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Visa help please


New Member
Visa help
Hi first time poster but long time reader of the site

I first applied for a US travel visa back in 2011 for a holiday and was granted it for 2 years, the reason for my visa is due to a theft charge when i was younger and stupid which i received a fine for due to this i was unable to apply for a ESTA

Well my girlfriends parents have their 50th wedding anniversary on the 1st April this year and in January invited me, my girlfriend and kids and her sister and her family to accompany them all paid for 14 day cruise around the Caribbean starting at San Juan knowing i need a visa to travel to Philadelphia to change to fly to San Juan also as we will be stopping at some of the US islands

i applied for my ACRO police report which i have received back, I filled in all the paperwork i needed to on-line and booked and paid for my appointment in London for the 15th March even though i did this on the 2nd February the earliest interview date i could get was the 15th March, Also paid for the express return service back

My question is as non of my circumstances have changed since i last got a US visa and on that visa i had I entered and left the US several times for holidays without any problems does anyone see me having any problems with getting my passport back in time to travel on the 1st April assuming it will granted

Also does anyone know why it starts on the US Embassy website current waiting times for interviews is 11 working days (updated today) as this stated 5 when i applied even though when applying for mine im having to wait a month and a half

(The crime i committed im not proud of and as soon as i was arrested i admitted that i was guilty and confessed straight away, as this was the first and only offence i have every committed i was given a fine of £100. i was young and stupid and will follow me for the rest of my life but hey you cant turn back the clock just learn from your mistakes)

After further reading and more worrying I discovered

I may be wrong but am I eligible to apply for a visa as i fall under clause II of exceptions of section 212 as i was only given a fine for £100 where as the maximum penalty for such crime is prison and shouldn't need for the embassy to apply for a waiver which seems to hold most applications up

(II) the maximum penalty possible for the crime of which the alien was convicted (or which the alien admits having committed or of which the acts that the alien admits having committed constituted the essential elements) did not exceed imprisonment for one year and, if the alien was convicted of such crime, the alien was not sentenced to a term of imprisonment in excess of 6 months (regardless of the extent to which the sentence was ultimately executed)

Many thanks in advance a worried traveller
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I don't understand this bit:
Also does anyone know why it starts on the US Embassy website current waiting times for interviews is 11 working days (updated today) as this stated 5 when i applied even though when applying for mine im having to wait a month and a half
Are you saying you've applied already for a new visa and they're telling you, that you have to wait for a month and a half for an interview? Or are you saying, the last time you applied you had to wait for a month and a half?

If you haven't applied, even with 11 working days turnaround, you have plenty of time before 1st April. And I'd wager that because you've travelled in and out of the US already, you'll be fine for a new visa.

It may be worth calling the embassy also. When I last got my visa there was an option to expedite the interview if you could give a valid reason. That was for a working visa however, so I don't exactly know how it works for a visitor visa.


Don't monkey with the buzzsaw
You can fly direct to San Juan. Does that help?

Possibly not because Puerto Rico is part of the USA, I believe.


New Member
I applied for the new visa on 2nd Feb this year after I submitted all the form the earliest available interview date was 15th March even though the embassy website states at the time 5 working days for interviews

Hope that makes sense


New Member
The waiting time is very long but I cannot see you will have a problem. Depends on what it said on the ACRO.
I would imagine it says NO LIVE TRACE in which case just fill out the form online about the circumstances. Dont forget to print it out and take it waith you. Also a photo if you havent uploaded one. Dress smartly, show contrition, explain the circumstances and your need for a Visa. Tell them about previous trips and providing you havent been refused entry and havent actually assaulted anyone physically you should be fine....5 minute interview at the booth max !
BTW you can always apply for an emergency appointment....have seen that on the website but am sure you will be fine
take any tickets with you and itinerary.


New Member
Think the biggest problem you will have is with the Courier service which is not very hot I believe. The wait is down to the sheer numbers of people applying. When I was there for mine after a wait of a month there were several hundred people in the line by 0800 for the 0800 slot and same again for 0830 slot. when I came out at 0915
there were several hundred more ! so go very early 0700 if possible.
You can take a phone and book but leave the rest.
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As dave said above, my passport was couriered back to me with my visa in it, I think it took almost a week? As for the actual appointment, get there as early as possible. Book the earliest appointment allowed (8am or 7am, I forget), and then turn up early to wait outside in line. If you have an early appointment and turn up first you'll get seen first IME, however if you go in the middle of the day it's just luck when you get seen.