-to-face degree programs. If you can demonstrate proficiency in using academic resources such as Google Docs and YouTube, then chances are very good that students will admire your organizational skills and technology savvy. Similarly, most professionals learn basic language tools like the alphabet and how to count forward numbers so they can read simple text messages and emails.

Visitor’s country of origin

u.s. visa processing times

Recent reports claim that some countries are taking up to eight days to process U.S. visa applications. This is not only frustrating for applicants, but also impacts how long travelers can spend in America while their visas are processed.

Some sources say that processing times have lengthened because these agencies take too much time or make too many requests for additional documents.

However, this isn’t always the case. In fact, many embassies and consulates are facing significant workloads due to the large number of visa applications coming into their offices.

Furthermore, even if an applicant’s document has to be sent away, there are now fax services that will send them directly from your device! Simply upload the necessary documents onto the site, then send off the completed application using their secure connection.

This article will talk more about what types of documentation may need to be included in a visa application, as well as tips for reducing the amount it takes to get one.

The type of visa

u.s. visa processing times

Visas are not only for tourism, they also serve an important function in international business. A work visa is needed to allow you to live and work in another country. This can be as simple as having yourself listed as a consultant on their payroll or requiring you to have a full time position with a company in that country.

Visas help ensure that people living outside our borders are legally working here. Without this process, employers would face obstruction when trying to hire workers due to difficult visa processes.

There are many types of visas, but one of the most common is the Business Traveler VISA (BTV). People traveling for business need a BTV so that they do not have to return home before completing their trip.

Businesses use the BTV to confirm that person’s employment eligibility by verifying that there are no open investigations into them or their employer. There is some leeway given to businesses to verify employment through documents and phone calls, but it cannot be done during the employee’t visit.

The location of the consulate

u.s. visa processing times

There are three main visa processing locations for Americans living in or traveling to Canada. These include remote rural areas with very little tourist traffic, major metropolitan cities like Toronto, and large international airports that cater to many different destinations.

The best way to choose which one is dependant upon your budget, how long you want to spend waiting for visas, and what kind of trip you’re planning. If you’ll be leaving within two weeks, going through an airport closer to home will probably not make too much difference.

If you’re staying longer than two weeks, visiting during off-hours can save you time by avoiding peak travel times. For example, if you’re applying at noon and there’s a big rush then that could mean spending hours just waiting around.

By doing your application before most people have left work, you’ll avoid this problem.

Immigration officials’ workload

u.s. visa processing times

The other major factor that can contribute to long visa processing times is the volume of applications received by US consular officers. Since there are over 20 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States, more and more people are applying for visas every year.

This has resulted in a dramatic increase in demand for services from immigration lawyers and professional counselors. It also means longer wait times for individuals who need help before they can proceed with their application process.

Legal assistance is one of the most important factors in ensuring that your immigrant status is valid and you do not face any significant issues while working or traveling in the U.S.

Finding an experienced attorney or counselor can reduce stress, facilitate communication, and save time. Fortunately, there are many organizations and networks available to aid in this effort. You may know some already, but reading this article may inspire you to make others known.

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. Please remember that we have no control over how individual professionals manage their practices, and therefore our recommendations should be considered as such. Always consult a lawyer about his/her specific circumstances.