The best way to avoid the frustration of delayed travel is to plan ahead and act early.
Report Visa Delays
Report visa application delays to the International Visitors Office (IVO) of The National Academies. If your visa application has been delayed, you can complete the Visa Questionnaire on the IVO website if you meet the following criteria:
- You are a scientist or student of science; AND
- You applied for a non-B1 visa to come to the U.S. for a science related activity and your application has been delayed 60 days or longer. OR, you applied for a B-1 visa to come to the U.S. for a science related activity and your application is pending 14 days prior to the event's start date.
Information from the IVO questionnaire is used for statistical purposes and to report to the U.S. Department of State instances when applications have been pending for longer than normal.
IVO Visa Questionnaire
Avoid Visa Problems
- Plan ahead
- Apply early
- Bring a copy of your C.V. to the visa interview
Estimate How Long the Application Process Will Take
The Bureau of Consular Affairs provides estimated Visa Wait Times for interviews and non-immigrant visa processing at every U.S. Consular office world-wide.
Visa Wait Times
Applying in a "Third Country"
If you apply for a visa in a country other than your home country, you are considered a "Third Country National" (TCN). TCN applications require additional resources and time to process; sometimes consular officers are unable to properly adjudicate the application. As a result, TCNs have a higher rate of visa denial. Thus, it is recommended that you apply in your home country. If this is not possible, be extra diligent about providing evidence of your ties to your home country. Assume that your application will take longer to process and plan accordingly.
Some applicants experience delays beyond the estimates posted on the Visa Wait Times website due to a security review process known as Visas Mantis. This is an additional processing step for applicants with a background in one of the technologies on the Technology Alert List (TAL)*.
A Visa Mantis review will delay the processing of your application. To facilitate this review, bring a copy of your C.V. to the visa interview, and apply early to avoid a delay in your travel to the U.S. Many visa applicants who have previously been approved under the Visa Mantis process may not need to undergo another review when they reapply for a visa if they are returning to the same program and position.
* The TAL is used by Consular Officials to determine the "ineligibility [of] aliens who are coming to engage in an activity involving one of the scientific or technical fields on the TAL. Such activity includes graduate-level studies, teaching, conducting research, participating in exchange programs, receiving training or employment, or engaging in commercial transactions.”