At the moment, only emergency cases and those considered priority are handled flexibly.
Michael Fitzpatrick, the US ambassador to Ecuador, understands the annoyance of dozens of Ecuadoreans who, via social networks, have complained, Regarding the slow process of renewing tourist or business visas (B1 and B2), but ask for understanding, as there is a delay of at least six months in processing requests derived from the pandemic. Currently, emergency and priority cases are handled flexibly. The diplomat says that people who want to travel “for the purpose of tourism to Disney have to wait.”
He adds that the closure of his country’s consular facilities in Ecuador will continue and that reopening will depend on the management of the epidemic and the vaccination plan. If the situation improves, consulates will be able to reopen and visa renewal processes will become more flexible, he says.
Ecuadorean citizens have complained, especially on social media, about the time it takes to renew their tourist and business visas to enter the United States. In fact, many of them mentioned that they got face-to-face appointments for 2023 and no longer allow virtual operation, which is also delayed. What is the reason for these delays?
It all depends on the epidemic. Everyone needs to understand that in the event of a pandemic and crisis, there are new priorities. Consulates in Quito and Guayaquil have been closed for a long time, but at the same time more than one hundred thousand visas are processed. We give priority to medical emergencies and long-term studies, that is, they will study in the fall term. They will have their interviews. Not for sightseeing, visiting relatives, or going to Disney, these are not emergencies.
The focus is on saving lives, donating vaccines to save lives, and giving visas to save lives. Priority is for medical emergencies and students, and everyone will have to wait. At the moment we have a six month delay because we are closed and everyone is asking to re-verify or interview for new visas, but if it is not an emergency please be patient.
Reasons for US visa refusal
Unfortunately, we are still in a pandemic and are now realigning ourselves a bit to improve response speed (to renew). In the meantime I apologize and most of all patience.
These dates for 2023, 2024 are based on the fact that we closed, but when we reopen everything (which will depend on the management of the epidemic in the country and the vaccination process), we will (provide) these dates, although we should solve the problem of all the passports that We already have it.
The thing that worried the Ecuadoreans were the rumors spread on social networks, which confirmed that the United States had suspended the default renewal of visas and that they would be face to face, but from 2023. Have you thought about creating something similar?
Here in Ecuador, there is a minimum visa delay of six months. What we want to do now is process all the passports we already have because we don’t have the extra space, and in addition, people tell us that they need their passports for other trips.
We will handle each case and call you to let you know if you need an interview or not. But all of this is secondary, and the priority and focus is dealing with emergencies. You can make an appointment, yes, but you have to wait a long time. They can make an appointment, yes, but they have to be at the end of the queue, please.
There are Ecuadoreans who want to go to the United States to get vaccinated against COVID-19 because the vaccination process is progressing slowly in our country, but their visas have expired or they want to get it for the first time. In addition, the United States encouraged vaccine tourism to revive its economy. Could this be considered a medical emergency?
No. There are vaccine donations here, there are vaccines here (in Ecuador), and there is a vaccination program. (Going to get vaccinated in the US) It wouldn’t be a reason to skip the line of people waiting months for a visa.
We all want and have a reason to travel, but if this isn’t a medical emergency, take your turn. Currently in Ecuador, they are vaccinating people over 55, and in a maximum of three or four weeks, they will reduce their lifespan and the vast majority of adults in the country will have the opportunity to receive the vaccine in the short term here.
On the other hand, if they already have their visas in their hands and want to travel (to get vaccinated in the US), they can, of course, but those without a visa will have to wait. (I)