Ask the US consul: Processing non-immigrant visas

How long does it take to process my nonimmigrant visa after it has been approved? My case is in administrative processing. What does that mean and how long will it take?

The Department of State is committed to facilitating legitimate travel and providing prompt and courteous service.  At the same time, we must ensure that applicants are both qualified for the visa and do not pose a security risk to the United States.

If you are informed at the end of your visa interview that your visa is approved, it means you have been tentatively approved.  If your security checks clear without any difficulty, we will issue your visa and return your passport to you via courier within five (5) business days.

We ask our approved applicants to make arrangements with a courier to pre-pay an airway bill for delivery of their passport.  If you need your passport returned to you without the visa in order to travel home, you will have to send the passport back to us via courier.  When you send the passport, please include a pre-paid airway bill and mailer for delivery back to you.  In typical situations, you can expect to receive your passport back with the visa within five to seven (5-7) business days after we receive it.

In case of a true medical or other emergency, the Consular Section will do its best to work with you to accommodate urgent travel.  Please note that we are unable to guarantee that your visa will be ready in time for your travel.

Applicants sometimes require additional screening to determine whether they are eligible for the visa.  The term “administrative processing” refers to various additional checks that must be done before their visas can be issued.  Administrative processing does NOT mean that the U.S. government has identified the applicant as a security risk.  Many factors can trigger these checks.

The consular officer will not be able, however, to provide specific information regarding what additional checks are to be performed.  In some cases, the consular officer may need to request additional information from the visa applicant.  Most administrative processing is resolved within 60 days of the visa interview, but the timing can vary based on the individual circumstances of each case.

The Department of State is continuously working to improve processing and expedite visas and we appreciate your patience.  The best way to ensure your visa will be ready in time for your trip is to apply as early as possible.  Many applicants wait until the last minute to apply for their visas.  In order to ensure that you receive your visa in time for your trip, please apply as soon as possible.  That way, if your case requires administrative processing, it is less likely to interfere with your travel plans.

We highly recommend that you do not make travel plans until you have received your passport with the visa.

Additional information about visas or other Consular and travel topics can be found on our website at, our Facebook page, or by going to

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  1. Anonymous
    September 26, 2011

    Why the US nuh…at the next level is free entry to Cuba Venezuela Morocco, Lybia, leave the US in peave man….shate

  2. vip
    September 26, 2011

    that is for the young people.Very simple
    1. get a good education that means go to school and learn well
    2. get a job and save your money so you can have something to show
    3. get a good police record
    4. show that you have strong ties to your country and will not stay illegally in the people’s land.
    5. learn to answer your questions properly.

  3. Right One
    September 25, 2011

    I have read so many silly comments so which one is the official US reply? There are so many other places in the world to visit why on earth do you people think that the US is the only place to visit unless you want a lesson on Crime Bank Failures how to run drugs etc.Warmongering is the best.Leave them people place alone.

    • pedro
      September 25, 2011

      right one so why do you not go to China, Venezuela an cuba an keep your gle der for life.

    • wesleyman
      September 25, 2011

      guess you applied and was turned down ..huh

    • vip
      September 26, 2011

      I love America .The nonesense that is tolerated in other countries are not tolerated there.Crime is never left unpunished.This is the land of freedom and vast opportunities.People need to travel and know the world instead of making blank statements.Life is an adventure learn to discover.

  4. Right On
    September 25, 2011

    What about the “Rebels” who overthrew Gadafi would they now become a “Security Risk “?They could export their expertise to the US will they be granted visas or they must now remain in their country.

  5. dominican abroad
    September 24, 2011

    political jargon,in other words r**clat, money talk bullsh** walk.

    • Great
      September 24, 2011

      As long as you have all the required documents, bank statements etc. you can give it a try! Also if you are saying your mother died bring a long the death certificate; some people never travelled on their ten year visa and still got one when it expired so it all depends; don’t just listen to what others say, give it a try because what may work for one may not work for the other vici versa

  6. September 24, 2011

    I had a US Visa long ago,i did not travel on it,because my mother fell ill and died around the time my Visa expired.Please tell me what to do to obtain a visitors Visa to the States.My instincts tell me i have to do it the same thing over.Somebody told me,i will not be given another Visa….because i never travelled on the one i had.Enlighten me please.Thank You.

    • Woodfordhill girl
      September 24, 2011

      I do not know much about the visa procedure but this is what I would do, you said your mother fell ill at the time your visa was granted and she subsequently died,which caused you to be unable to travel before your visa expired,so I would write a letter to the embassy explaining the events that you described and enclose a copy of the death certificate “they usually ask for originals,also send your passport if you are not going in person,but like I said I’m not an expert on the visa issue,I used to keep up and help people a long time ago but so much has changed since 9-11 but it,s worth a try don’t give up, good luck or better yet God bless!

      • Woodfordhill girl
        September 24, 2011

        Still do an application as usual,the more supporting documemtation the better your case!

    • September 24, 2011

      If you find that the USA embassy will deny you another visa, why not contact daddy chavez for a visa, the USA should stop giving visas to Dominicans, you people like to bite the hands which feed you all, since there are too many Dominicans in the USA working hard sending monies and other things, helping there families in Dominica, when USA officials have their eyes set on your leader and reading you all anti USA comment, go apply for visa to go to China, Russia and the rest of your leader comunist buddies

      • mahaut proper
        September 25, 2011

        Jessica, i find you to be very honest and reasonable on that issue. It is as simple as you put it. Those mapuisan and negative comments by our leaders are not helping, there is a creole saying “sa pa pis ou malad pou bou chou docter,”but that same docter can prescribe a wrong injection for us.

    • Homeboy
      September 24, 2011

      There is no guarantee you will get a visa again but seeing that you were already a visa holder provide enough documentation to show that you have sufficient ties to DA( land, $, children in school, family life), if they ask about the first visa, then tell them the truth.

    • Mr. Vigilant
      September 25, 2011

      As one who travels many time (like 4 times a year to the US) you need to apply for a new VISA.

    • forreal
      September 25, 2011

      hey this is not question for the public, you simply contact the people them again, and they will tell you what to do,some people does say what they want to much.

    • Righteous
      September 26, 2011

      You do not need to apply for a NEW VISA. You need to RENEW, which is different. Applying for a NEW visa is for people applying for the very first time. Renewal are for previous holders, no matter how long ago u had a visa. Also, best thing to do is to visit their website or call them to obtain accurate information.

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