Ask the U.S. Consul – April 2018

Dear US Consul, My brother has autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and I am his only caregiver. I am planning a trip to Florida and would like to bring him along. May he apply for a visa? I heard that the Embassy offers special accommodations for people with ASD – can you provide me with more information?
 
Thank you for your question. Yes, your brother may apply for a visa. The US Embassy, Port of Spain, offers special accommodations for people with autism spectrum disorder. The
initiative is called “Quiet Mondays”. “Quiet Mondays” are Monday afternoon appointments hosted by the Consular Section with special attention to minimising distractions and offering personalised service to applicants with sensory processing difficulties. In consultation with local experts, Consular staff implemented best practices for interaction with ASD applicants. Accommodations include reduced noise, dimmed lighting, and shorter wait times. These simple changes help our special needs applicants feel comfortable.
 
To request a “Quiet Monday” visa appointment, the parent, guardian, or caregiver of a special needs applicant between ages 14 – 80 should follow the routine online application steps for a non-immigrant visa found on our website at tt.usembassy.gov. After securing an appointment online, request a “Quiet Monday” appointment by sending a brief note to consularpos@state.gov.
 
Remember, visa applicants under age 14 or over age 80 may qualify for an interview waiver and do not need to come in for an appointment. Applicants will be notified of interview waiver eligibility when following the routine online application steps. Even if you are applying as a family, children under 14 are not required to be present at the interview.
 
We also accommodate US citizen special needs applicants who need routine services. To request a special appointment, the parent, guardian, or caregiver of a US citizen special needs applicant can contact American Citizen Services by emailing acspos@state.gov.
 
In general, people who do not have appointments themselves but wish to accompany an applicant
are required to seek advance permission to enter the Consular waiting room. This applies to relatives, caregivers, or group leaders. To submit a request, email consularpos@state.gov at least two working days before the confirmed appointment.
 
Cellular phones and other electronic devices are not allowed into the waiting area so be sure to secure these items elsewhere prior to your appointment. You will be allowed into the waiting room 15 minutes prior to your appointment. Save yourself time by not arriving earlier! We encourage you to visit our website at tt.usembassy.gov for information on routine and emergency consular services. Follow us on
Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ttusa.