Apply for an Expedited Appointment

Overview

If you have an unforeseen travel need as per one of the criteria listed below, you may qualify for an expedited expedited appointment depending on availability at the Embassy or Consulate. It is important to ensure you meet all the criteria, because applicants are only allowed to create one expedited appointment request.

Qualifications

Before you apply for an expedited appointment, you must ensure that you have documentary evidence to prove the urgency. If it appears during your visa interview that you misrepresented the reasons for expedited travel, such facts will be noted on your case file and may adversely influence the outcome of your visa application. All applicants requesting an expedited appointment are required to first pay visa fees for a regular visa appointment. Applicants who are granted an expedited appointment but subsequently refused a visa at either the U.S. Embassy in Abuja or the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos will not be allowed to utilize this option in either location to obtain another expedited appointment.

Please Note: Travel for the purpose of attending weddings and graduation ceremonies, assisting pregnant relatives, participating in an annual business/academic/professional conference, or enjoying last-minute tourism does not qualify for expedited appointments. For such travel, please schedule regular visa appointment well in advance.

ESTA Denied

You may request an expedited visa appointment if you are a citizen of a Visa Waiver Program partner but have received notice that you are no longer eligible to travel to the United States under that program. Such travelers include those who are dual nationals of Iraq, Iran, Sudan or Syria, or those who have travelled to Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Yemen, or Somalia after March 1, 2011.  Your travel must be imminent to qualify for an expedited appointment. Please include in your request the date and purpose of your travel.

Essential documentation:

  • A copy of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection message you received regarding your ESTA status.

VWP travel information:

As of April 1, 2016, those who are able to travel to the United States via the Visa Waiver Program must have a valid electronic passport.  This rule applies even to those who possess a valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). Electronic passports have this symbol on their cover:

 

 

 

Additionally, nationals of VWP countries who have traveled to, or been present in, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and/or Yemen on or after March 1, 2011 are no longer eligible to travel or be admitted to the United States under the VWP.  Dual nationals of VWP countries and Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Sudan are also no longer eligible to travel or be admitted to the United States under the VWP.

This restriction does not apply to VWP travelers whose presence any of those countries was to perform military service in the armed forces of a VWP country, or in order to carry out official duties as a full-time employee of the government of a VWP country. 

The Secretary of Homeland Security may waive this VWP restriction if he determines that such a waiver is in the law enforcement or national security interests of the United States.  Such waivers will be granted only on a case-by-case basis.  As a general matter, categories of travelers who may be eligible for a waiver include:

  • Individuals who have traveled to Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and/or Yemen on behalf of international organizations, regional organizations, or  sub-national governments on official duty;
  • Individuals who have traveled to Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and/or Yemen on behalf of a humanitarian non-governmental organizations (NGO); and
  • Individuals who have traveled to Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and/or Yemen as a journalist for reporting purposes.
  • Individuals who traveled to Iran for legitimate business-related purposes following the conclusion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (July 14, 2015); and
  • Individuals who have traveled to Iraq for legitimate business-related purposes.

An updated ESTA application form is available.  The new form contains additional questions to address the new travel eligibility requirements called for in the Act.  We encourage travelers seeking an ESTA to use the enhanced system, which will assist in making individual determinations on the potential granting of a waiver. There is no separate application for a waiver.                              

Current ESTA holders should check their ESTA status prior to travel on CBP’s website, https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/.

 

Medical Needs

Purpose of travel is to obtain urgent medical care, or to accompany a relative or employer for urgent medical care.

Essential documentation:

  1. A letter from your doctor in Nigeria describing the medical condition and why you are seeking medical care in the United States.
  2. A letter from the physician or hospital in the United States indicating that they are prepared to treat the case and providing the approximate cost of the treatment.
  3. Evidence of how you will pay for the cost of the treatment.

 

Funeral/Death

Purpose of travel is to attend the funeral of or make arrangements for repatriating the body of an immediate family member (mother, father, brother, sister, child, grandparent, or grandchild) in the United States.

Essential documentation:

  1. A letter from the funeral director stating the contact information, the details of the deceased and the date of the funeral.
  2. You must also present evidence that the deceased is an immediate relative.

 

Urgent Business Travel

Purpose of travel is to attend to an urgent business matter where the travel requirement could not be predicted in advance.

Essential documentation:

    1. A letter of invitation from the corresponding company in the United States attesting to the urgency of the planned visit, describing the nature of the business and that either the U.S. or Nigerian company will suffer a significant loss of opportunity if an expedited appointment is not available. OR
    2. Evidence of a necessary training program in the United States of three months duration or less, to include letters from both the Nigerian employer and the U.S. company providing the training. Both letters should include a detailed explanation of the training and explain why either the U.S. or Nigerian company will suffer a significant loss of opportunity if an expedited appointment is not available.

 

Students or exchange visitors

Purpose of travel is to begin or resume a valid program of study in the United States within 60 days when no regular visa appointments are available. This option is limited only to students and exchange students who are within 60 days of their start date. It is also limited only to applicants who have not been refused a visa within the last six months at either the U.S. Embassy in Abuja or the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos.

Essential documentation:

  1. Original Form I-20 or DS-2019 indicating start date of program within 60 days.
  2. Evidence that you have paid the SEVIS fee (when applicable).

Applying for an Expedited AppointmentStep 1

Pay the visa application fee.

Step 2

Complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form.

Step 3

Schedule an appointment online for the earliest available date. Please note that you must schedule an appointment before you can request an expedited date. At the time you schedule your appointment, you will see an onscreen message showing the earliest available appointment date, which includes expedited appointments. Accordingly, you may find that it is not necessary to request an expedited appointment because there are no earlier dates available. If you wish to proceed with requesting an expedited appointment, then complete the Request Form or contact the call center to request assistance. Please be sure to note the criteria you believe qualifies you for an expedited appointment. Once you have submitted your request, please wait for a response from the Embassy, which will come via email.

Step 4

If the Embassy approves your request then you will receive an email alerting you to schedule your expedited appointment online. Please understand that the call center cannot schedule your expedited appointment for you, but agents are able to assist you if questions arise. Should the Embassy deny your request for an expedited appointment, you will be notified of the denial by email and you should keep your existing appointment.

Note: The email confirming or denying your request will come from no-reply@ustraveldocs.com. Some email applications have rules which filter unknown senders into a spam or junk mail folder. If you have not received your email notification, please look for the message in your junk and spam email folders.

Step 5

Visit the U. S. Embassy in Abuja or the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos on the date and time of your interview. Bring all required documents with you.