UAE travel: No US visa appointments available until October 2024; here’s why

Ayaz Zakir

Residents who are planning to travel to the United States from the UAE will face significant challenges as the wait times for visa appointments continue to stretch. The next available appointments are available in October next year, travel industry experts have said to Khaleej Times.

“The demand for applications for US visas among UAE residents has reached unprecedented levels, with the earliest available slots for appointments can be scheduled for October 2024,” said Subair Thekepurathvalappil, senior manager for inbound and outbound operations at Regal Tours Worldwide, adding that they receive over 20 calls daily inquiring about the visit visas to US.

Visa experts in the UAE believe that the wait time may increase in the coming days. “Currently, the wait time for B1 and B2 US visit visas is after September 2024. However, it may increase in the coming days,” said Dhas Anthony, general manager at Rejoice Travel and Tourism, who is specialised in visas worldwide.

High demand for travel post-Covid

Industry experts have said that there are many contributing factors for this unprecedented wait time including, “a very high number of visa applications post-Covid and a very high travel demand post-Covid which has led to increasing in appointment slot time,” said Subair.

“People want to travel now. Post-Covid, travel demand has increased massively prompting residents to visit different countries and experience different cultures and traditions,” said Anthony.

Experts also mentioned it’s not just UAE that is facing extended wait time for appointments, but its worldwide.

More applications post-Covid

Experts noted that there is a very high demand to travel to the US and the number of applications has increased in comparison to pre-Covid days.

“People are ready to pay double to get appointments early, it is not in our hands at all. We can apply for the visas, help and guide our clients,” said Subair.

Applying for US visa

There are two types of US visit visas:

“One should apply for US Business visa if travelling for business purposes. This visa is also known as the B1 Visa. And a tourist visa for tourism and also known as the B2 Visa,” said Anthony.

The visit visa enables one to enter the US and remain there for up to six months and can be obtained by completing the DS-160 online form.

Anthony points out the procedure to apply for the visit visa:

  • Check what type of visa you need
  • Find out where you should submit your application in the UAE
  • Complete the application form online
  • Pay the visa fee
  • Obtain appointment for a US visa interview
  • Gather the documents required for the visa
  • Attend the visa interview

Courtesy: khaleejtimes