March 4, 2022. 
Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Why is my visa interview taking so long?

Waiting for your visa interview can add additional weight to your application process. While you’re waiting for your appointment, you might be wondering if there is something wrong with your visa application or if you have all the required documents. The truth is, once you attend your visa interview, you’ll know if you’ll get your approval or not. If there are no available appointments at the moment, that doesn’t prevent you from applying. If you’re planning to travel to the U.S., start your application process as early as possible. This will put you in a row for attending your visa interview. There are some reasons why you’re waiting for your visa interview longer than you expected.

COVID-19 pandemic

Due to the circumstances caused by the global pandemic, a large number of U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world are operating with a limited staff. Some employees might have taken a sick leave, the others might have been working from home. Having a full staff is has been a rarity these days, as contracting Covid is not predictable. During the ongoing pandemic, the Embassies and Consulates have experienced periods of unavailability. However, this hasn’t prevented people from all over the world to apply for their U.S. visas. The application process has never been stopped, but particular stages such as visa interviews, have been significantly delayed.

The high number of applicants

Unless you don’t have an expedited appointment, your visa interview will be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. USCIS selects applicants chronologically. If there is a high number of applicants, everyone could wait a bit longer than estimated for their visa interview. Don’t wait for the Embassy or Consulate in your country to resume their operations. Apply as soon as you gather the documents and information.

Visa type

Keep in mind that non-immigrant and immigrant visas differ in terms of their processing time. For instance, non-immigrant visas take less time to process because they have a small number of forms and document reviews. By contrast, immigrant visas usually require a petition and a few other documents that are required for non-immigrant visas as well. In regards to the requirements, immigrant visa applications require reviews made by a couple of institutions in the United States. This extends visa interview waiting time. It approximately takes around eight months that an immigrant visa to be approved. This estimation was made in the pre-Covid-19 context. USCIS handles non-immigrant visa applications, which makes the processing time efficient.

There are a few factors that influence your visa interview waiting time. If you have an urgent travel need, learn about how and when you can expedite your appointment. For everything visa-related, contact our team of visa specialists.

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