ILW.COM - the immigration portal Immigration Daily

Home Page

Advanced search

Immigration Daily


Processing times

Immigration forms

Discussion board



Twitter feed

Immigrant Nation


CLE Workshops

Immigration books

Advertise on ILW


Chinese Immig. Daily


Connect to us

Make us Homepage


Immigration Daily

The leading
immigration law
publisher - over
50000 pages of free

Immigration LLC.

< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily

New Visa Procedures

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.

New Offsite Data Collection Service

How will the new process be different from the current process?

*New Visa Services begin on January 10, 2011


Current Service

New Service

Appointment Call Center

Applicant pays USD 1.25 per minute to schedule appointment.


Free service

Application Cost

USD 140 for tourist visa, USD 150 petition-based visa

No Change

Application Payment


Banamex, Scotiabank, or Credit Card

DS-160 Online Application

Application must be completed on-line in one session

Application progress can be saved over several on-line sessions

Interview Waiver Program


Not available

Many applicants who are renewing visas will not need to come to the Embassy or Consulate for an interview with a Consular Officer


*See below for qualification requirements

Appearing for your appointment

All Applicants

Appear at the Embassy to submit fingerprints, photo, application, and interview with a Consular Officer


Interview Waiver Program Participants

Day 1: Appear at the ASC to submit fingerprints, photo, application


Non-Interview Waiver Program Participants

Day 1: Appear at the ASC to submit fingerprints, photo, application

Day 2: Appear at the Embassy to interview with Consular Officer

Passport/Visa Delivery

Pegaso with additional delivery fee

DHL with no additional delivery fee

*Interview Waiver Program (IWP)

Some applicants who are renewing their visas will not need two appointments.  These applicants will only visit the ASC and will not need to visit the Embassy or Consulate. 

If you meet all of the requirements below, you may be qualified for the Interview Waiver Program:

·         You are applying with a Mexican passport;

·         You are applying in the same visa category;

·         Your visa is still valid or expired less than one year ago;

·         You have never been arrested or convicted of a crime;

·         You have never been deported from the United States, denied entry to the United States, or had any other problems or difficulties with U.S. Immigration or Customs authorities; and

·         You do not have dual citizenship or your second country of citizenship is a Visa Waiver Program member (see

For IWP participants, the passport and application will be forwarded to the Embassy or Consulate for review by a consular officer. 

Please note – the Embassy or Consulate reserves the right to call in any applicant for an interview.  If an applicant does require an interview, a representative from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate will contact the applicant to arrange a date and time to come to the Embassy to speak with the Consular Officer.