There will be no visa appointments until 2024

Traveling for tourism or business to the United States will take an average of three years for those just considering applying for a visa. This was announced by the embassy of that country in Colombia after it confirmed that “hundreds of thousands of people” They are trying to implement the process and that, given the impossibility of serving all residents, interview dates for this type of visa will be enabled again in 2024.

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With this news, the two most common types of documents for visiting the United States will not be available to the majority of the population for at least the next two years. However, there will be exceptions when it comes to emergencies and humanitarian issues that don’t wait.

The embassy delays are due to the administrative brakes created by the bookings. Indeed, official data records a significant decrease in the number of visas approved before and after the pandemic. While 217,329 visas were issued in 2019, less than half were granted in 2020 (97,238) and 2021 (54,452).

Despite this green light to begin scheduling interviews, the entity has detailed changes in visa renewals and in requirements for some applicants.

The five main points to understand those adjustments that depend on factors such as age and reason for travel.

1. Visas without renewal interviews

The most representative change is the fact that hundreds of Colombians will be able to access certain types of visas without an interview.

But this feature only applies to very specific cases. Currently, three types of applicants are valued: those who want to renew a visa that has already been approved at another time in their lives, those under 14 and those over 79.

Each will be able to access a form on and wait for the algorithm to tell them if they can proceed with the process without the need for an interview or if, in any event, they have to go to the embassy in Bogotá to answer the officials’ questions.

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In the specific case of those who want to renew their visas, Colombians must fill out the web form and wait if they need an interview or not. If not, you will be called to take your passport and wait for the renewal to take place.

In this way, as announced by the embassy, ​​shipments of passports will be canceled by the DHL courier company.

2. Dating is a priority for students

According to the US Embassy, ​​hundreds of citizens residing in Colombia have applied for student or university exchange visas, so priority will be given to residents who may miss important courses or scholarships due to long waiting times to obtain the document that allows them to enter.

For any student who has to certify their degree in that country, enabling interview dates will start from May and can take anywhere between 4 or 5 weeks.

“That time is still high. We know. But we are working every day to speed up the process,” said the Vice President for Non-Immigrant Visas.

3. The dates for tourist and business visas will be activated in 2022

According to the entity, an average of 1,000 people per day attempted to access the procedure for obtaining B1 and B2 visas, corresponding to tourist and business visas. Since they are the most in demand, the quotas are full until 2024, therefore, new applicants have to wait until that year.

However, the vice president of visas said that between 2022 and 2024 new spaces may be opened by new officials or cancel appointments already set. “For this reason, it is important to be in a constant state of review of the site.”

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US government officials are clear in their warning that there is no authorized intermediary to facilitate, mediate, or assist citizens in carrying out any of the steps.

Thus, the procedures for requesting appointments, filling out forms, attending the embassy and conducting an interview, among others, should be conducted “exclusively and exclusively” by the applicants.

Otherwise, citizens can be exposed to criminal offenses and, in addition, “get out of the visa process, because people who provide this type of service sometimes commit fraud and negatively affect the application of the person who wants to obtain the document,” he said. Embassy official.

5. The price has remained at $160 this year

Another important point is that each visa has a specific price that depends on the type of permit and the period of validity.. For tourist and business visas, which are the most common, the 2022 price is $160.

Similarly, the embassy stated that those who wish to renew their visas before they expire can do so without any time limit. “It’s even a good idea to order it two years in advance so you don’t miss important flights to the US because your document has expired.”

As for emergencies, the authority recommended requesting this type of appointment only when dangerous situations do not wait. They apply for those cases, for example, the death of a family member, the need for medical treatment or the urgency of a student who must travel to this country in less than a month.

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