Ask the U.S. Consul — December 2017

My visa will expire in February. However, I am planning to travel to the United States for the New Year’s Eve celebrations. Should I apply for a new visa now?

Thank you for your inquiry. U.S. visas are valid until the expiration date printed on the visa. You may apply for a new visa at any time before or after your current visa expiration date.

If you are planning to travel to the U.S. for the holidays, we urge you to come in as early as possible. The Embassy traditionally experiences a surge in applications and an increase in demand for appointments during holiday months and school vacation periods. The wait time during these periods may vary from a few days to a few weeks. Therefore, it is best to apply in advance of your expected travel date to avoid unnecessary delays in your travel plans, should your visa processing take longer than anticipated. Don’t purchase airline tickets until you receive your visa.

If you are approved for a visa on the day of the interview, the passport will be returned in 7 to 10 working days, excluding local and U.S. holidays. Many people don’t take this into account when they plan their travel. Detailed information about the overall visa application process is available online at: or via the telephone service at: 868-224-3099.  Telephone hours are from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Monday to Friday.

If you are a U.S. citizen residing in Trinidad & Tobago, we recommend you possess a valid passport, even if you have no immediate travel plans. A passport is not only invaluable for unexpected and immediate travel; it is also a globally accepted document establishing your identity and status as a United States citizen.

We encourage U.S. citizens to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP is a free service that allows enrollees to receive automatic updates about the foreign country they are visiting or residing in, including Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts. This program also enables the Embassy to contact registrants in cases of an emergency, whether natural disaster civil unrest, or family emergency. To sign up, visit:

We encourage you to visit the Embassy website at for information on routine and emergency consular services or submit your inquiry via the Embassy Facebook page: