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Ask the Consul — May 2022
May 3, 2022

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Question:  My visa interview was initially scheduled for April 2020, but my appointment has been canceled five or six times!  Why is it taking so long to receive a visa?

Answer:  The Consular Section at U.S. Embassy Port of Spain understands that many of you remain frustrated by the lengthy wait for nonimmigrant visa interviews and ongoing interview cancellations.  As global travel rebounds from the pandemic, the Consular Section remains committed to safely and efficiently re-introducing appointments for the full range of nonimmigrant visas.  During the pandemic, numerous appointments were cancelled on a rolling basis until we could open for routine interviews.

We are aware that since we reintroduced routine visa processing in March, applicants have found it difficult to schedule an appointment and face extended visa interview wait times.  This situation is not unique to Trinidad and Tobago.  Consular sections at our embassies and consulates around the world are coping with challenges brought on by the pandemic.

In fact, U.S. Embassy Port of Spain has one of the lowest wait times for visa interviews across the Caribbean!  All applicants should still expect longer than normal wait times.  We remain committed to lowering those wait times as quickly as possible.  Regular updates on estimated wait times are available on travel.state.gov.

As the Consular Section faces an unprecedented increase in visa applications, we may need to cancel appointments to allow us to process the unparalleled backlog of applications currently pending.  We are actively seeking solutions for those who have experienced multiple interview cancellations and we understand your frustration.  We ask for your patience as we work through this issue as quickly and as safely as possible for our applicants and our staff.

If you have urgent emergency travel to the United States, you may request an expedited appointment by first scheduling yourself into the earliest available appointment.  Once you have scheduled an initial appointment, select the “Request Expedite” link on the Application Summary Page and follow the instructions and provide a detailed explanation of the nature of your emergency.  Please note that an approved request only allows for an earlier appointment.  Visa processing time is generally up to 10 working days and cannot be expedited.

During this period of transition to pre-pandemic appointment wait times, the Consular Section encourages all applicants to do the following as they prepare for travel to the United States:

  1. If you have a valid visa, check its expiration date! You can travel to the United States while the visa is still valid.  If your visa expiration date is coming up soon, plan your travel accordingly.
  2. If you need to simply renew your previously issued visa, you might be eligible to renew via mail. Final determinations are made through our scheduling and information website, https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-tt/niv

For additional questions, please call our Call Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Monday through Friday at 868-235-4500.