Getting a U.S visa can be a long process. There are times when one might have an emergency and need to have their visa expedited. This article explains how to go about getting a U.S. Visa emergency appointment.
The following are the requirements for a U.S. visa emergency appointment.
Medical or Health Related
If you have the urgent need to travel to the U.S. due to medical reasons, you can avail of a U.S. visa emergency appointment. This requires you to send a letter written by your Indian doctor explaining your condition and the reason it is necessary for you to go to the U.S. Another letter from the U.S. doctor/hospital that they will take care of your treatment and that shows that you have funds to cover the treatment is necessary.
Funeral or Death
In the event of a funeral or if you must collect the dead body of an immediate family member (parents, sibling, child), you can utilize the U.S. visa emergency appointment. You will have to have a letter sent to the U.S. which contains details of the person who has died and information about their funeral. You will also have to show that you are an immediate family member.
Urgent Business Travel
It may be the case that you have a business emergency and could not plan your trip beforehand. To apply for a U.S. visa emergency appointment you need to show that you have an emergency. This can be done either from your U.S. company or your Indian company. You also need to show what losses you will incur if you are unable to travel in time. In addition, you can also make a request for urgent training for a maximum of 3 months. This will require a letter from both the U.S. and Indian employers showing the cause of urgency and the loss incurred, if the training is not attended.
Students or Exchange Visitors
Students and exchange visitors with school starting within 60 days that are unable to get a visa appointment can use the U.S. visa emergency appointment. Students will have to submit a copy of their I-20 and exchange students will have to submit a DS-2019 copy which shows the day their program starts. If your visa stamping was refused within the last 6 months, you will not be eligible for a U.S visa emergency appointment.
Denied ESTA Candidates
Some people who are qualified for the visa waiver program, may have received the reply that they are ineligible to travel to the U.S. through that program. In this case in order to apply for the emergency appointment you need to submit the details of the request, travel purpose and a copy of the CBP message online along with the status of the ESTA request.
U.S. Department of State Restrictions
You can also apply for an emergency visa in the case of U.S. department state restrictions. An example of this is when President Biden stated that there would be a ban on travelers from India entering the U.S. Another example was when president Trump put a travel ban on H1B visa holders. In these cases, you may be able to apply for an emergency appointment on the grounds of National Interest Exceptions (NIE). These exceptions and further information can be found on the US embassy website.
Ineligibility for Emergency Appointment
The U.S. Consulates will not approve an emergency appointment for attending:
- Graduation ceremonies
- Assisting family at the time of pregnancy
- Any conferences or annual business meetings
- Last minute tourism
How to get an Emergency Appointment
Step 1: Complete DS – 160
First, you have to ascertain your Non-immigrant U.S. visa type. Next, you need to fill out the non-immigrant U.S. visa application. This is called the form DS-160 form online. The confirmation number from this form will be used to book the appointment in the subsequent steps.
Step 2 – Register at US Travel Docs Website and Pay Fee
Once the DS-160 form has been filled out, you will have to register on the USTravelDocs India Website. Here you will have to use the “Schedule your appointment option on their page”. This will get you to the CGI Federal India Website. Here, click on the new user option and register for an account.
You will have to complete the signup process. Once you sign up and then login, you need to find the option that says “New Application” in the menu. Click on this in order to create a new application. This will take you through a series of steps and a questionnaire about your visa details and plan. This will require you to fill in all the visa type details, which location you would like to attend the interview, visa category , class and personal information. The DS-160 confirmation number received in step 1 can be entered here. Finally you will get the option to make the payment. Click on this link and choose from all the options to pay the visa fee. If you pay it at the bank, there are times when it can take 2 days till you get the receipt.
Step 3 – Schedule Regular Visa Appointment
In order to be eligible for a U.S visa emergency appointment, a regular visa appointment must already be scheduled. Return to the USTravelDocs portal. Once you pay the fee, you get the option to schedule the visa appointment. Regardless of the date, schedule the appointment. The selected consulate will be utilized for the emergency appointment and cannot be changed later. Please make sure to select the correct consulate and it cannot be changed later.
Step 4 – Create Emergency Request for Appointment
Once you have scheduled the U.S. visa appointment, there will be an “Emergency Request” option on the menu. Click on this and a form which needs to be filled out will appear. The following are the details for this form:
Reason for Emergency : You need to select the reason you are asking for an emergency appointment. There will be four selections in the dropdown menu: Medical Needs, ESTA Denied, Students or Exchange visitors, Urgent Business Travel, Funeral/Death. These were explained in the requirements above. Select the one that matches your reason the best.
Brief Explanation of Emergency : You need to enter the reason for your Emergency Appointment request. You need to explain the details of the documents that you will be attaching for your Emergency Appointment request.
Upload Attachments : You must upload all supporting documents or letters for your emergency appointment. This includes letters from your company or medical letters, marriage certificates, etc. You can upload a maximum of 5 documents.
Once you submit the emergency appointment request, you will receive a confirmation. Take a screenshot of the confirmation as it may not appear again.
Step 5 – Emergency Request Approval Via Email
You will receive your emergency appointment request decision within a few hours to 10 days based on the consulate you have selected and how busy it is. On average it takes about 2 days. You will receive a message once you login that reads: Emergency Appointment Request has been approved. You could also receive: Emergency Appointment Request Denied Email.
Step 7 – Schedule U.S. Visa Emergency Appointment
You can login your emergency appointment after your login. You will have to select the dates. You will have to schedule the biometrics appointment as well as the vsa interview appointment.
Step 8 – Attend Biometrics, Visa Interview
Now you will need to appear for the biometrics appointment as well the visa interview on the dates that have been set up. You take all the documents that you submitted online for the emergency appointment. If your visa is approved, the U.S. visa will be stamped on your passport.
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The U.S. Consulates will not approve an emergency appointment for attending:
Assisting family at the time of pregnancy
Any conferences or annual business meetings
Last minute tourism
There is an option for medical or health related problems.
What if you have a business emergency?
You can pick the urgent business travel option.
Yes, they can.