Agents cannot get appointments for clients until August 2023
People whose U.S. visas expired within the last four years will be able to apply for an interview waiver, according to U.S. Embassy officials. “Anyone whose visa has expired within the past four years will be able to renew by mail and generally will not need to appear for an interview,” said Jonathan Webster, Consul General of the U.S. Embassy in Abu. Dubai.
Previously, only people whose visas had expired within the last 12 months could renew by mail. Speaking to Khaleej Times at the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi, Webster said it would be helpful for those with a history of travel to the US.
“We hope this will really benefit regular travelers to the United States and business travelers who may visit frequently,” he said. “We then strive to process these visas within a few weeks.”
Webster also confirmed that first-time tourist visa applicants can expect to get appointments in August 2023. “The wait time can be considerable, even up to a year,” he said. he declares. “We already have appointments filling up in August 2023. However, we urge everyone to check back regularly as there are often openings much earlier due to cancellations or postponements. The visa application website is truly the best friend for anyone looking to obtain a visa.
Several travel agents speaking to the Khaleej Times also confirmed that they were unable to secure US visa appointments for their clients until August next year.
The US mission is working to reduce delays and eliminate the backlog. “Like other business establishments, we have been impacted during the pandemic,” Webster said. “At the personnel level, we have struggled to fill some of our positions for some time. But we are returning to full staffing and hope to process at least 100,000 non-immigrant visas by the end of this year between our consulate in Dubai and our embassy in Abu Dhabi. It would be at the same level as our pre-pandemic levels. »
Those who wish to travel to the United States urgently for medical reasons will have the option of requesting expedited services. “We are truly proud of our role in facilitating medical travel and healthcare visits to American hospitals,” Webster said.
In addition, students wishing to study in the United States and those who must attend important business meetings will benefit from expedited services.
The only warning Webster has for tourists looking for a visa is to apply early. “We often hear from people who apply just days before their travel plans,” he said. “It’s hard to let them know it’s not going to happen. So if people can plan ahead and plan early, that’s the best bet. Additionally, we encourage people to check whether they meet the requirements for expedited travel and, if they do, to apply.
In addition to issuing tourist visas, the embassy also offers a wide range of services to US citizens and offers immigrant visas to the United States. These services are running at full capacity.
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