Nairobi News


US visa backlogs for Kenyans to be processed, no interviews for students, tourists

By Kevin Cheruiyot September 16th, 2022 2 min read

The US Embassy in Nairobi has informed visa applicants that it has resumed processing immigrant visas.

The embassy said that it has come up with a mechanism to reduce backlogs for those seeking to renew their visas.

Through a statement, US Ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman said that they have expanded the Interview Waiver Program for nonimmigrant visas.

“Effective immediately, those applying for tourist/business (B1/B2), student (F, J, M), or crew visas (C1/D) categories may be eligible for a visa renewal without an interview,” ambassador Meg said.

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She said that to qualify for the program, the applicants must be applying for the same visa category, and their visas cannot have expired more than four years ago.

“We ask for your patience as we are faced with a significant backlog of cases resulting from closures due to Covid-19. All applicants should expect delays in most stages of visa processing.”

The embassy said that it is aware of many visa applicants who have paid the visa application processing fee and are waiting to schedule a visa appointment, and has extended the validity of payment to September 30, 2023.

“We are working diligently to reduce wait times in all visa categories as quickly and safely as possible.

In the meantime, we have extended the validity of your payment (known as the MRV fee) until September 30, 2023, to allow all applicants who were unable to schedule a visa appointment an opportunity to schedule and attend a visa appointment with the already-paid fee.”

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When Ambassador Meg took over the office in August, she assured visa applicants that she would prioritize reducing the backlog to facilitate the quick movement of those who have applied for the services.

Visa applicants have also been informed that visa appointment fees are non-refundable, and they should carefully consider the interview wait time when deciding whether to pursue an appointment.

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