If you are applying for a B visa to the US, you should know the US B1 B2 processing time to effectively plan your trip. Many people have had the misfortune of planning their itinerary without considering the processing timeline after submitting their applications, only to be forced to cancel their trip or change their travel plans at the eleventh hour. If you don’t want to run into difficulties further down the line, you should take your time to read this post till the end.
What Is The US B1/B2 Visa Processing Time?
First, you should know that there isn’t a standard processing time for a B1 B2 visa. What is clear is that this temporary non-immigrant visa is designed specifically for short visits, and so they are issued much faster than other long-term migrant visas that require extended security checks of applicant data. With the crowded nature of US embassies dealing with a high volume of applications, it is difficult to predict when your visa will be ready.
However, the standard waiting time for the visa is between 3-6 weeks after submitting your application and completing the visa interview at the embassy. In some cases, the process can take up to three months or more, depending on the volume of applications the embassy is dealing with. After your application has been accepted or denied, you will be informed, and your passport will be mailed to your address by the embassy.
Another thing to note is that processing starts after a visa interview is conducted, so it is at this point that the days start counting. In a situation where you are asked to apply for an ineligibility waiver, your application may take longer than expected, for up to six months to get a reply.
Standard Processing Timeline
The B1 visa takes up to 2 months after the interview to be ready but may take longer depending on the embassy’s workload. The same is the case with the B2 visa as well.
Do I Need To Submit My Passport, And When Do I Get It Back?
When applying for a B1 or B2 visa, you must submit your valid passport to the embassy as part of the essential documents. The passport will remain with them until your application is accepted or denied. When it is time to return your passport, the embassy will use a courier service to deliver it back to you. Once it leaves the embassy, you will get a tracking number from the courier company to track the passport until it arrives. Embassies are outside the practice of inviting applicants to come to collect their passports in person.
How To Speed Up The Process?
When you need to speed up the process because of an emergency, you cannot afford to rely on the standard application process to get by; you will have to schedule an interview very quickly. You must contact the embassy and book an emergency interview to do this. If you can secure and attend an interview in time, this will shorten the processing time.
Other steps to take to hasten the application timeline include the following.
Submit Your Application Early: One of the best ways to speed up the process is to submit your application several months in advance. Once you know or decide to make the trip, apply for the visa several months in advance, and this will give you sufficient waiting time before the embassy responds to your application.
Use The Right Documents: The embassy is quite strict with documentation and will only accept your application if one or more of your documents are Invalid or missing. The last thing you want is for your application to be rejected after waiting several months. Take your time to check your documents to ensure they are in order before submission.
Fill out The Visa Application Form Correctly: You must complete the application form correctly and check for errors before submitting it. Also, make sure that the details in the form reflect what is on your other documents because the visa officer will go through every detail. Only submit your application if you are sure.
Applicants are hereby informed that they can’t submit their documents without paying the visa application fee. This fee is mandatory for all applicants and costs $160, and this fee is different from any service fee they might incur along the line.
Must All Visa Applicants Attend Interviews?
Not all visa applicants need to attend an interview unless they are between the ages of 14-79. Persons
below 14 and 80 years and above don’t need to attend visa interviews.
Due to the extended US B1 B2 processing time, submit your application as early as possible so the visa will be ready before your trip.