San Pedro Sula – Appointments for processing or renewing US visas take much longer than usual globally, Central America and the Dominican Republic are no exceptions.. After a long wait due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Embassies are gradually beginning to reopen, but the backlog of applications means they are still unable to keep up with demand.
Processing times vary greatly from one consulate to another. The average waiting time for a nonimmigrant visa in countries in the region is about 240 days — roughly eight months — and in Panama City, for example, it can be up to two years, according to the website. Travel.State.Gov from the US Department of State.
“The impact of Covid-19 has been so severe that even large governments like the United States have not been able to address the void left by the pandemic and the delay it has left in the scheduling, care, administration and control of the administration of permits or visas to the United States,” Explained to Bloomberg Línea José Leal, CEO of Todo Visas Leal, a dedicated advisory firm.
Of the 163 embassies and 93 US consulates in the world, between 70% and 80% of them operate. “While more and more embassies are not operating and fewer diplomatic staff in those embassies are serving a large number of people who need this procedure, the process is getting more and more delayed every day,” Lyell explained.
however, The US government said it is working to resolve the situation soon. In order to speed up actions, take some actionsIncluding visa renewal without attending the interview as long as the user meets the requirements. Despite this, the goal has not yet been achieved: that availability is consistent with what existed before the global health crisis.
Approximate wait for the visa appointment
The estimated waiting time to receive an interview appointment at a US Embassy or Consulate may change each week and is dependent on workload and employment. On the Travel.State.Gov website, the user will see the estimated times.
Of the eight capitals of Central America and the Dominican Republic consulted by Bloomberg Line, Five over 300 waiting days, i.e. 10 months: Panama City (749 days), Santo Domingo (600), San Jose (471), Guatemala City (355 days) and San Salvador (319 days).
Tegucigalpa leads the shortest time to make an appointment, with only 43 days; Belmopan delays 97 and Managua is 190.
The calendar days indicated by the State Department platform refer to all days of the week, including days when embassies are closed, such as weekends and public holidays.
“If you need to travel to the US soon or renew your US visa soon, don’t wait. Start the process as soon as possible, because the longer you wait, the further away your appointment will be,” recommended Leil.
If you need an appointment for an emergency and unexpected situation, such as a funeral, a medical emergency, or a school start date, Consular departments abroad can speed up the date of the interview.
The expedited nonimmigrant visa interview application process varies by location.. Instructions should be found on the website of the visa section of the embassy or consulate where the interview will take place, or on the online appointment scheduling website. You will need to provide evidence of the need for an early appointment.
The Department of State notes that travel for the purpose of attending weddings and graduation ceremonies, helping pregnant relatives, participating in an annual business, academic, or professional conference, or enjoying last-minute tourism does not qualify for speed dating..