Ask the U.S. Consul – April 2017

Question:

I entered the green card lottery in November 2016 can I still apply to renew my tourist visa?

Answer:

Even though you submitted an entry for the Diversity Visa Lottery you can still apply for a B1/B2 visa.  If you receive immigrant visa status, your nonimmigrant visa will be cancelled since you cannot hold the two at the same time.  Between May 2 and September 30, 2017 visit the website at www.dvlottery.state.gov  to check the status of your entry in the 2018 Diversity Visa program.

Avoid Fraudsters

Quite frequently the Consular Section receives reports of persons providing banking information to websites in order to process visa applications.  Nonimmigrant Visa application payments are made at Scotiabank branches in Trinidad and Tobago and there is no online payment option.  Any outside vendors that the applicant may have found through other means are not legitimate and the Embassy is unable to refund any payments made in error.

Apply Early & Consular Waiting Room Information

If you plan to travel soon, it’s a good idea to plan ahead.  The Embassy traditionally experiences a surge in applications during the school vacation period when the wait time may vary from a few days to a few weeks.

Remember that cellphones and electronic items are not allowed into the waiting area and should be secured elsewhere before your appointment.  Applicants are allowed entry no more than 15 minutes before their appointment so there is no need to show up too early for your appointment or to join a queue to secure a spot.

The Consular Waiting room is wheelchair accessible and air conditioned.  In order to assure that applicants with mobility issues or who require the assistance of a relative or interpreter are treated properly, they must receive prior authorization before being allowed into the waiting area.  Such requests should be sent to ConsularPOS@state.gov at least two days before the appointment.

Monday afternoons are designated as Quiet Mondays when applicants with special needs are accommodated.  Apart from a shortened wait time, the noise and distractions will be kept to a minimum.  After securing an appointment online an expedited appointment request may be submitted with a brief note detailing the special need.

If you are unable to attend your interview or fall ill on the day of the appointment, it’s easy to reschedule an appointment by returning to the Information and Appointment Website.  There is no fee or penalty for rescheduling an appointment.  Please visit trinidadandtobago.usvisa-info.com to modify your appointment.

Specific inquiries not addressed on the website can be sent by email to ConsularPOS@state.gov