Potential Delays in Visa Issuance and at Ports of Entry
There are a number of factors that may contribute to delays in having a visa issued to study or work in the United States, regardless of whether you are applying for first or subsequent visa in any visa classification. This has a result of heightened security measures instituted since September 11, 2001.
Security checks and the requirement to have an appointment for an interview are the primary causes for delays. The Department of State‘s (DOS) web information on non-immigrant visas is a good source of current information:
- Visa Wait Times provides approximate wait times for visa appointments and visa processing at each U.S. consulate. Note that appointments for “F” students and “J” Exchange Visitors have priority over other classifications.
- United States Embassies and Consulates Worldwide provides information on procedures, fees, and online application forms.
Another useful source is the the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Although directed to those arriving in J-1 Exchange Visitor status, their fact sheet Arriving at a U.S. Port Of Entry…What an Exchange Visitor Can Expect highlights the necessary steps and procedures you will encounter when passing through immigration inspection upon arrival at the U.S. port of entry.
Visa Interview Requirement:
All nonimmigrants require a visa appointment. Note that appointments for “F” students and “J” Exchange Visitors have priority over other classifications.