Updated on 09.02.2022

Waiting times for an interview appointment at the US consulate

It is advisable to apply for a visa for the US as early as possible. Especially before holidays, applicants should plan more buffer for the interview appointment.You should also bear in mind that the waiting times for entry into the US will increase if there is a high volume of travel.
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Schriftzug vom Consulate General of the United States

Visa interview dates always scarce

Requesting an interview appointment at the U.S. consulate

For applicants:ages 14 to 79, the interview appointment is mandatory to apply for a visa (exception: Interview Waiver Program). As a rule, the visa interview takes place in the country where the applicant currently lives. For some visa categories there is currently asimplified application procedurewhich eliminates the consular interview and allows the application to be submitted by mail instead.

An appointment will be online via visa profile. After payment of the visa fee, the remaining free dates of the US consulates are visible and selectable in a calendar.

Waiting times for an interview appointment

When are which dates available?

The availability of visa interview appointments at U.S. consulates worldwide depends on several factors and may be subject to significant fluctuations. During peak travel periods and before holidays - including U.S. holidays and commemorative days in the applicant's home country - the wait for an interview appointment can be significantly longer. It is therefore always advisable to make an appointment as early as possible.

Popular travel times and holidays sometimes have a very different effect on the respective visa categories: Sometimes it is Student visas, times Visitor visa or Work Visas where the volume is high and the waiting times for an interview appointment are very long.

During periods of regular opening, interview appointment wait times vary at US consulates in Germany (Berlin, Frankfurt / Main, Munich), for example, from a few days to several weeks. On average, waiting times for an appointment are around two to three weeks - under normal conditions.


Estimated and actual availabilities

The estimated wait times for visa interviews for nonimmigrant visas (Visa Appointment Wait Times), you can select an Online tool on the official website of the U.S. Department of State (DOS)call. At the moment, this query continues to be offered in some countries only emergency appointments or interview appointments are only bookable again in 999 calendar days, whereby this is equivalent to the fact that no appointments are available and only emergencies are processed. However, the vast majority of US consulates worldwide have resumed regular visa issuance, in some cases with extremely long wait times per appointment.
Please note, however, that actual appointment availability can vary widely (depending on the visa category being applied for and the US Consulate).

The only reliable option to check availability at the appropriate US consulate in the given category is the appointment calendar in the applicant's online profile.

Although the postal submission procedure for certain visa categories or visa extensions allows applicants to bypass the otherwise obligatory interview, travelers should be prepared for longer processing times. These are currently around 2-3 weeks until the visa is actually issued after the documents have been sent to the US consulate. With the increasing access rate to this procedure, longer waiting times are also foreseeable here.

The following is therefore recommended:

  • Check in advance whether you can use the postal submission procedures
  • Always check your visa profile to see if there are free or earlier interview appointments for the desired visa category, if you urgently need an earlier appointment or if it has not been possible to arrange one so far.
  • Check the website of the US Embassy or Consulate in your home country for the current processing status.

Accelerated processing under certain circumstances

If urgent, an expedited interview appointment may be requested. First, however, it is imperative that a regular appointment be made. Only then is an emergency appointment request possible at all.

Possible reasons for an expedited appointment include, but are not limited to.

  • medical needs (e.g., for urgent medical care),
  • participation in a funeral or
  • urgent, unforeseen business trips.

In order to be eligible for expedited visa processing, visa applicants must demonstrate the need for the expedited interview appointment (e.g., by providing supporting documentation). Please note that emergency appointment requests are usually examined very critically and are often rejected. This is especially true for people who urgently need to travel for work.

An emergency appointment request can only unique be made. This is usually done via the online profile and the "Emergency Request" navigation button there. If an earlier appointment is granted and the appointment is not kept, it is not possible to submit an emergency request again. Since emergency appointments can also be allocated at short notice, it is advisable to submit the request as soon as all visa application documents are available.

Attention: If the emergency appointment is granted and the consular officers determine during the interview that you misrepresented the need for urgent US travel, this may have a negative impact on the outcome of the visa application. Approval of an emergency appointment is not the same as automatic visa approval.

Waiting times for the delivery of the passport

After your visa interview appointment, please also be prepared for varying delivery times depending on the time of year and volume of applications.

The Passport delivery takes place after the interview appointment at the German US consulates with UPS and depending on the volume of orders, this may take a little more time. The waiting times for the delivery of passports including visa can thus vary between a few days and up to two weeks.

In-person pickup at designated locations is also available, but is mandatory to expedite the application process.

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Our recommendation

It is advisable to apply for a visa for the USA as early as possible. Especially before holidays, applicants should plan more buffer for the interview appointment.
Also, keep in mind that high travel volumes can increase the waiting times for entry into the USA extend

With successive vaccination progress, there is hope that the threat of the pandemic will abate and global travel can resume in full. In the meantime, foreign nationals must come to terms with the fact that visa dates are limited and plan accordingly.

If you entrust us with the visa processing, our US Visa Team will of course take care of the coordination and timely arrangement of the interview appointment at the US Consulate.

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Updated on 09.02.2022