Heads up: U.S. Embassy makes important announcement in view of the high demand for visas in the country.

The embassy noted that Colombia ranks number one in visa printing. As such, it notes that the consular team in the nation’s capital is committed to reducing wait times for first-time visa applicants.

The U.S. Embassy in Colombia noted -through a video on its social networks- that since the end of 2022 the entity has received support from U.S. embassies around the world “to meet the growing demand for visas in Colombia”.

Likewise, the embassy pointed out that Colombia ranks number one in visa printing. As such, it notes that the consular team in the nation’s capital is committed to reducing wait times for first-time visa applicants.

The process of obtaining a U.S. visa is a crucial part of the process for foreign nationals wishing to visit or live in the United States. Visas are divided into two categories: nonimmigrant and immigrant. Among the most common are tourist and visitor, business, employment, study and exchange visas.

One of them is to acquire the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). This can only be acquired by territories that are stipulated by the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).

visa at this Embassy

The places that belong to this program are the following:

Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Chile, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom.

The good news for Colombians is that the ESTA can be applied for by citizens who have dual nationality. For example, if a Colombian has Chilean, Spanish or Australian citizenship, countries to which several Colombians have migrated, he/she is eligible to apply for the document, with the nationality of the country that appears in the VWP.

Colombians with any of these other nationalities must also have the passport of their second nationality updated, which already comes with a digital chip containing biometric information about the owner. If you have the old passport, you cannot apply.

The ESTA is also a document that has a lower value than a visa application, is valid for two years and is valid for 90 days to enter the United States for business and tourism.

It is also worth noting that, in order to apply for the ESTA, it is a requirement that you have never been denied a visa application in either of the two countries of nationality.

The visa and the money to be paid

When a person applies to the United States for a visa, there is a probability that the visa will be denied. However, there are doubts as to whether the money is returned once the application is denied.

In this regard, the U.S. Embassy clarified that the fee paid is the one corresponding to the application. Any person applying for a visa anywhere in the world must pay this fee, which covers the costs of adjudication of the application.

As stated on the application form, this fee is non-refundable, regardless of whether or not you are granted a visa. If your application was rejected under section 214(b) and you choose to reapply for a visa at this Embassy or any other Embassy, you will be required to pay the application fee again. Additionally, there is also the option to try again, for which a specific amount of time must pass.

This time is usually used to reconsider the application and review the aspects that led the consular authorities not to approve the entry permit to enter the United States. In case of not demonstrating changes in the unfavorable point identified by the U.S. authorities, it is very likely that the application will be denied again.

Once the application is denied, there are some consulates that require a minimum of 6 months to reapply. It should be noted that this means paying the corresponding fee once again, in order to have the opportunity to be admitted the second time.

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