It depends on what you’re going to the consulate for. If you are going for a non-immigrant visa, generally, you’re going to make an appointment with the consulate ahead of time, and go in that day for your visa. They will probably tell you that day whether or not you’ve been approved for your non-immigrant visa. They may ask you to come back in a week or so, or have your passport sent to you by DHL at a location that you both choose at some point later on. Each consulate is different about how they process it, but presume that after a week after your consulate interview, you should get your visa back in the mail.
Nowadays we’re often seeing that they put people in administrative processing. Meaning that they want to check on either some type of security clearance, verify that the application is correct, etc., and that can delay your case. Often up to three months. If you’re in administrative processing, there’s often not much you can do but wait it out, and hopefully, the consulate will contact you to say that you’ve been cleared to come in for a visa.
If you’re going back for an immigrant visa, and you’re going to process it at the consulate, that also should take a short period of time. Just remember you need to have everything that’s required at the consulate. It’s important to look at the consulate website. Each consulate has their own rules, and it’s important to go over those rules with your immigration lawyer to make sure that you’re ready for your visa interview. If you are missing something, consulates will often turn you away, and ask for you to come back with the document in person. Some will allow you to mail in the missing evidence that they need, and then give you a time frame about when you should pick up your passport.
If you have questions about consular processing, what documents are necessary, specifics regarding your case, and how long it will take for you to get back to the United States, please contact the office. I’d be happy to discuss your situation with you in person.
Cheryl David is an experienced immigration attorney practicing throughout New York City. Contact the office to set up your free initial consultation.