The United States Mission to the United Arab Emirates is transitioning to a new appointment service for anyone applying for a non-immigrant visa to the United States. Starting January 6, 2013, applicants will work, online or by phone, with a service provider to schedule an interview, pay the visa application fee, and arrange for the delivery of documents and passports. This new appointment service will also allow applicants to schedule a visa interview with more flexibility and up to six months in advance of travel plans.
Under the new process, applicants can go online and in a few minutes complete the visa application, pay the visa-application fee, schedule an appointment, and arrange to have their passport delivered at the end of the application process to an Empost office anywhere in the UAE. The entire process can be done 24 hours a day from the comfort of home using the online system. During daytime hours, applicants can also get assistance from a live operator call center with services in Arabic, English, and Farsi. The call center can also assist with scheduling an appointment, provided the applicant has already paid the visa application fee. After that, all the applicant must do is attend the scheduled interview at the Embassy or Consulate General.
As part of the transition from the current visa-application process, those seeking interviews in December will see that no appointments are available online after December 31. There will be a brief interim before the transition takes place during which it will not be possible to schedule a visa interview. The new appointment system will debut on January 6, 2013, after which appointments will be available at both the Embassy and Consulate General well into the first six months of 2013.
The United States Mission to the United Arab Emirates wants to ensure that applicants already in the scheduling process are not negatively impacted by the change. If applicants have not already made an appointment and do not have immediate travel plans, they may choose to wait for the new system to be available on January 6. However, if an applicant has already paid the visa-application fee and made an appointment, that appointment will be honored. Applicants should arrive at the Embassy or Consulate General as instructed in their appointment confirmation, bringing with them their DS-160 application confirmation page, passport, and National Bank of Abu Dhabi visa-application-fee payment receipt. Because the process for paying the fee will be very different under the new system, we recommend that applicants not pay the fee unless they are sure they will receive an appointment prior to December 31. Those who pay the fee and do not have an interview before December 31 may have to pay the fee again under the new system. Please note we are unable to refund the National Bank of Abu Dhabi visa-application-fees if unused.
For more information and a full list of Frequently Asked Questions, visit the website of the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi at abudhabi.usembassy.gov or that of the U.S. Consulate General in Dubai at dubai.usconsulate.gov.
Source of Information: “Consulate General News 2012/Consulate General of the United States Dubai, UAE (12/04/2012)”