2 months ago
Steps to be followed to file an emergency student visa appointment for the United States
Sometimes you might get an interview appointment close to your flight date or date of joining which is not feasible or you may not be able to book an appointment due to a lack of availability of visa appointments. Either way, you have the option to request an emergency student visa. The US consulates call this an “Emergency appointment”. Note that the emergency appointment requests are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. An international student can not enter the United States unless the student is 30 days from the date of joining.
Eligibility criteria for an emergency student visa:
1. You need to first have a regular visa appointment. If you are wondering “hey. I am not even able to find a normal appointment.” Don't worry, bulk slots are open for students, particularly during the peak time periods. Most recently, the bulk student visa appointments were opened for July end-August 2022.
2. The start date of your program (your international student orientation) must be within around 60 days to get an emergency appointment request approved. The closer the joining date, the higher is the possibility that your request will be evaluated and approved. Example - If your date of joining is 8th September and you are traveling to the United States on 10th August then you are eligible to apply and get approved for an emergency visa appointment around 60 days before 8th September. But if you apply around 60 days before your date of joining, more priority will be given to students who have their date of joining closer than yours.
3. You need to submit your i20 for new student visa applicants and DS-2019 for exchange students.
Steps to follow for an emergency student visa:
1. Book a regular visa appointment. IMPORTANT NOTE - You can not change the consulate later. The consulate for the emergency appointment will remain the same as that of the regular appointment. So, choose the consulate for the regular appointment where you want to book the emergency visa.
2. After you have booked the appointment, you will see the emergency appointment option on the left-hand side menu. Select the option.
3. You will get a form with the following details:
Tentative travel date: You should fill in the date when you plan to travel to the United States.
Reason for an emergency: This is a drop-down menu. Select one of the following- Medical Needs, ESTA Denied, Students or Exchange visitors, Urgent Business Travel, Funeral/Death.
- Medical :-
If you need to travel to the united states for urgent health-related issues or accompany someone who has a health issue. You will need a letter from your hospital and proof of funding for the treatment.
- Electronic System Travel Denied (ESTA) Denied :-
This is for students who qualify for the visa waiver program but have received a notice saying that they are not eligible to travel to the US using this program. You need to submit details of the request, the purpose of travel, copy of the CBP message online with the status of the ESTA request.
Students or Exchange visitors: New student visa applicants are eligible with the criteria mentioned above.
- Urgent Business :-
If you need to travel for urgent business that was not planned before, you can submit proof indicating the urgency of travel from your company. IMPORTANT - It should include the details on the loss of the business, if not traveling.
4. A brief explanation of emergency: You should enter the reason why you need to have an emergency visa now and not later.
5. Upload documents: All documents must be properly scanned. Some professional tips for scanning a document: Always scan and save it as a pdf. PDfs are more secure compared to a Microsoft word file or other files. Do not have to use an application that will give you a watermark after scanning. Some of the good scanning applications are Microsoft lens, adobe scan. The maximum limit to upload the number of documents is 5.
6. After you upload all documents. You will get a confirmation. Take a screenshot of the confirmation page as a precaution. If you get an error, call the customer service number.
7. Depending on the number of applicants for an emergency visa and the details you have filled in, you will get the request decision anytime within the next 2 weeks.
8. If your emergency visa is approved, you will receive a message on the left-hand side of your home page dashboard. You will also receive an emergency request approval email. The email will contain further instructions on how soon you can schedule an appointment.
9. If your emergency request is denied, then you would get an email stating the same.
10. If you do not get a decision within 1 or 2 weeks max, then you can reach the officials via calling them by email or live chat. Each consulate has different contact info.
11. If your emergency appointment has been approved but you have been locked out of the portal due to the maximum login limit. Then contact the consulates directly they will help you out.
12. Once you log in after the emergency appointment approval, you will be able to schedule your visa appointment. It is just like a normal visa appointment schedule, just that you will have dates open and you need to select from the available dates. You will have to select dates for Biometrics appointments and Visa Interview appointments just like a normal appointment.
13. You will need to attend biometrics on the specified date and interview as well. You should carry the documents that you submitted online for an emergency appointment along with the documents you originally planned to take if you had a normal appointment for a visa interview.
Good luck !!
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Sujeeth Reddy Annam
Thank you very much