Immigration Update: Holiday Travel for U.S. Visa Holders
With the holiday season rapidly approaching, now is the best time for visa holders to review their travel documents and begin planning for renewals if necessary. Planning ahead can alleviate much of the stress of international travel and the visa process.
It is a basic question, but often the most obvious things are overlooked. Renewing a foreign passport in the U.S. can take several weeks. Additionally if a visa holder's passport has six (6) months validity or less, and they need to apply for a new visa, they may be required to renew the passport before applying for the visa. Citizens of certain countries are required to have a passport valid for six months beyond their intended period of stay in the U.S.
Visa renewal almost always requires a visit to a U.S. Consulate abroad, which in turn requires an appointment. Consulate appointments are in high demand late November through early January and many Consulates have already opened up their appointment calendars for this peak season.
Additionally Consulates have holiday closings, leaving fewer days for visa processing. It is critical for applicants to confirm appointment availability and determine how long the visa process may take in advance of booking travel plans.
Visa processing also requires preparation of forms and gathering of necessary documents. Document requirements vary from Consulate to Consulate, and often requirements and procedures can change. It is important for applicants to confirm the most current procedures and requirements.
Finally applicants should remember any family members travelling will also be subject to the same passport and visa requirements.
Please contact an MVA team member if you have any questions or concerns about your passport validity or visa appointment booking.