An unforeseen event may mean that you need a visa to travel to the US immediately. The United States Embassy is very strict about what constitutes an emergency event and will not grant an early appointment unless your reason to travel falls into one of these categories:
- You need urgent medical treatment in the United States or you need to go with a close family member who needs care. Close family members are classed as mother, father, brother, sister, child, grandparent or grandchild;
- An close family member in the United States is seriously ill and you need to be present;
- A close family member in the US has died and you need to attend their funeral;
- An unexpected business problem has occurred in the US and you need to travel immediately;
- You have applied for a Student Visa but need the appointment you have means that you will miss your classes
- An unexpected cultural, scientific, journalistic or political event
How to Apply
No matter how desperate the immediate situation is, every applicant wishing to go to the US for the emergency event MUST follow the steps below:
- File a non-immigrant visa application form known as form DS-160, each member of the party must file this form including child applicants;
- Pay the visa issuance fee and book an appointment. Each member of the party must pay the fee including child applicants. Your appointment must be booked for a date in the future before you can ask for an earlier date;
- Call the US Embassy or Consulate where your interview is booked to request an emergency appointment;
- Attend an interview at a US Consulate or Embassy of your choice. Applicants aged under 14 and over 79 do not have to attend unless requested by the Embassy.
There are several fees that must be paid in order to apply for a US visa if you want to apply with IVT:
1. US government MRV fee: $160 for a B visa paid with the credit card provided on the application form. This fee is non-refundable irrespective of whether a visa is granted or not.
2. US government reciprocity fee: this fee varies from country to country and is only payable at the interview if a visa is issued.
You must take all of the documentation that would be required of you if your need for a visa was not urgent. Your visa will not be approved if you cannot prove that you are going to return once the emergency is over.
In addition to all of the standard visa documentation you must also prove that your emergency is genuine. You must take the following proof:
Medical Emergency: a document containing the name, relationship, place and description of the condition, and attending physician’s contact information
Family Emergency: a document containing the name, relationship, place and description of the matter, and attending physician or funeral home’s contact information
Emergency Business Travel: documentation to describe and prove the emergency
Student Emergency: I-20 or DS-2019 which shows a start date that is earlier than the first available visa appointment
Receiving an Emergency appointment does not guarantee your visa. United States Immigration law assumes all applicants are looking for permanent residence in the US and the onus is on the applicants to prove otherwise.