Kenyans visiting US to wait until June 2024 for visa interviews


Entrance to US embassy in Gigiri, Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The US Embassy in Nairobi has suspended appointments for visa interviews until June 2024 owing to high demand and Covid-linked backlogs.

In a statement released on Monday, the embassy acknowledged the frustrations that Kenyans travelling to the US are going through.

“Currently, the first available dates for a visitor visa appointment in Nairobi are in June 2024. U.S. Embassy Nairobi recognizes the significant challenges and frustrations this poses for Kenyans planning to visit the United States for business and tourism,” read the statement seen by Business Daily.

Kenyans on social media have expressed their frustrations in recent days over what they have termed as unfair visa rules. Others have been forced to cancel travel plans over delays in processing the critical document.

The embassy said that non-immigrant visa interviews at the Nairobi office ceased for over a year due to Covid-19 safety measures.

“As we work through the backlog of applications and address the high demand for services, we recognize that some applicants may face extended visa interview wait times. This is a worldwide problem that US embassies are diligently striving to address,” the embassy said.

However, the embassy has committed to expediting appointments for emergencies such as the death of an immediate family member and people travelling for urgent medical care.

Students whose programmes start in less than 30 days and are likely to lose their scholarships will also be given priority. 

Further, the embassy has committed to doubling the number of interviews to clear the current backlog. 

“We instituted a visa renewal process that does not require an in-person interview for certain applicants. Kenyans renewing visitor (B1/B2 category) or student visas (F category) whose visas expired less than one year ago may be eligible to renew without an interview,” said the embassy.

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