Last Updated on August 26, 2023 by PAVSAdmin
The idea of waiting six weeks or more for your visa can be stressful. You not only need to wait for it to be approved but to receive it.
It can be especially daunting if you have an urgent need that requires you to travel. However, there are a couple of options for you to consider when applying for an expedited visa.
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So, Can a Visa Be Expedited?
The short answer is yes. However, there are certain restrictions and qualifications that you will need to meet for this to happen.
For starters, you will need to show that you have an emergency in order to qualify for an expedited visa.
Requirements for an Expedited Visa
If your need to travel is due to an unforeseen emergency meeting one of the criteria listed below, you may qualify for an expedited appointment – depending on availability at the U.S. Embassy. In regard to visa applications, an emergency may be classified as any of the following:
1. Urgent Medical Care
In a situation where urgent medical attention is required for yourself, , or to accompany a relative or employer, you will need a letter from a doctor explaining what is required and why you need the care in the United States. Specifically:
- A letter from your physician stating the medical condition and why it is necessary for you to receive medical care in the US.
- A letter from the doctor or hospital in the US stating that they are ready to provide treatment, along with the approximate cost of the treatment.
- Proof of how you will be able to pay for the treatment.
2. Death or Funeral
If your reason for travel is to attend the funeral of an immediate family member in the US (either a parent, sibling, or child), or to make arrangements for retrieving their body of
You must provide a letter from the funeral director along with proof that the deceased is an immediate relative and date of the funeral. You will also need to show proof that the deceased is an immediate relative.
3. Urgent and Unexpected Business
If you have an urgent business matter to attend to that could not have been foreseen ahead of time, you may qualify for an expedited visa. To have your visa expedited, you will need a letter from the corresponding company in the United States explaining why your presence is necessary.
In essence, the qualifier for this type of emergency is that the situation could not have been planned for – it is unexpected.
What is not an emergency?
An emergency does not include:
- Graduation ceremonies
- Helping a pregnant relative
- Participating in an annual business/academic/professional conference
- Last-minute tourism
- Any planned trip regarding personal business or tourism
These are events that can usually be prepared for well enough in advance that your planning will include arranging for a visa ahead of time.
Assuming it’s an Emergency, Now What?
Now that you’ve verified that you have an emergency on your hands, what can you do next?
Prior to applying for an expedited visa, you must make certain that you have the documentary evidence necessary to prove the urgency. If it has been determined during your visa interview that you were misrepresenting the need for urgent travel, it will could negatively affect your approval.
You will need to fill out the Non-immigrant Visa Electronic Application, also known as a DS-160 form. Next, you will need to pay the fee for the application which will range from $160 to $265 depending on what application you submit.
Any applicant who requests an expedited appointment is required to first pay visa fees for a regular visa appointment. You can request the appointment online with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate nearest to you, but they will need to see you in person to verify your identity.
Once your appointment is made and you receive the confirmation via email, you will need to make sure that you print a copy of the appointment letter, your DS-160 form, a photograph taken in the last six months, your current and old passports, as well as any supporting documents that explain why your urgent trip is necessary.
Anyone receiving an expedited appointment who then refuses a visa at the U.S. Embassy will be prohibited from obtaining another expedited appointment.
Bottom line: you can expedite your visa – if you are facing a legitimate emergency. Follow the above steps, and you’ll have everything you need.
See Also: How to Get an Expedited Visa