US Embassy regrets year-long wait for visa interviews, advises of waiver for renewals


The United States (US) Embassy in Georgetown on Wednesday confirmed that a backlog in holiday (B1/B2) visa applications has resulted in applicants having to wait for more than a year before they can secure an in-person interview to culminate the application process towards being granted a non-immigrant visa.

“At the Embassy, we are aware of this backlog. This is a global issue that’s happening all over the world, apparently due to the global pandemic which had a snowball effect over two years,” Violeta Talandis, the Embassy’s Public Affairs Officer said during an interview on HJ radio on Wednesday.

She said while this significant delay is affecting the BI/B2 visas, the student, diplomatic and other categories of visas are not affected by lengthy delays.

Violeta Talandis, US Embassy’s Public Affairs Officer

Humanitarian emergencies, travel to advance the United States government interest, H-visas associated with the production of food and medical professionals; individuals travelling to the United States as air or sea crew; medical emergencies and, urgent business travel to US are among the other categories of visas not affected by the delay for interviews, Talandis explained.

There are some delays in appointments and interviews for immigrant visas.

Importantly, she advised that persons who were previously granted a visa that expired in the last four years (48 months), can apply for their renewal and request an interview waiver.

If the waiver is granted, it means that the renewal applicants will not have to visit the embassy for an appointment.

“Our staff is working overtime…bringing in people from other embassies in the region to try to help with this backlog, but it’s just going to take time,” the US official said.

The following are the eligibility requirements to have the interview waived in Guyana:

-Be a Resident or National of Guyana

-Your previous visa was issued in Guyana

-Have a valid U.S. visa or one that expired within the last 48 months

-Your previous visa was not lost, stolen, cancelled, or revoked

-You were not refused on your last U.S. visa application

-You have never been arrested or convicted of a crime; deported from or denied entry to the United States.

“We remain committed to safely and efficiently re-introducing appointments for the full range of nonimmigrant visas, including for tourism and business travel. However, there will continue to be extended wait times for appointments for routine travel given the current demand. Applicants are encouraged to plan far in advance.”

You can review appointment wait times using the wait time tool at

Talandis also addressed the physical wait that persons have to endure when they do get an appointment because of the overcrowding by Cubans travelling to Guyana to get visas.

She said the Biden Administration is working to open up an Embassy in Havana to resume full consulate services and hopefully it’s a solution.

As it is, Guyana is the “visa centre” for Cubans.

“We do want international travel, we do want the private sector, business connections to happen, we want you to go to the United States, just bear with us as we go through this backlog,” Talandis pleaded.

For more information, people can visit and for more information on wait time and the waiver of interviews.

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