How Long Does It Take to Obtain a Visa?

A visa is a document that allows legal entrance to the United States. There are a number of different types of visas including those for tourists, students, and residents. There is a rather complex procedure in place to apply for a visa. Many people wonder, how long does it take to get a visa? It is helpful to know more about the process in order to understand the length of time it may take to obtain a visa.

Qualifications for Submitting a Visa Petition

Different visas have different requirements. However, in general, there are some qualifications that are universal. If you are requesting a visa you must provide proof of your identity. In most cases, you will be required to submit to a criminal background check. Those who have been convicted of crimes are usually not allowed to apply for visas. If you apply for a temporary visa you will need to prove that you maintain sufficient ties to your homeland, including a residence.

Providing the Necessary Visa Documentation

The visa application will outline the specific documentation you must supply. You may need to provide a birth certificate, passport, and medical examination. These documents may take some time to acquire. You must be prepared to submit this information at the time you apply for a visa. Once the visa application is completed and submitted, it will be reviewed.

Review of Visa Petitions

All visa petitions must be properly reviewed. This is the part of the process that can take some time. Some applicants report that it may take up to two years to adequately examine the information on a visa applicant. Tourist visas and student visas are usually obtained in a matter of months because less documentation is necessary. Part of the process includes an interview.

The Interview for a Visa

Most visa applicants must attend an interview. The interview is conducted by a member of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) if the applicant is already in the country. Those who are outside of the country visit their consulate office for the interview. The purpose of the interview is to ensure that the applicant is serious about their intentions, and has no wish to bring harm to the United States.

Resolving Immigration Visa Problems

Sometimes the visa process is delayed. In some situations, the applicant may need to supply more information and documentation. Other times, a visa is held up due to a problem with the background check or for other discrepancies. An immigration attorney may be able to provide assistance in resolving issues that can hold up a visa. Contact the skilled legal team at Udall Shumway PLC to schedule a consultation to discuss your situation.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Obtain a Visa, or other Immigration Law matters, please feel free to contact Phil D. Ortega at 480.461.5330, log on to,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full-service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.