Visa processing in the United States, although is looked after by the most appropriate professionals with laws guarding it, might not be the most predictable procedure in the administrative curriculum of the country.
There is no one processing time to predict when it comes to a visa application process in the U.S. As the U.S. administration reviews every application process on a case-by-case footing thereby the reviewing process can vary with the kind of immigration process in concern.
Usually, for temporary non Immigrant visas, the time frame goes till a few weeks or months whereas immigrant visa applicants can take up to years. The US visa processing time depends on the type of visa that one is applying for.
After the processing, the applicant is likely to receive a reply of affirmation on the application, and the consulate is to deliver the document. The delivery of the visa can take up to two other workdays.
On average, the processing duration for each of the visas is as follows :
- E1 visa: 2 to 4 weeks i.e. almost a month
- E2 visa: 4 to 6 weeks i.e. more than a month
- E3 visa: 2 months
- F1 visa: A few days, comparatively shorter than the other visa application processes.
- F2 visa: Few days to 2 weeks i.e. up to 14 days
- J1 visa: 1 to 4 months
- Q1 visa: 15 days to 3 months
- M1 visa: 4 weeks on a minimum
- B1 visa: Few weeks to 2 months
- B2 visa: Similar to B1, this takes a duration of a couple of weeks to 2 months too.
- H1B visa : 3 to 6 months
- H1B1 visa: 4 to 6 months
- H2A visa: Generally it takes no more than 120 days but as it is seasonal in nature, the time duration varies.
- H3 visa: 4 to 6 weeks
- H4 visa: As it is dependent on the H-type visa holder i.e. a spouse or parent, therefore the time duration depends on the time taken to process their visa.
- L1 visa : 3 to 4 months
- L2 visa: 15 days to 1 month
- R1 visa: 8 to 9 months
- P1 visa : 3 to 6 months
- I visa: 10 days
- O visa: 2 to 3 months
- C visa: 5 working days
- T visa: Being dependent on the applicant’s status and the evidence of deserving the visa they provide to the authorities, the duration varies.
- U visa: 12 to 18 months
Applications facing refusal under Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) pending further processing, can take up to 60 days the processing from the date of the visa interview. In certain situations, the processing might take more than 6 months.
Applicants who are required to apply for a waiver of ineligibility to obtain the visa should be aware that they might have to wait for up to 6 to 8 months from the date of their interview in order to get a reply.
It must be taken note that during cases of emergency, the State Department grants appointments and interview processing in an expedited time frame provided the U.S. embassy or consulate of the country of the applicant is well informed beforehand.