Well, we have two this month, but they are about the same topic!
Firstly – “I currently have valid status in the United States but my work /student/ exchange visitor visa has expired. I’ll be visiting the UK over the holidays; can I book an appointment to renew my visa at the Embassy in London?”
Secondly – “I would like to apply for a visa in London over the holiday season; can I book an appointment now? How long will it take to process my visa application?”
Answer: If you are currently in status in the United States but your visa has expired, you will need to apply for a new visa next time you depart the United States. If you will be travelling to the United Kingdom for the holidays, you can apply for the visa at the Embassy in London. When applying for a visa, you are generally required to demonstrate strong social, economic and financial ties outside the United States. Remember, if you are applying in a country where you are not normally resident, consular officers cannot adjudicate ties to a third country.
If you would like to schedule an appointment to apply for a visa, you can do so using the online Appointment Booking Service – https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-gb/. The appointment calendar is open through January 2015.
Standard processing time for successful applications is 3-5 working days, plus an additional 2 days for your documents to be delivered. However, visas will take longer to process over the holiday season and you should take that into consideration when scheduling an appointment. The Embassy cannot guarantee that a visa will be issued to any applicant by a specific date and we advise all applicants that they should not make final travel plans until their application has been fully processed and they have the visa in hand.
Please note, the Embassy will be closed on December 25th and 26th 2014 and January 1st 2015.