Obtaining a U.S. visa in Colombia has long been marked by extended waiting times, posing a significant challenge to applicants. In fact, the application process for a tourist visa can sometimes take up to two years.
Efforts are underway by both national and American entities to expedite the visa process and reduce these prolonged waiting periods.
Embassy appointments for non-immigrant B1-B2 visas, specifically designed for short-term business and tourism travel, are now being scheduled two years in advance. This means that individuals initiating the application process today may only secure appointments for the year 2025.
The U.S. Embassy itself has been proactive in disseminating this information to applicants, aiming to provide them with clear expectations regarding waiting times.
On average, the Embassy has determined that visa appointments are taking 798 days to secure, from the moment the application is submitted, payment is made, and the DS-160 form is duly completed. This form includes crucial travel information and recent educational and work history of the applicant.
Reduce the waiting time for the visa in Colombia
In response to ongoing complaints from Colombian citizens, representatives Maria Elvira Salazar and Susie Lee have introduced a bill seeking to reduce the processing time for the issuing of visas.
One of the main objectives of this bill is to curb illegal migration, which has surged since the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through the proposed “Visitor Visa Waiting Time Reduction Act,” the goal is to limit the waiting period to no more than 100 days.
Additionally, in an effort to enhance waiting times, there are expectations of an increase in the number of U.S. Embassy officials. Presently, embassy appointments are being scheduled up to 300 days after the visa application is submitted.
The entity stated, “Consular professionals from around the world have joined our consular section to assist in processing visa applications. Our priority is reducing waiting times. Stay tuned to our website for new appointment availability.”
These measures are anticipated to kick-start a process of expediting pending visa applications within the institution. In line with this, several officials from various parts of the world have arrived in Bogota to collaborate with the Embassy in processing visas in the country’s capital.
It’s noteworthy that Colombia leads the list of 13 Latin American countries where the desire to seek better opportunities elsewhere is prevalent.
According to data from the Interdisciplinary Development Gallup Public Opinion Survey, which polled 1,200 citizens across 13 countries about their likelihood of emigrating if they had the means to do so, Colombia is at the top of the list. A striking 49% of respondents from Colombia expressed their intention to leave the country if they had sufficient financial resources.