U.S. Consulates' visa processing procedures and times vary. Visa applicants should check the website of the Consulate where they plan to apply for their visa to obtain the most accurate information. Due to the increased security and mandatory interviews at most Consulates, visa issuance processing times are unpredictable and could be delayed.
Please visit the U.S. Department of State for information regarding current visa appointment and processing wait times for each Consulate. We recommend a minimum of three to four weeks for the visa process.
Foreign nationals in the United States, who have a pending “change of status” or "extension of status" petition (from one nonimmigrant classification to another, or extension of the status in the same visa category) must remain in the United States until adjudication on their petition is complete. Foreign nationals who travel abroad while an application for change of nonimmigrant status is pending are considered to have abandoned their change of status portion of the petition.
Similarly, a pending advance parole application could be deemed abandoned and denied under recent policy changes. Please keep this in mind because in the past the situation was very different.
Foreign national employees should inform their U.S. employers regarding their plans to travel outside of the United States, and provide their departure and return dates and the countries to which they plan to travel. If possible, employers should provide employees with an employment verification letter that confirms the employee’s continued/current employment based on an approved nonimmigrant visa petition. This letter should be provided before employees depart the United States.
It is important to remember that the I-94 record expiration date governs the foreign national employee’s period of authorized stay in the United States. If an employee’s passport expires before the end date of the work authorization, status may be limited to the expiration date of the passport. If that occurs, the employee will need to renew the passport and travel outside of the country with a valid visa (prior to the expiration date noted on the I-94 record) to obtain a new I-94 record for the full period of stay authorized by the I-797 approval notice. Upon re-entry to the U.S., employees should obtain a copy of their admission record at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection site to ensure the entry information is correct.
Finally, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that President's third travel ban, impacting eight countries, is to be fully enforced, effective December 8 2017, while legal challenges in lower courts are pending. While this ban exempts certain individuals, caution should be taken by nationals of the following countries before traveling: Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Chad, Somalia, North Korea and Venezuela.