Monday, June 24, 2024

US Embassy in Mexico adds new appointments for visitor visas

Mexicans who want to travel to the United States for business, tourism or medical treatments might now be able to obtain their visitor visas quicker, U.S. officials announced Wednesday.

“Excellent news! The consular team at the Embassy and Consulates in Mexico will open more slots for additional visitor visa appointments (B1/B2) in 2024,” the U.S. Embassy in Mexico posted in Spanish via its X social media account.

The program will be available to those applying for a B1/B2 visa for the first time. (Cuartoscuro)

The B1/B2 visa is a mandatory document for nonimmigrants seeking entry into the United States, with a maximum stay of up to six months. It prohibits its holders from getting a job or enrolling in school while in the U.S.

The Embassy said applicants who have B1/B2 visitor visa appointments scheduled for 2025 (or later) and have already paid their fee may receive an email inviting them to reschedule their appointment for a closer date at no cost.

The emails, which will be sent randomly, do not necessarily guarantee a more immediate appointment, although additional openings will be added throughout the year.

“Keep checking back as we will continue to add new appointment spaces,” the Embassy’s post on X added.

Moreover, an in-person appointment, which is mandatory, does not guarantee that a visa will be authorized.

The program will be available to those seeking a B1/B2 visa for the first time, according to the newspaper El País, which also noted that since the process is free, people should “avoid falling into fraud and scams by third parties who promise to get an advance appointment in exchange for payment.”

According to U.S. figures, the Embassy and nine consulates in Mexico granted a record 2.3 million visas in 2023. Not only was that an increase of 35% over 2022, but it amounted to 22% of all U.S. visas issued worldwide.

The cost of a B1/B2 visa for Mexicans is US $185, or about 3,100 pesos. Payment is made after completing a DS-160 application form and registering in the U.S. State Department’s online system. Having a valid Mexican passport is required.

“Our goal is for more than 90% of our overseas posts to have visitor visa interview wait times under 90 days in 2024,” the State Department said in a press release in January. “We are proud of the progress we’ve made, inspired by the variety of innovations and initiatives we’ve undertaken, and we are excited about the future.”

Meanwhile, Mexicans hoping to travel to Canada recently received news that they would no longer be able to do so without a visa. Since 2016, Mexicans could enter Canada by obtaining an electronic travel authorization, or eTA.

With reports from El País

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