US visa interview process has changed

US visa interview process has changed

Ask the US Embassy

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

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Q. I heard that the Consular Section has resumed visa service. What types of visa cases are currently being processed?

A: Although the Department of State's suspension of routine visa services remains in place, US Embassy Kingston is processing certain mission-critical and emergency immigrant and non-immigrant visa cases. Please see the information below regarding the categories of cases that we are currently handling.

Immigrant visas

We are now processing IR-1, CR-1, IR-2, and CR-2 applications as mission-critical cases. Those are the visa classes for spouses and minor children (under 21 years of age) of US citizens. The immigrant visa unit is working to reschedule appointments for applicants in these visa classes who had their previously scheduled appointments cancelled in March and April.

Non-immigrant visas

We are currently processing all cases eligible for interview waiver. This includes eligible renewals for B1/B2 visitor visas. We also continue to process cases deemed mission-critical, such as visas for certain H-2 applicants and some medical professionals, as well as emergency visa requests.

For emergency appointments, we are considering requests for truly urgent and dire cases only, such as family emergencies or medical necessity.

Q. Has the visa interview process at the embassy changed for applicants due to COVID-19?

A: We are spacing consular appointments to maximise social distancing and instructing applicants to arrive no more than 15 minutes before their appointed time. Applicants who arrive late may be instructed to reschedule to a later date.

All consular visitors are required to wear a cloth face covering. Our waiting spaces have been reconfigured to provide ample spacing between applicants. Hand sanitising stations are located throughout the waiting area and applicants may be instructed to use them during their interviews with consular staff.

We ask that any applicant with a scheduled appointment who is ill, has a fever, or has cold-like symptoms to remain home and contact us to reschedule your appointment.

Q. I am supposed to attend university in the United States this fall. When will you be processing student visas?

A: The Department of State's suspension of routine visa services remains in place, including that for student visas.

The Consular Section at the embassy in Kingston is aware that many Jamaicans have plans to attend school in the United States in the coming months. Please know that we are in constant contact with the Department of State in Washington, DC, on this issue and hope to receive guidance soon regarding processing of student visa cases.

We will prioritise these cases as soon as we may resume processing of student visa requests.

The latest information on our operating status can be found on our website at or by visiting Keep on top of embassy news on our Facebook page, and by following @USEmbassyJA on Twitter . We also answer general consular questions on our social media pages.

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