Beginning January 10, 2011, the U.S. Embassy and Consulates will process visas differently. Under the new procedures, most applicants will go to Applicant Service Centers (ASCs) prior to their consular section interview. The ASC staff will collect the applicant’s biometric information that will be reviewed by the consular section prior to the applicant’s interview. ASCs will be located in buildings separate from the U.S. Embassy and Consulates.
The new process will provide several advantages to applicants:
- Total visa application costs will go down. Applicants will no longer pay one fee to obtain information and schedule the appointment, another fee for the visa application, and a third fee for courier service. Instead, they will pay only one application fee that will cover the appointment, application, and courier fees. The current application fee will stay the same: USD140 for a tourist application, USD150 for petition-based cases (including temporary worker visas), and USD390 for treaty-trader and investor visas.
- Many applicants who are renewing their visas will no longer require an interview with a consular officer. These applicants can simply visit the nearest ASC in order to submit application documents and provide fingerprints. See the links below for more information on the Interview Waiver Program.
- Because the collection of biometric information will take place at the ASC, applicants who are required to visit both the ASC and the consular section should spend less time at the consular section than they have had to in the past.
- Applicants at the U.S. Consulates in Ciudad Juarez, Monterrey, and Nuevo Laredo will no longer pay a USD26 surcharge.